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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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    Labour | 22-07
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    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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