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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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  • Collins inquiry a whitewash before it has even started
    The farce whitewash that Key is trying to push through here for the inquiry into Judith Collins role in a hit on the SFO should enrage any NZer, regardless of how they vote. Whaleoil won’t be forced to appear, it’s...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Press Leaders Debate – Round 2 – 7pm tonight
    This debate is live in a Town Hall, Key has done well at these in the past, but since the hate politics exposed in Dirty Politics, expect real fury directed at Key. My guess is that Key will attempt to use whatever he...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • MANA hit speed wobbles – why Annette Sykes will win Waiariki
    MANA are my favourites. But of late, their transition from crawling to sprinting has hit some speed wobbles. Hone’s and Pam’s aggressive attitude towards the media recently is very understandable in light of how connected many of the media were to...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Soz Cam – PaknSave boycott of whaleoil continues – time to start a boyc...
    Cam is so carcinogenic now, not even his mates in the Tobacco Industry are talking to him any longer. I suspect only the Israeli Defence Force propaganda department are paying for content on whaleoil now. Cam says that PaknSave have dropped their problems...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • The Rock Fuels NZ Roastbuster Rape Culture
    This is making me feel pretty uncomfortable. Here we have an instance of Jono and Ben posing like “exposed celebrities”. But do you know what I’m seeing? I’m seeing two dudes who basically “roasted” a woman online (exposed pictures of...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – Why beneficiaries need advocacy
    There are times when I am wrong. I was wrong recently when someone suggested to me that AAAP should be eligible for government funding to continues its advocacy work. That was before. Before dealing with advocacy on a weekly basis...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • TheDailyBlog September Political Poll Has Been Kicked Off
    The Daily Blog’s August poll has concluded and the September poll has been kicked off, asking readers: What party will you likely vote for at this year’s General Election? You will see this month’s poll in the right-hand sidebar of...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Jamie Whyte, leave that poor seal alone!
    Worse than showing mere lip service to Rainbow inclusion, ACT leader Jamie Whyte showed stunning arrogance when appeared at a candidates debate on rainbow issues hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association last Thursday. The stunning hypocrisy was evident as...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Right wing can’t help but use scum
    Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil. We need not be so surprised. It takes a certain type to support the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: National’s Ohariu candidate admits contact by Simon Lusk
    . . Wellington, NZ, 31  August – At a meet-the-candidates public meeting in the Rongotai Electorate, National’s Ohariu candidate, Brett Hudson, confirmed that he had been approached by “a mate”, who passed on a message from  National Party operative, Simon...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014
    Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidates ‘One Strike’ Crime Policy
    Best wishes to all of those who live in Epsom, Mount Eden, New Market, Remuera and of course the rest of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Large majorities of NZ First voters would prefer Labour deal
    67% of those who voted for New Zealand First at the 2011 general election would prefer Labour to lead a coalition government if one is needed after September 20’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Jointly owned urban development agency for Christchurch
    “Given the strategic importance of the Canterbury rebuild, it is logical that the transition from emergency governance arrangements is overseen by the Prime Minister’s office, but to maintain momentum in the city centre an expert development agency...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix needed
    Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix is needed The Public Service Association (PSA) says the inquiry into Judith Collins’ behaviour must be accompanied by a process to restore the lost trust between Ministers and public servants if...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Association welcomes new Chief Executive
    “The New Zealand Police Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Verry to Chief Executive. Heather picks up the mantle from Chris Pentecost, who recently retired from this position,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Young Voters Want Politicians to Grow Up
    Young voters want answers to the questions that directly affect them – but it seems as much as anything, they want politicians to grow up....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Climate Voter election debate to get big audience
    Auckland, 2 September 2014 - Tickets to tomorrow night’s first-ever Climate Voter election debate have sold out but an online audience will also get to see the event live....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Edge show disregard for consent
    The Edge has shown complete disregard for consent, for women’s bodies and in doing so has contributed to the wider issue of rape culture in New Zealand says specialist sexual violence prevention organisation, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. Yesterday,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Rock is Fuelling New Zealand’s Roastbuster Rape Culture
    The Rock are still displaying without-consent images of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities online. They are making fun of this without-consent action, saying that she was "asking for it", etc. They appear to be supporting this kind of...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • HRLA Condemns Murder of Filipino Human Rights lawyer
    Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio, a member of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers , was gunned down while working on a land dispute in Rizal, east of Manila. Two caretakers of the disputed land were also injured in the attack....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • SFO lays charges for procurement fraud
    Two individuals have been charged in the Auckland District Court today with Crimes Act charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office for alleged fraud against Mighty River Power Limited relating to procurement for the Company’s Southdown power station....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Commitment to lifting wages good for New Zealand
    The Service and Food Workers Union has applauded the Green Party workers’ policy announced today....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Sykes: There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Winston Peters Shown up by the Civilian Party
    Even the satirical 'Civilian Party' has now offered the Taxpayers’ Union more credible figures for the ' Bribe-O-Meter ' than Winston Peters’ New Zealand First. The Taxpayers’ Union Bribe-O-Meter now includes, National, Labour, the Greens,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Further criminal investigation into CTV Building collapse
    Police has today confirmed it will be advancing the criminal investigation into the collapse of the CTV building in February 2011....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens policy to restore link between effort and reward
    The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union. The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens workers policy supported by union movement
    The CTU is supporting the Green Party’s policy launched today focused on improving life for working New Zealanders. “This policy shows the Greens commitment to collective bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers terms and conditions. It...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Research Scholarships for Cannabis Treatments
    Medical cannabis research will be boosted by $140 million if the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is elected on September 20. Pediatric epilepsy treatment will be one of the main priorities for the research scholarships....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Ngai Te Rangi Change to Tribal Elections
    Ngai Te Rangi has begun a postal vote of beneficiaries to change the way representatives are elected to the two Ngai Te Rangi tribal organisations....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Real People Powering Real Policy
    New Zealanders from all walks of life have helped the Internet Party create a full platform of strong, progressive and realistic policies that will create a better future for everyone, says leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety
    The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Time to get serious about ending homelessness!
    New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of policies that address the housing and support needs of homeless people as well as significantly increasing the supply of affordable, good quality houses and flats....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Hundreds to join domestic, sexual violence march
    Several social service providers from across New Zealand have come together to call for an end to the epidemic level of domestic and sexual violence in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Students helped with debt repayments
    New Zealand students now living in Australia are being reminded not to ignore their student loan debt as Inland Revenue expands its latest tool to help with repayments....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Launch of GenderNeutral.co.nz website
    GenderNeutral.co.nz are excited to announce the launch of their new website, GenderNeutral.co.nz ....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Factory farming debaters to look chicken in the eye
    MPs participating in a panel discussion about factory farming will come face-to-face with a real live hen, rescued from the claws of the intensive farming industry. Hettie the Hen will demonstrate to the MPs what little space is afforded to...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
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