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The power companies are rorting us

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 15th, 2022 - 25 comments

FIRST Union, NZCTU, and 350 Aotearoa have just released a joint report suggesting that the privatisation of our power companies by National were not only disastrous for the country’s finances but also disastrous for the planet.

Wind Farms Need Mines

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, October 21st, 2022 - 32 comments

We need more mines if we are to transition to low carbon. There’s a field of industry that National and Labour could readily agree to if they put their minds to it, and it’s one of the highest paid industries in the world: mining. Electric cars, wind turbines and solar panels are made with a […]

The Very Bad Slightly Good Things About the Russian Invasion

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 pm, September 25th, 2022 - 8 comments

The Russian invasion of the Ukraine has cost tens of thousands of people their lives, millions of people their homes, seriously disrupted billions of people,  and increased the threat of nuclear war but there are positive developments coming from it.

Re-Nationalise Electricity Generators Now

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 8th, 2022 - 60 comments

This COVID era is the decade in which the state is back, bigger and faster than ever before. But the one area this government won’t let the state expand again is the one area in which New Zealand is the most vulnerable: electricity generation. It needs to change.

Transition at the Limits of What People Can Cope With

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 7th, 2022 - 39 comments

Many European governments now face a perfect storm of threatened energy security, rising inflation, war-propelled refugee crisis, and climate objectives. New Zealand be warned.

Unthinkable Renationalisation

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, July 21st, 2022 - 57 comments

Europe is leading the global fight against climate change by rapidly shifting away from fossil fuels. This now includes fully renationalising energy companies and forced decreases in gas use. What could New Zealand learn?

The 2022 Energy Crisis Is Right Here Right Now

Written By: - Date published: 4:56 pm, June 19th, 2022 - 44 comments

Every part of our energy-dense life from plastic to tarmac to food to clothes to building materials is about to get smashed like we ain’t seen.

Foot-shooting the sanctions’ lockstep

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, June 18th, 2022 - 45 comments

RNZ’s “The Detail” asked are New Zealand’s sanctions against Russia working? They aren’t, but one detail we learnt that MFAT has 100 staff members assigned to sorting out their complications!! What a waste.

So What Happens To Russia?

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, May 9th, 2022 - 57 comments

The commercial parts of Russia’s state will do very well with plenty of customers remaining for its oil and gas. It’s $3-$4 a litre 91 everyone. Everything else in Russia is ruined.

Crisis, What Crisis?

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 22nd, 2022 - 88 comments

There is only so much New Zealand and its government can do to soften the blows of the instability that are besetting the world.  And the problem is without dramatic change New Zealand will remain one of the most car-addicted, petrol reliant societies on earth for several decades to come.

Who Pays the Price of Sanctions

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, March 20th, 2022 - 194 comments

New Zealand’s sanctions on Russia have not stopped the war in Ukraine. They may have made our parliamentarians feel better, and Tony Blinken was quick to congratulate us on falling into line with the US “high-impact sanctions.” The language is combative, but the evidence shows sanctions do not  work. They can have significant blow-back effects, particularly if not combined with effective diplomacy.

Dennis Meadows on the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Limits to Growth – Post Carbon Institute

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, February 28th, 2022 - 14 comments

Only rarely does a book truly change the world. In the nineteenth century, such a book was Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. For the twentieth century, it was The Limits to Growth.

Can this government get re-elected?

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, February 13th, 2022 - 34 comments

Where will the votes come from to get Labour a third term? 

The Price Isn’t Yet Right To Invade Ukraine

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, January 26th, 2022 - 59 comments

The entity making the most money out of threatening the Ukraine is the Russian Federation government itself. Follow the money.

Our Energy Upheaval

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, December 23rd, 2021 - 79 comments

Ministers Wood, Shaw and Parker (Energy, Climate Change, and RMA reform respectively), must pull their eyes downward from the misty clouds of climate change and stuff multiple decades away and down into the jagged, shadowy deal-by-deal path of the transition to clean energy.

When We Needed Electricity, it Was Shut Off

Written By: - Date published: 1:49 pm, August 10th, 2021 - 104 comments

Minister Woods and Prime Minister Ardern have been reduced to asking a series of questions about why Transpower got major electricity providers to drastically cut power last night.

The problem with coal

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 1st, 2021 - 38 comments

New Zealand is about to enter a transition phase in energy that’s going to affect absolutely everyone.

Escape Velocity

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, February 7th, 2021 - 93 comments

In this series so far I’ve examined three of the four terms in the Kaya Identity, population, economic intensity, and energy intensity. It can be conclusively shown that none of these factors can be reduced sufficiently to reduce CO2 emissions to zero – or even close enough to be useful. Let’s return to each one […]

The Malthusian Spectre

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, December 20th, 2020 - 46 comments

Population has always been a critical driver of events and prior to the Industrial Revolution we lived in a zero sum world, with energy and resources effectively limited to that which could be harvested from photosynthesis, one person’s gain was at the limit, always someone else’s loss. Very low density hunter gather populations could thrive […]

Energy’s Iron Triangle.

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, December 11th, 2020 - 62 comments

For those who don’t trawl through all the comments; a little personal background. I’ve been fortunate enough to have just finished up a 40 year career in technology and automation, most of it in heavy industry. Looking back it’s been one hell of an adventure, tough at times, but I’ve been one of those lucky […]

Greens policy announcement: Our Clean Energy Plan

Written By: - Date published: 1:37 pm, July 12th, 2020 - 26 comments

Our Clean Energy Plan is the first part of our transformational proposal to end the use of fossil fuels in Aotearoa. It will help to ensure our grandchildren inherit a world where they can not only survive, but thrive.

A World That Just Doesn’t Need As Much Oil

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, June 18th, 2020 - 27 comments

BP yesterday sent a really big message that effectively now, Covid-19 is the break that tips the world away from oil dependence.

How to kill the car

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, April 29th, 2020 - 45 comments

What would you do so that instead of wandering endlessly through tilt-slab monstrosities soaked in 80s music and fluorescent lighting, surrounded by oppressed minimum-wage slaves who hate being there and you hating being there worried about your wheeled asset damaged in their carpark instead you get freedom?

The Corona Virus and the Car

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, February 28th, 2020 - 27 comments

We just saw the stock markets lose their composure, but the stocks taking really big hits are the carmakers who have baked their profitability future into this largest growing car market.

A message for conservatives about climate change and nuclear power

Written By: - Date published: 3:21 pm, January 9th, 2020 - 142 comments

David Farrar has criticised young people not for their passion about addressing climate change, but for not supporting nuclear power as a potential solution.  Even though it is too risky, too expensive, and too late.

Green Budget win backs public sector leadership on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, December 11th, 2019 - 9 comments

“We want to make sure hospitals, schools and other public institutions can use energy in a more climate-friendly way, cut emissions, and lower their energy bills.”

End Oil: “this is how we win”

Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, December 5th, 2019 - 4 comments

The Museum of Oil History and SS4C dancing the Macarena ended an awesome week of protest action against oil drilling in NZ.

No Social welfare handouts for multinational corporations

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, November 2nd, 2019 - 98 comments

Rio Tinto is practising further brinkmanship and have reportedly sent in a closure team to assess the viability of Tiwai Point and no doubt seek a Government handout. Is it time to say no and provide cheaper cleaner power to the country instead?

The Government’s Economic Development Plan

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, September 30th, 2019 - 15 comments

Last week the government launched its Economic Development Plan, arguably late but with lots of useful initiatives.

Where is the Government on oil reliance?

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, September 19th, 2019 - 14 comments

Even though New Zealand is one of the most oil-reliant countries on earth, the Government has a disturbing lack of a plan for security of supply.

The strait of Hormuz

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, July 20th, 2019 - 49 comments

With the seizing of an oil tanker by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz today as a presumably tit-for-tat escalation for British seizing an Iranian ship, and the U.S. Navy harassing their coastline, we are in for a senseless and dangerous political escalation.

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