Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, March 26th, 2017 - 26 comments
Peak oil is being talked again with suggestions that it may be only 5 years away. And Saudi Arabia’s Aramco is thinking of starting to divest itself of its petroleum assets.
Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, May 7th, 2012 - 36 comments
The Environmental Protection Agency, bastard child of Nick Smith chaired by National crony Kerry Prendergast, has given draft approval to Transmission Gully. This billion dollar project returns 60 cents of benefits for every dollar spent. Worse than a night on the pokies. And that’s NZTA’s estimate assuming traffic growth that isn’t happening, and not accounting for $5 a litre petrol.
Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, April 4th, 2012 - 63 comments
Rookie Green MP Julie Anne Genter, a transport planning expert before entering Parliament, gave Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee, whose qualification for the job is that he used to teach kids to make wooden toy cars, a sharp lesson in transport policy in the House yesterday. It’s rare for a newbie to show up an old tusker like that. With petrol prices at record levels, I hope someone in the government’s listening.
Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, March 20th, 2012 - 101 comments
Barack Obama will be breathing a sigh of relief after David Farrar endorsed his call to end oil subsidies. It seems the 3rd oil price spike in 5 years is getting the attention of even the Right. Something, they’ve got an inkling, is wrong and rising petrol prices are here to stay. Pity that, on the cusp of revelation, Farrar opts for the security blanket of neoclassical economics.
Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, February 15th, 2012 - 41 comments
Gerry Brownlee has weakly attempted to fob off the decline in benefit:cost ratio of highway projects under National. ‘Sure’ he says ‘we’ve been funding projects that barely break even while high BCR spending like early childhood education gets cut, but things will turn around’. Um, no. Look at the projects National has on the horizon, […]
Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, February 8th, 2012 - 19 comments
The UN High Level Panel on Global Sustainability has delivered a report about creating a future that’s sustainable economically, socially and environmentally. Our government and political parties should be looking at it and measuring themselves against it.
Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, February 4th, 2012 - 36 comments
Almost missed among all the blacked out paragraphs of the Transport Briefing to the Incoming Minister are 2 interesting graphs. While not explicitly mentioning peak oil, the graph of the National Land Transport Fund shows a massive shortfall in revenue in a ‘high oil price, low growth’ scenario. The other shows how low-quality National’s highway spending is.
Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, January 26th, 2012 - 43 comments
Dennis Tegg has a good piece on the release of a secret Australian government report that warns peak oil is upon us: The Daily Telegraph has revealed how the Australian government has attempted to suppress its own report on peak oil. The response from the New Zealand government had been equally secretive and obfuscating.
Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, January 20th, 2012 - 159 comments
As peak oil slowly grinds down our economy – meeting any hint of growth with sky-high petrol prices and making $2 a litre the ‘new normal’, we are actually, gradually,starting to react. Not at a governmental level, where action is most urgently needed, but in the decisions made by ordinary Kiwis every day.
Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, September 5th, 2011 - 45 comments
Denis Tegg on National’s head in the sand Energy Strategy. All the official international warnings have been dismissed and the government has forced official to remove any reference to peak oil. The minister flatly refused to answer questions about the impact of peak oil on her fossil-fuel centred plan at the strategy launch.
Written By: - Date published: 9:05 pm, July 21st, 2011 - 89 comments
Should we be more angry or scared? Just read the first official government presentation on peak oil. The IEA says conventional oil peaked in 2006 but our government offers only crude denialism and, paradoxically, blithe assurances that they’re ready. This is the kind of crap we used to see before we had 2 oil shocks in the past 4 years.
Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, July 12th, 2011 - 112 comments
A feasible plan to power 100 percent of the planet with complete renewables exists. This plan excludes Nuclear and Biofuels, which the Scientific American authors of this plan also considered to be ultimately unsustainable technologies as well. Instead this plan revolves around Wind, Water and Solar – WWS
Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 27th, 2011 - 81 comments
The Greens and environmentalists have been talking about peak oil forever. Now, the IEA and IMF have joined them in warning that governments need to act immediately. Labour has pledged to cancel one of National’s white elephant motorways but that must only be the beginning. Meanwhile, the Nats are planning more ‘Roads of National Significance’.
Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, April 18th, 2011 - 11 comments
Back in October last year the Nats, in a sea of bad news on the economy, latched on to the low inflation rate as something that they could claim “credit” for. No doubt they will now be just as ready to accept blame for the worst inflation rate in 20 years. Almost half of this figure is driven by the Nats’ GST increase…
Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, April 11th, 2011 - 36 comments
Get ready for another petrol increase this week. Last week, the Dubai crude benchmark, which most of New Zealand’s imports are priced of, shot up over 4% in NZD terms. Unless that rise reverses right away, petrol will have to rise past $2.25 a litre. We’re now pay $160m a week for oil imports – $2b a year more than a year ago.
Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, April 10th, 2011 - 40 comments
Peak oil. We’ve long had warnings from scientists and greens. Right wing governments never listen to those. But recently we’ve also had warnings from organisations that you might think that any government would pay attention to. The IMF is the latest to sound the alarm.
Written By: - Date published: 11:36 pm, April 4th, 2011 - 26 comments
Last year, the New Zealand Institute lambasted the Nats’ ‘aspiration’ to catch Australia by 2025 with a report entitled ‘A goal is not a strategy‘. Did the Nats change? Of course not. Yesterday, their energy strategy was released. It offers some goals but is mute on how to get there. It’s not really a strategy at all, but it serves the Nats’ purpose nonetheless.
Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, April 4th, 2011 - 30 comments
Kiwis are voting with their feet, or rather their arses. Patronage of public transport is skyrocketing to the point of overcrowding while state highway use is falling among except for freight. You have to wonder why the government keeps building expensive highways that will be underused when public transport is full to the brim.
Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, March 14th, 2011 - 51 comments
The other day I was arguing $100 a barrel oil equals a global recession. I wanted be more precise: is there a certain price of petrol, above which the economy goes into recession? There is, and we’re way above it. The political upshot: the best way to promote growth is decreasing our oil dependence.
Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, March 11th, 2011 - 17 comments
As we wait to see what Saudi Arabia’s ‘Day of Rage’ will bring and if it will send oil prices into the stratosphere, some economists, including our Reserve Bank Governor, are trying to pretend we’re not in the midst of an oil shock and there is no threat to the economy. They’re dead wrong.
Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, March 7th, 2011 - 23 comments
You know things are bad when the AA is saying that high petrol prices are here to stay and there needs to be more investment in public transport. Global supply and demand is so tight that tiny disruptions are causing massive spikes. What if Saudi Arabia erupts?
Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, March 6th, 2011 - 79 comments
Peak oil, peak food, peak metals, climate change. By over-exploiting the world, we have enjoyed tremendous improvements in the standard of living. And now the payback is coming. We’re clearly on a downward economic slope. Things have been going backwards for 3 years and the outlook is worse, not better. But it’s not the end of the world.
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 2nd, 2011 - 42 comments
To get enough oil for global demand requires expensive technologies, and expending more energy. If the price is too low those investments won’t be feasible, meaning not enough production. But too high and the world can’t afford it and we enter global recession. The ‘goldilocks’ in the middle is shrinking, to a knife edge. It’s the same story with food and metals.
Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, February 28th, 2011 - 19 comments
Concurrently Christchurch’s second big quake, the effects of two other shocks are beginning to ripple through our country. Food prices are putting basics out of reach and this week will see another big petrol price hike. All three of these shocks will require us to pool our resources and redirect them to rebuilding resiliently.
Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, February 25th, 2011 - 67 comments
I read a book a while back that was set in the near future after what it called the ‘Domino recessions’ – successive oil shocks had created a series of economic and political crises, each one before the world had recovered from the previous recession. As the second oil shock in three years hits, that scenario looks to be coming to true.
Written By: - Date published: 11:43 pm, February 14th, 2011 - 51 comments
Look at the international media these days and what do we see? Oil prices rising due to peak oil. Extreme weather events due to climate change. Rising food prices due to peak oil increasing production costs, climate change destroying crops and resource depletion. And, in the most exposed countries, governments falling in revolution.
Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, February 11th, 2011 - 46 comments
Unprecedented protests have forced Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to say he won’t stand at the next election and extracted concessions from the regime. So why don’t the protesters go home and wait until the elections in September? Because they know nothing will change if Mubarak is allowed to hang on, and the regime’s revenge will be brutal.
Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, January 24th, 2011 - 42 comments
Higher commodity and food prices, we are told are a Good Thing. Our exporters (ie. Fonterra and foreign oil companies) get more money. But we consumers have to pay more to by the same products, so are we better off? And what about the poor saps overseas who are paying more for less, or the really poor saps who are priced out of the market?
Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, January 17th, 2011 - 66 comments
The few neoliberals who can bring themselves to acknowledge that peak oil is inevitable and upon us argue it’s not really a problem: ‘when prices rise, people will buy alternatives instead, like electric cars’. But peak oil causes recessions and recessions kill car sales. Even if enough electric cars could be made, could we afford to buy them?