when is it criminal?

I hope I live long enough to write the history of the Dunedin Stadium debate. It would portray Chin, Cairns and Co, as leadership failures. Two years ago I gave them information that showed they had single-figure years – at best – to get the city on a footing where it could be maintained in a dwindling energy regime. They failed to consider it. Arrogance? Ignorance? Both?

Rather than hauling Theresa Stephenson over the coals for whistle-blowing, we should be having a Commission of Enquiry into the antics of  our ‘leaders’.

Criminal? I say yes. I also add the Otago Daily Times heirachy to that – they had the info too. As the ‘only game in town’, they had an obligation to investigate and disseminate too. All we got and get, is glib optimism, and by way of counterpoint, more glib optimism.

Last year (over a year ago) I contacted senior staff at the ODT, suggesting they attend a lecture (by Associate Prof Bob Lloyd, physics, energy studies) and said it would be “A Titanic to their deck-chairs”. They never got there. And then think they have the right to proffer packaged optimism? Failure.

And the University? If they had been at their own staff club when Ellen Mosley-Thompson spoke, they might have been less than ignorant, too. Failure.

It would be a great project – think I’d need idemnity insurance! Why do these people do it?  It’s not rocket science – are they really that stupid?

Meantime, I’m pleased I didn’t take a bet on with Sarah – she reckoned it would be a pandemic, I said a war over dwindling resources, probably oil. She might be right! As they say, pigs might fly? Just don’t sneeze……

A good day here, built a window from scratch, got a lot done on the house, talked to a young fellow about passive solar, then cockles and home produce for tea, good company, good red. It’s tough at the bottom. Ask Freddie Mercury………



Now it starts to make sense, or at least, you can see what is happening. A protest camp gets moved on (off DOC land, by Solid Energy) and a piece of Central Otago Conservation land gets excluded, because there is coal under it. Marry that with Brownlee’s comments about sequestration, and there’s your rodent.

Until sequestration is developed, and until it demonstrates an EROEI of better than ‘one’, it isn’t a goer. Also, the reserve is said to be 20 years worth – not sure if that is ‘all NZ transport needs’, but even if it is, that is a pathetic stop-gap. If that is the biggest they can think, heaven (I’m an atheist) help us.

Not worth fighting though, like so many proposals it won’t get fuelled.

We spent a cracker day on the water, with Jennie brushing up her skills before her Instructor’s course. She looks good in a Hobie, but of course I’m biased….

Might actually get something constructive done tomorrow, will be a change!


I’ve finally found where all the stuff the ODT never lets see the light of day, goes.

Simon Cunliffe says in todays opinion piece (last sentence) that they will be found in the theatre.

I’ve had a piece, in various forms, with them for a year now. Quite important, given where we are going. About privatisation, ie the removal of community ownership of communally-necessary strategic assets.

We might look foward to a new play – perhaps set in a newsroom. Working title could be ‘Saving Private Lyin’. You’ll get it in stages, they’re only getting to grips with it, and in a new move, the audience may be asked to view the performance from off to the Right.

This as the comment tonight from Maori interests state: “There are only so many strategic assets, better get in quick”. Oh Boy!

And English is a dime to a dollar to hold (thus reduce in real terms) Health spending in the budget, while throwing 15 mill at the old-boy network’s ego-wank glasshouse.

Meantime, ain’t we got fun. Holidayed today, sailing tomorrow, went and did a Solar Action talk to Gore Rotary yesterday. Not a bad bunch at all – didn’t  get away till nearly 11pm. Some switched-on cookies  – including the world-record holder for grain-per-acre!  It was the first time we have tag-teamed a talk, they reckoned it was a bit like good-cop, bad cop. We will tighten it.

I see Michael Guest thinks David Skegg (Otago Uni numero uno) is good ‘cos he’s an academic. I remember Gerald Stokes saying that in acadaemia, you learned more and more about less and less, until you knew everything about fuck-all. Skegg may be the world’s best expert on the right front tire, but if the gas tank is emptying, the input becomes irrelevant.

Kind of like being the White Star Line’s deck-chair expert …….

As my unpublished article would have pointed out, there is always unrefunded nationalisation.


Well, the Dunedin City Council have voted for an Easter Island statue, even as the trees vanish. When will they ever learn?

It really reflects our immaturity as a society, in that if we were all really on to it, they would not be our representatives.

Will it matter in the long run?  It depends on what happens to ‘debt’. Given that we are at the limit of growth, debt will become harder to obtain, and service. Debts, indeed whole banks, may fall into unlikely hands. What happens if some warlord type ‘buys’ the National Bank, raises your interest to 1000%, and ‘reposesses’ your property? Or your City? Not possible?

Don’t bet on it. in fact, don’t bet on anything  just now – clear your debts instead. Certainly don’t bet on three little rugby games bringing a windfall to the City in three years time.

Forgive them for they know not what they do?

brownlee coal co

Well lookee here. Gerry Brownlee, ace thinker (it would be rude to say big thinker) wants to go for carbon sequestration. Only two things wrong with that. One is is hasn’t been achieve yet. Two, it has to have an EROEI (ENERGY RETURN ON ENERGY INVESTED) of better than one, to be do-able.

Clearly, we see Don Elder’s mob in this- their only lifejacket in a choppy sea. Learn to swim , you buggers, stop using up my kid’s inheritance before they get a chance….. I know ‘sustainable’ is a big word, Gerry, but it means ‘capable of being done indefinitely’. Steep learning curve, I know.

Could I suggest where you could sequester your carbon? Should be room….

No good news is no news

Which is why I haven’t done a post for a day or two. Locally (Dunedin) there is not much good happening. Simon Cunliffe did an opinion piece in the ODT which just shows how – even with good heart and reasonable intellect – people just miss the bus.

The biggest local irony, is the Government offer of 15 million ‘no strings attatched’ for the stadium – a white elephant – and the 16 million not in our local health system. Which is the bigger theft? Rather than sacking Richard Thompson, Tony Ryall could have gotten the 15 mill to something useful – like health.

The Clutha dams are not worth worying about, nor in my book, is the Holcim cement plant proposed near Oamaru. The time-scales for the dams take them well past the point where any military power lets little old NZ have any of the remaining oil, so one way or the other, they are not a goer.

A pity – if the minister of energy was halfway intelligent, or even reasonably informed (I give him a ‘fail’ on both counts) he would be getting our grid into position for equalised local-generation of solar energy. This will be like watching the Nazis arming frantically in the ’30’s, while knowing how they will end up in ’45. A waste of time and – more importantly – resources.

the Key to Glowth

Well we’re off to China, to tap into the growth goming out thereof. With Van der Hayden riding shotgun – very smart. Who advised our face about face?

Watch Chinese ‘investment’ in Fiji, and our high country.

China, of course, will implode, or get angry enough to go to war. She cannot continue with desertification, water-table depletion, and shitting in her own nest, much longer. On top of that, there are not the resources on the planet to bring her population up to our standards of living. Will the tiger let us keep a share?   Not likely….

The rumour is that China has ‘growth’ of 5%, down from double digits. There are two things to note about that statement – one is that it is coming off a low base, the other is that it is hard to prove or disprove, given the lack of transparency at control level. My pick is that they have hit the wall, and are marking time at par. That is without counting in the real value of natural capital – the same mistake western economists make.

Here, it was a rather nice day. They are to be valued……maybe GDP  should stand for Good Day Price.