an Emissions Trading Scheme – yeah right.

It has to be understood, that there isn’t the carbon sink on the planet, to absorb (or adsorb) the carbon we are releasing. Dumb bunnies think (think?) that the chemistry of the planet was always conducive to us as a species, but this is not so. For long periods it wasn’t.

We have been too successful, and have gone into population overshoot – by a factor of three – on the back of the extraction of  long-stored fossil fuels. That won’t continue, as I’ve said here before.

The idea of somehow buying ‘carbon credits’ from ‘somewhere else’ is horseshit – unless you look at it as a fiscal way of repressing the third-world, forcing them to be a mass uncullable forest. I guess that’s one way of expressing ‘survival of the fittest” as we reduce by 2/3 the global population.

The whole charade is a little akin to arging about where the deckchairs will be placed, to get the best of tomorrow’s sun. The ship won’t be floating on the morrow, so the discussion is not the right one to be having. Given that the fiscal system can’t outsurvive the end of growth, it won’t be there in it’s current form to trade upon – so why set up a system to do so?

We simply need to legislate to reduce, then eliminate our carbon pollution, but we are too selfish to do so, and we have the vote. We choose to drive our cars, and hamstring our children. Wonderful us. Ans we think of ourselves as the high-point of civilisation?  I guess there’s precedent on a local scale – Rome, fiddling and burning come to mind. Same thing really, dissonance, denial, consultation of oracles/economists. Heck, when National Radio quotes a ‘business optimism’ survey, and extrapolates that to  project a 3% rise in business activity – you’re in trouble as a society. They’re meant to be the best – imagine the nonsense by the time you get down to talk-back level.

And they all get a vote……….we’re buggered……

A re-think on Bollard

Actually, when you read between the lines, Bollard is boxing cleverly. He must know the USA is shot. He must know it can’t pull out from here. Rather than say nobody will, he says that we all depend on the USA pulling out. If you are smart enough to figure what he knows, you are smart enough to figure out why he said what he said.

RNZ NEWS

I sent the following to RNZ NEWS today……..

Folks, this is getting tedious.

Get a hold of Associate Professor Bob Lloyd, Energy Studies, Otago University

Ask him if you can have economic activity (work) without energy. You can’t – it’s an immutable law of thermodynamics.

That means that if the world energy supply peaked, the amount of work do-able peaked too. There is strong evidence that the peak was in mid-2008.

Sure, you can have efficiencies, but they follow a law of diminishing returns.

It’s a short bow to draw, that this means we will never return to mid-2008 levels of economic activity, even surer because much of that was underwritten by wishful-thinking (elevated ‘valuing’ of existing tangibles backing debt).

This is why it was the Minister of Energy, leading the ‘mining on Conservation land’ charge. The story wasn’t the land, it was his “the world is approaching an energy crisis” remark. He’s in panic mode – you can’t maintain ‘business as usual’ with a dwindling (and contested) energy supply. That was your real story. What trucks your produce, to where, along what?

Economics does not teach ‘the exponential function’, finite limits, or an end to growth. It is, therefore, a temporary construct.

By continually reporting these folk, without ascertaining whether they speak the truth, you do reportage a disservice. To do so when you have been told of an alternative possibility (and continuing to fail to investigate it) is propaganda.

I co-chair an energy lobby-group called Solar Action, but Prof Lloyd is your man.

We need to be asking: what next? The only certainty is that it won’t be business as usual.

Come on you lot – this is the biggest story ever. We have gotten to where we are by extracting the energy stored over millions of years – in a 200 year blip.

Never to be repeated.

Below, I show what they investigated, and reported on the matter. Don’t you worry, though, they reported a ‘confidence survey’. Now that’s got to have a basis in …..what?   Facts, folks, truths, things like that. Let’s be having them.  There is, of course, nothing below…..

Alan Bollard and the myth of growth

Poor fellow. Alan Bollard is between a rock and a hard place. He has to continue the soothing tones, or he will ititiate chaos. Even so, all he can do is stave it off. A bit like getting people into too-few lifeboats, without panicking those who can’t get a seat.

If Jenny Morel’s comments about solar energy (nine to noon) mean that Bollard also understands, then what we are hearing is spin. There is, however. a cognitive dissonance endemic in western middle-classes, which is in denial about what Gerry Brownlee (rightly) called a ‘global energy crisis’, and which will not confront the implications. Bollard may be part of that – I have many friends who have bought the philosophy, worked hard (or more accurately, invested a goodly proportion of their lives to date – and who don’t want to know it was for nought (or at least, for less) and are otherwise quite clever folk. Bit like Bill English – smart enough, but if everyone followed his lead, we would be heading for a tripling of world population – clearly a horse-shit goal.

One of the reasons Bollard and others talk like , is that we now have a generation of perfectly nice, well-meaning media commentators = like Tim Hunter, Dene McKenzie, Nat Radio Business – who have been trained in ‘economics’. Economics as it is currently taught, does not take into account the concepts of finite resources and exponential growth,. As a result, it is a flawed temporary construct – and inevitably had to fail. readers here will understand you can’t underwrite exponential growth forever – you need an infinite planet, and it would have to have been (appropriately) flat.

I feel sorry for Bollard – but he could still be man enough to tell it like it is.

You have to feel sorry for Gerry Brownlee, and John Key, for that matter

Waiting in the wings for so long, finally get your hands on power and………there’s a slight lack of power. I’ve never heard an energy Minister say what Gerry said on Morning Report: “We are facing a world energy crisis”.  Tell us something we don’t know, Gerry. You’ve found out something I’ve known since 1975. Congratulations. Now get with the programme.

Just be aware that your world energy crisis, is also a world resource-per-person crisis, and an end-of-growth crisis.

I’d be having a wee Cabinet discussion at this point. Obviously, no amount of expansion of Business-as-usual will fill the bill. You’ve shot that bolt. You’d better get learned about conservation of energy, and quickly.

You’ll find us magnanimous, Gerry. Ours was never a personal fight, as was yours. Ours was about preserving the planet, for the next generation. We can’t help it if you look stupid in that light, but we won’t rub it in. If you need to know what to do, just ask. Folk like me have been thinking about it, and debating it, for 30 years. While you were being an arrogant popmous idiot – oops, wasn’t going to be personal……just slipped out.

Grasping at straws – like lignite – is just blind, dumb panic. You have to believe in sequestration (yeah right) which will never have an EROEI of better than one. You know what that is. Gerry?  And if you got it out and burned it, what do you get?  Those few years attempting to buy Business as Usual, even while the rest of the world turns to custard, stops being a market for you, turns to war, and reduces it’s population by 2/3.

I don’t think you have a clue, old son.

Key is a different fish. Made his money by creaming-off and doing nothing socially useful, but a man with some grasp of social sentiment. He too, must be punch-drunk at this point. All his background, all his advice, will have been from the gospel according to economists. About as real as perpetual motion, and I chose the a(i)llusion carefully. Growth forever? What a provable farce. His problem is that the announcement will have to be made in his tenure – what a bugger. Still, it had to happen on someones…………  Hopefully he’ll try and do the right thing, but I suspect the learning-curve will be too steep, and the time too short. It may prove to be the worst election we ever had, but I suspect we had to go through this, to get where we had to go.

Tim Groser must resign.

The statutory obligation of a Minister of Conservation is to enhance Conservation. Tim Groser fails that test, and by a country mile.

To limit the legacy we hand on to our children, without their agreement, is fraud. No more, no less.

Tim, I charge you with fraud, perpetrated on future generations.

Resign.

Gerry Brownlee can’t count. Neither can Tim Groser, nor Bill English.

So we will now attack the Conservation Estate. One wee point – it’s not DOC’s land, it’s ours. All of ours. Then it’s our kids, and theirs, and theirs.

Gerry Brownlee has run smack-dab into the problem that growth is expressed in terms of  ‘doubling time’. Exponential growth, like compound interest (same thing) is not a straight-line graph, and in a finite sphere of operations, must cease.

New Zealand is a finite sphere of operations. All physical incursions onto and into it, must run out of space and material. This happens at increasingly increased speed, if your rate of doing things is growing.

3% growth doubles what you are doing in 24 years. 10% growth (China’s claim) doubles in 7 years. Double the number of dams? Double that again? And again?  2,4,8,16,32,64……..you see where it goes.

Same with Gerry’s mining push, and Tim’s silly water comments. “Another 5% water usage” says Tim. “Just a bit of mining, says Gerry. Too late, too little to make a difference, and too much a waste of time, boys. You’re inside the last possible ‘doubling period’ for many resources, and that problem is compounded because it is an exponentially-increasing population, increasingly consuming per-head, and from a shrinking pile of finite resources.

The linchpin is oil, as it is the energy needed to make all other yhings – including mining – to happen. Read here or on the oil drum blog, for background on oil supply, rates, and depletion-retes.

My prediction is that no mining, dams, cement plants, or much of anything, will get off the ground. The global demand for oil is so strong that there is no chance of a global recovery to mid-2008 levels, and there will be severe problems with availability from now on – visible from 2010, stressfully so from 2012.

Get with the programme, Gerry.

And English? Well, a post-oil world can’t support the current population, indeed can maybe only support 2 billion. Bill has six kids. That makes a planet with three times the current population, not 1/3 . We have a Finance Minister who can’t count. Oh boy……..