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……..

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