Thomas Malthus would cringe, Groser’s DOC is a cringe

Radio New Zealand – reporting two quarters of Australian  ‘growth’. This follows is it 4 or 5? of ‘negative growth’. Negative Growth. What a wonderful euphemism! It’s like the share market reports, things are ‘up’, or ‘back’. It’s self-deluding, not unlike what a gambler does to themselves.

But we digress – the question is: how much ‘growth’, from what base-line?  These folk are at the level where they probably think you can add 10% to something, subtract 10% from that, and end up at the original sum/spot/value.

Australia has done it with a 1.3% stimulus (think about it) and on residual forward prices for raw resources. Thats not – wait for it – sustainable!  Once you’ve dug the stuff out of the ground (and exponentiality, ERoEI, and the Hubbert Curve all apply) you are left with diddly-squat. A Murray/Darling dustbowl, a Victorian Minister of Agriculture seriously suggesting shifting ALL horticulture to the Northern Territories, and a Victorian Premier saying that “climate change is real, it’s here, things have changed, and we’d better get used to it”. Long-term, I wouldn’t live there for quids, and I love that sunburnt country. Genuinely. It just happens to be long-term stuffed.

Anyway, they will soon apply arithmetics to it – there will have been five quarters of decline, followed by five of growth, therefore we are back level with the start-point. I know Thomas, I know…

New Zealand may well hold for a while – it produces food, which is second only to water in being needed. Globally, I’d eat my hat if real activity ever gets to the China Olympics level again. That’s the day I take my crawler tractor to the drag strip – the laws of physics having been proven faulty.

I was commenting on a thing on the homepaddock blog last night – someone convinced that Malthus was wrong. I guess you could have stood on the deck of the Titanic that night, saying “it’s not sinking, it’s not sinking, it’s not sinking….  see, the sinking theory has been disproved”.

It’s probably a little unfair tangling with the homepaddock comment people – it’s all invective, bluster, name-calling. Apparently, not enough knowledge to debate, and it’s interesting to note the parallel with rugby – one of the few disciplines to take on the man rather than the ball. There aren’t many doing it (the commenting), so maybe that’s an unfair conclusion – perhaps the majority of her visitors are smarter – I hope so.

Doc (Marlborough has done a deal (Groser, Morrison & Co, extremely Limited) not for money, you understand, but to – miraculously – save the Black Stilt. While failing to champion public rights to the commons. Next time I see either Groser or Morrison, I might tell them where to put their black stilts. Mine were always unpainted and prone to splinters. Another public asset bites the dust, in the name of?

Tim Groser had his eye of 5% more (see, Malthus again) water than the 5% we already remove. (does that make 10%, Tim? Quickly now) I guess, if he came down in the last shower, there will be more in the rivers….


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