my submission to mining on Schedule 4

objection to mining schedule 4 land‏
From: Murray Grimwood (grimwoods@hotmail.com)
Sent: Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:20:19 a.m.
To: schedule4@med.govt.nz
I object to the mining of schedule 4 land.

The reason is that the Brownlee initiative represents nothing more than a bankrupt grasp of mathematics.

The aim is to ‘grow’ something called ‘the economy’, but of course, this is exponential growth, on a finite planet.

Perhaps hindsight will ascertain that the societal failure was a lack of physics papers incorporated in an economics degree, and that we all started treating the utterances of economists as we once did those of the clergy – as gospel.

You cannot grow on the back of physical resource extraction, beyond the point of the maximim rate of extraction. This essentially happens at half the URR recovered, or at what is also known as the Hubbert Peak.

When you are down to the point of looking at Schedule 4, you are beyond the peak.

Which means that you cannot maintain, let alone grow, any ‘economy’, beyond this point, and to attempt to do so, is a waste of leadership time – already in short supply.

Just how stupid this ‘idea’ is, can be seen in the following question: What will the ‘wealth’ we are told this will earn, buy, when all the resources are extracted?

This is not just morally bankrupt – stealing from my kids in effect – but mathematically bankrupt too.

Sustainability is the only morally defensible approach in intergenerational terms, and the one-off extraction of finite resources, particularly from areas of outstanding and irreplaceable alternative values, does not meet that yardstick.

The other point is the Key comment about ‘surgical’ mining – the debacle off Louisiana is via a 6 5/8 inch (160mm) pipe. You don’t get more surgical than that. The problem is that the low-hanging fruit has been plucked. Deep water and DoC land are both manifestations of the same problem – the low-hanging fruit has been plucked, and demand has crossed supply permanently – as it had to in a regime of exponentially-growing demand – into areas with more impact, and more potential for environmental disaster.

Simply, we have to show social/intergenerational maturity, and abstain.

What Brownlee proposes is greed. Time he, and those who ‘think’ like him, grew up.

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One Response

  1. I think that we have had growth for long enough that we have become accustomed to it.

    When we run the figures and work it out mathematically we find that growth will slow and stop, then decline. Most people abhor mathematics however and prefer to run with the ‘gut feeling’ and that is that things will continue the way they have done, growth included.

    I used to play a lot of video games when I was a kid. I remember one where you went out into the world in a sailing boat and had the whole planet to conquer. As you expanded your empire you quickly built larger navies, more weapons and the piles of gold really started to pour in. The race was on to gather more and more and quickly all the pieces of land were conquered and all the gold was gone. Then things became really boring and it was best to start a new game. Many games are like this (eg. Sim City). You grow and grow, then growth tapers off and stops. It gets boring when the growth stops. In the video games there aren’t even declining resources, so there isn’t even necessarily any contraction, just growth of zero.

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