sue bradford matthew hooton greens vs the left nine to noon

Interesting look at where it is going. Bradford is to NZ what World Vision, Oxfam et al are to the planet. Entirely admirable, and where my parents generation were at – if they had good hearts.

The problem now, is that if we don’t get the habitat stuff sorted, there’s no point in the social safety-net.

None whatever.

Which is what the ‘environmental intellectual middle-class’ she talks of, get. The folk she wants to save, are still buying McDonalds and flat screen TVs. They haven’t a clue.

There are too many on the planet (but probably not too many in NZ) by a factor of three. This is manifest in oil, corn, onion, wheat and tuna prices. With the staples, the poor are bidding with their lives. Yes, you outbid them at present. But you have to remember, you’re going into both types of debt (environmental debt is far more serious than numerical/fiscal) to do so. So you’re not really outbidding, more like outbluffing.

Bradford, sadly, is on the second problem before grappling with the first. No point increasing the ‘wealth’ of the poor, if it is from an unsustainable source. She’s unlocking the steerage passengers, the Greens are suggesting we need lifeboats.

The Greens are right, first.. Sue is right, but only if the first item is sorted, first.


What a mixed media weekend.

You couldn’t fault Laidlaw yesterday. Not just because the content went ‘my’ way. This isn’t about yin/yang he said/she said/left/right any more, it’s about truths versus delusions. Fact versus reality. The real versus the imagined.

It’s simply ‘time’. Actually, its past time. With resources-per-head having peaked in 1980, Oil having peaked in 2005 (the ‘official’ tabulator the IEA , having denied such a thing, now says 2006 – they’ll come around) and global longevity having peaked in 2007.

The last one is the killer. 🙂

Kim Hill was good too, but then we get Dene Mackenzie in the ODT, Tim Hunter in the Sunday Star Times, and just about everybody else.

Mackenzie quotes Bollards recent speech to Canty Employers Chamber of Commerce under the heading “RWC significant driver”. He missed the pertinent section:

“But as oil prices rise, this places pressure on inflation not just in New Zealand, but globally, risking a bursting of the commodity boom just like the 2007-08 event.  Indeed if oil prices escalate beyond US$100 for long, growth in much of the world will suffer again,” he said.

Purposely?  Keep up the hype and the spin?  Or does Dene really swallow the nonsense.

Tin Hunter reckons “National Carrier a tempting prospect”.  When oil went to 147 a barrel (of shallow light sweet crude, not to be confused with a barrel of ethanol or converted shale/coal or deepwater) no airline was viable. Soon, well within 10 years and probably within 5, that situation has to be a permanent arrangement. Hunter too, then, has the same problem.

Maybe it’s just that these folk rub shoulders with, and need to stay ‘in’ with, the set who desperately hope/believe that growth will go on forever. Maybe they have ‘investments’ of their own – or maybe they’re just parents, and don’t want to know.

None of which excuses their failure to ascertain what the truth might be – regardless of its palatability.

Add up the ‘opinion’ contributions in the SST, and they’re numerically stacked – Macdonald does a fair job, but misses the bigger picture – that energy is the all of economic activity, and that nothing whatever happens without it. Thus, if ‘the boys’  were on to it, they’d be targeting energy – it’s simply a social essential, right up there with water.

Both ‘sides’ have missed that. So the Laidlaw morning stood out like a sore thumb. Beacon in the darkness kind of thing.

Watch the McCully’s of this world move to throttle Radio New Zealand. As Wikileaks will be throttled, the Egyptian media has been silenced, and all the rest. Surely, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, but don’t count on the majority of the NZ media. They’re missing in action. P[art of the caffe latte style which is all about self-indulgence and instant gratification, but a long way from understanding the essential nature of energy.

Well done, Chris Laidlaw – your muttered reply to an emailer showed your bottle (” or mother nature will do it for you”).

It’s going to be an interesting year.

Gazza – fair comment. Hunters words were ‘oil price spikes’. That’s a lot different from the saw-tooth descent on the downside of the Hubbert curve/gaussian. I don’t for a minute think he meant that. Cheers.

Saudi oil production – what’s wrong with these figures?

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, will increase production by 3.4 percent in 2011, according to Banque Saudi Fransi.

Saudi Arabia will pump 8.48 million barrels a day, from 8.2 million in 2010, the Riyadh-based bank known as BSF said in an e-mailed report dated yesterday. That compares with an average of 9.1 million produced from 2004 to 2008, the bank said.

Down from 9.1 million to 8.48. A 0.5 drop, then. But due to a low last year, it’s an ‘up’.

Yeah, right. I wonder if 2010 was an aberration? Or a portent. That water-cut had to hit home at some stage.

Obama’s ‘State of the Nation’ and ………….renewables in small print.

Here is the portion of President Obama’s State of the Union Address. HT to Stuart Staniford, Earlywarning Blog.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology, an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.

Already, we’re seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company. After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard. Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert’s words, “We reinvented ourselves.”

That’s what Americans have done for over 200 years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.

At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if — I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. (Laughter) So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.

Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all — and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen



BP world energy outlook – from the oil drum

and an excerpt (well, actually, a comment, and there’s some good ones, including a couple of cracker graphs):

Let’s just consider that 4th graph, labeled ‘Supply’. The only portion that is believable on its face is Non-Opec decline. Beyond that, two words – net energy.

The biggest chunk of Non-Opec is Biofuels, largely ethanol. As ethanol has an EROEI of barely more than unity, it can essentially be erased from the graph, in terms of net energy, which is what matters to society. So there’s about 5mbd of BP’s ‘growth’ gone. Oil sands at around 8:1 EROEI are about 1/3 of current crude, so knock that bar back by 2/3rds, so from about 2mbd down to .7mbd. Brazil’s ultra-deep offshore will have a very poor EROEI, so it as well will yield much less useful net energy than indicated. Probably akin to the tar sands. Let’s assume Kazakstan and Azerbaijan can grow as indicated. So Non-Opec growth will be about 3mbd, rather than the 10 or so indicated. So Non-OPEC would decline by about 3mbd, instead of growing by 3-4 as shown.

Regarding OPEC Growth, NGL’s have only 2/3rds the energy of crude, so knock that bar down by 1/3. Saudi growth – ask Darwinian. Iraq growth??? Other? And where’s OPEC decline? Is BP saying OPEC is not subject to decline?

The absolute best scenario that I can draw even from BP’s data as given, is that OPEC growth might offset Non-OPEC decline, such that we remain on the plateau. There are lots of reasons to anticipate that the ‘best case’ will not manifest. Jeff Vail, Stoneleigh and many others have written about various aspects of this. Then incorporate what BP itself acknowledges regarding population growth, and we have a steeply declining net per capita energy availability. As I believe Christ Martenson likes to say, the next 20 years will not look like the last 20 years.

privatisation of energy

Well it had to happen. The Government has had the Parliamentary report into Peak Oil for a while now.

So even with mediocre intellects, they should have been able to join the dots. If you’ve got to placate the boys, (and ensure your campaign coffers are full) what better ‘investment’ than opening up energy before the public cotton on to the fact that it is actually the essential of all essentials. And about to become in short supply.

If you sell your house, then rent it back, you are ahead in the short term. If you intend to live there forever (as we kiwis do with NZ) then sooner or later, your one-off windfall is eaten up by the rent, then overtaken by it. In the long term, it’s better to own.

Efficiencies? Bollocks. It comes down to people competency, not public or private. At the end of the day, people competency being equal, the private sector will cost more via profit/dividends.

Ma and Pa investors?  That was the dream with Telecom. Ask them if it was the holy grail.

Energy security?  Make no bones about it, in and energy-constrained world, owning the hydro system will be paramount, second only to water systems/supplies, and perhaps we have to chuck in ‘enough land to grow stuff’ there as well. We need to own it, and nurture it. It will be worth more than it’s weight in gold.

I sense that Key&Co are bankrupt of ideas. They were brought up in a temporary time where cheap, dense energy was freely available, and they made the mistake of treating the state as ‘the norm’, rather than ‘temporary’.

Goff&Co, of course, are as bankrupt themselves. Tax cuts for the poorer, growth, and nothing else. They too, have the Parliamentary report.

Time for someone to holler some truths from the mountaintop, but don’t hold your breath. Dene Mackenzie epitomises to problem of slanted gatekeeping, on the front page of the ODT “selling down of State assets to reduce debt is a sound idea, especially when NZ is borrowing $300 million a week just to meet outgoings”.

Sounds like selling the house and renting it back to me Dene.


ODT – not so good

They’ve got a weekly supplementary called ‘World Focus’.

Usually very good.

This one has a piece (Israel: Clean Energy, p3) which reports an outfit making ’tiles’ which ‘generate power’ from the weight and motion of vehicles going past.

So help me, is there a more inefficient way to extract the energy from a tankful of fuel, and turn it into electricity? I doubt it. None of that energy comes from anywhere but the burned fossil fuel on board the vehicle – the ‘weight’ must manifest as a dip in the road, the motion? presumably the same. Either it’s a lowering/ re-raising, or it’s speed slippage, which needs to be regained.

Am I missing something here, oh technical friends?

Free energy it cannot be. Who allowed this through, at every level?

What a nonsense! My reading of their literature is that they contend the deflection of the asphalt is less with their piezos underneath. I say ——-. The tyres will just deflect correspondingly and that will dissipate as heat.

The only bonus might be a socialising if wealth – is a society benefits from whoever bought the gas……