hey hey, it’s Saturday

With apologies to those who were in Australia in the Molly Meldrum era….

Good day yesterday. Got an article away, better that the two preceding, too, I reckon. One of the problems with writing about what I do, is that some subjects are drier than others. Some form a story, some just end up as a lecture. You have to do ’em all, given that it’s not fiction/entertainment we’re about, but informing (if you’re lucky, in an entertaining way. It makes it even harder, if your message is bitter-sweet.

Anyway, got it done, Slipped away to Interest.co.nz for a couple of interchanges (they’ve been good this week – quite thought-provoking) then on the run to a friend’s place to help them fence a paddock. Re-fence, really. Took my trusted Hayes tensioners, Zeb got given a soccer ball, and had a ball. Looking down the valley, the harbour sparkled, the creek chuckled, geese waddled, trees stirred. Bloody good, and if there’s work better than helping someone out in a practical way, for no other reason than friendship (and knowing unstatedly that it’ll come back if you need it, but that it’s quite alright if it doesn’t), I don’t know of it.

Good apple-cake and bad coffee (I know he’ll read this – he’d run out of real coffee!) then off to pick up Jen. Home, did the animals, left tea simmering, and shot down to the Cherry-Farm pool (it’s owned by a trust, you get a key) which we had to ourselves. Jen is still a fish through the water – we all are – and sometimes I can still see her as she was at Rainbow Beach and Searey’s Creek, back in ’81.

Kim Hill intervied an idiot economist this morning. Reminds me of the Plil Best/ Hugh P types on interest.co, making the entirely mistaken assumption that population is the driver of living-standard. One wonders if, as his car accelerates towards a brick wall, whether he’d brake. On the basis of his logic, one should keep accelerating, as because it’s been all good so far, it has therefore been proven that accelerating will keep you from hitting any brick walls.

There folk are nutters, and I sometimes wonder it there’s genetic flaw involved. A wiring that worked in a linear world, where you had to reproduce as fast and as much as possible, put on fat whenever possible, hoard as much as practicable – to survive.

Anyway – today is finish-the-meat-safe day, fix the tiller-extension day, and we’ve got the anticipation of good company/conversation tonight. Could be worse.

well well well – good on ’em

http://globalsymposium2011.org/news-and-media/memorandum

quick update – Whitehead Treasury, RNZ Nine to Noon, Laidlaw, Hill, Morning Rep.

I’m a bit busy this week, a  pity, as there are some great bits of journalism to discuss. Kim Hill did well with Hansen, much better than she did with Suzuki. I got the feeling she was in denial with Suzuki – not so with Hansen. Laidlaw interviewed someone I’ve never heard of, read or seen before, one Michael C Ruppert. I’m told he’s a ‘nutter’ in terms of his predictions – can’t comment. Nor do I do conspiracy theories – things either is, or they isn’t.

He had the clearest explanation of oil, gaussian curves, ERoEI, export land, and all the stuff folk like me soak up – that I’ve yet heard on air. Predictable reactions involving calling it ‘crap’. I had to laugh last night – Hugh P (at interest.co.nz) was calling me Malthusian, then declaring “now back to the real world……….of optimists and doers”.  Continue reading

Heinberg – good as usual.

http://richardheinberg.com/museletter-228

(it’s where I pulled the Jevons clip in the last post from).

an excerpt:

“China’s leaders are aware of the pitfalls of pursuing the Japanese development model, and have issued a comprehensive slate of reforms to foster consumption and curb excessive capital investment. But these efforts will only work if the U.S. and the rest of the world return to a path of growing consumption. If not, China’s choices may be limited. An export-driven economy can only succeed if others can afford to import”.

That last sentence should be a warning to both major parties in NZ.

nuthin’s new

. . . [C]ommerce is but a means to an end, the diffusion of civilization and wealth. To allow commerce to proceed until the source of civilization is weakened and overturned is like killing the goose to get the golden egg. Is the immediate creation of material wealth to be our only object? Have we not hereditary possessions in our just laws, our free and nobly developed constitution, our rich literature and philosophy, incomparably above material wealth, and which we are beyond all things bound to maintain, improve, and hand down in safety? And do we accomplish this duty in encouraging a growth of industry which must prove unstable, and perhaps involve all things in its fall?

William Stanley Jevons (economist, 1865)

Dr James Hansen – his speech / my critique.

We went along to Jim Hansen’s talk last night – along with 1000 Dunedinites. I guess we expected to learn something. We were disappointed. This is a nice man, a good human being, and I’m sure he’s a great, conscientious scientist.

What he isn’t, is a good speaker. Nor was the power-point up to the game. Sure, it contained the data. Sure, it was simple, and easy to ‘get’. Sure, he got his message across, but only because he had an audience of those who understand. In a hostile environment, he’d have trouble. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe there’s steel behind the smile.

His message strayed into my realm – energy/growth/limits, and (while I understand the need to ‘sugar coat the pill) I dropped it at that point. Dollars on carbon won’t work, because the real cost would stop the very interaction that keeps the dollars going. It’s a parachute/bootstraps scenario. I also don’t think you keep BAU going on renewable energy, although I 100% agree that they are the way to go.I just don’t think BAU is.

We came away thinking that there were 10 people – at least – in Dunedin, capable of doing that talk better (Janni Stephenson, and Jeanette Fitzsimmons both did so, effortlessly, when winding it up). That if that is what the Legislature listened to, then it’s understandable that not much has happened. That he’s right when he says ” no Winston Churchill has appeared”.  The problem is of course, that Churchill wouldn’t have survived the modern media.

And to be honest, Al Gore did as well as one person could – and the continued Jim Mora comments tell you how the don’t-want-to-know brigade reacted to him.

The only hope now – hope? – is that the fiscal system collapses, due to lack of growth-underwriting, before the damage gets too much bigger.The probability is that they would just try again, though. And again.

Sad, that we should be reduced to that. So much for intelligence……

A fair appraisal – it still spells end-of-growth.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7909#more

an excerpt:

In many ways, the supply side of the equation looks clearer now than it did five years ago. The demand side, on the other hand, is decidedly uncertain.

If the global economy, or China and some of its developing nation colleagues should find a way to steam ahead momentarily despite the extraordinary debt deleveraging that is underway globally, then resource limits will quickly put a cap on such growth. The timing is impossible to predict, but a continuing volatile cycle of firm demand and high prices followed by periods of demand destruction and collapsing oil prices seems all but inevitable now.

Well worth the read, as are some of the comments – particularly ‘Westexas’ and ‘George Mobus’.