a link – first of many? And an update

Interest.co.nz bravely took this piece, which I hope is the first of many.

http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/64094/murray-grimwood-calls-more-fundamental-debate-our-energy-use-and-sources-says-if-it-wa

It generated a lot of comment traffic, think I’ll drop one in about fortnightly, will link to it here (if I can scrounge Jennie’s t-stick, my land-line is now so slow that it won’t do wordpress).

The other moves – pushing the media and asking the hard questions of some folk who don’t want to articulate the answers – proceeds slowly. Have to be careful; these are big boys, with a lot to lose. More soon.

Otherwise, Zeb and I are being sustainable, and it’s hard work. Goats out, 3 lots of chickens now, glasshouses to water and pick from, produce to collect, store, systems to keep going, friends to nurture. Went to a Climate Change lecture/q&a recently, first time I’ve heard EROEI mentioned – hat-tip to Janet Stephenson – so maybe we’re getting there, I sense a groundswell of folk who ‘know’ too.

Interesting times!

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Otago Daily Times, RNZ News, Interest.co, and ? Swallowing the spin.

A wee while ago, a fellow named Maugeri, produced a paper. He hides behind the Harvard name, for respectability, but the outfit is a funded think-tank (read, lobby).

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/experts/2510/leonardo_maugeri.html

What he produced, was immediately rebutted:

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-08-07/peak-oil-denial-debunking-attempted-debunking

But the ODT, RNZnews, and earlier, Interest.co.nz, chose to put it up. I don’t mind Interest.co – they put up other stuff, and allowe a discussion. I do have a problem with RNZ – no need to please sponsors, and an expectation that they will ascertain the truth. The ODT, of course, have a permanent in-build bias you could drive a bus through, and no apparent peer-review mechanism which holds up an internal mirror. They didn’t use the original article, by the way – but a once-removed (fudge) opinion based on same. As per ODT practice (Dene Mackenzie/Peter Mackintyre) the opinion has a statement-of-fact-appearing headline.

It’s not on line on the ODT site, but here it is:

http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/08/09/the-coming-glut-in-oil-%E2%80%93-and-its-impact/#comments

The bio says it all – a spinner regurgitating spin. The difference is that she doesn’t have ‘truth’ in her mission statement.

 

ps – this is a better treatment. The reporter is smart enough – honest enough? – to be sceptical.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/7474715/Oil-isn-t-running-out-expert

Being an Aussie, he had better realise that ‘electric cars’ are 80% ‘coal cars’, though. You have to remember what makes the electricity….

Orange Roughy, Fracking, and the Big Picture.

Discussion this morning on Morning Report, re Orange Roughy. Also on ‘Asset Sales’. Big Picture, we always cherry-pick resources. We didn’t start with Orange Roughy, Patagonian Toothfish, or fracking-needing oil. We started with Grand-Banks Cod – 2-man dories pulling them in over the side. We started off whacking into the Canadian Halibut, anything close, shallow and abundant.
As we deplete those prime resources, the quality diminishes, as does the return on investment (takes more effort) and concurrently the green-fields options diminish. So we end up deep-sea dangling for Orange Roughy. So we start fishing the Ross Sea. So we need to mine Schedule Four. So we need to farm our coastal water (then our deep-water).

The big picture question isn’t whether Orange Roughy is or isn’t a threatened species, it’s “where are we in total resource depletion terms; why are we here, and how long have we got from this point?”

Not a lot of media asking the question.

Another proof that we’ve hit the limits, is the need to disinvest the poor from ‘Assets’ they currently own. That’s wealth-shift within a closed system, something you only need to do if you can’t grow.

Local Government – sigh. John Key – sigh. Morning Report – an ‘F’.

The local Government conference is interesting. LG is there at the behest of Central Government, as I learned as a young County Councillor. The problem comes when Central Government, instead of assessing social needs, merely pursues a dogma/mantra, this one being the impossibility of ‘sustainable growth’.  At that point, those who represent people – and Local Government will always be closer to people than Central Government – have to draw a line in the sand.

And they have. Interesting to note that the Minister backpedaled immediately – speaks volumes as to where National are going; backwards.

 

John Key addressed them, stating that Central Govt has ‘done it’s bit, belt-tightening’, and it’s up to LG to do the same. That’s bloody rich, coming from someone who seeded the Dunedin Stadium with 15 million of taxpayers money, to keep us all in debt to it forever. Presumably he didn’t see it coming. Puts some of us a long way ahead of our leader, and that’s a worry.  🙂

Morning Report ‘covered’ the LG conference this morning. And other things. They’ve had enough info (from me. for one) to know why LG costs will escalate forever from here on: all the work they do requires energy, and all their materials are oil-based. You only have to track the price of oil, to track the rates-increase needed JUST TO MAINTAIN, let alone expand.

No comprende. The last complaing I sent them – it had a lot of references etc, and was an attempt to help them learn –  they duck-shoved to a ‘complaints’ person. No feedback, no change. They didn’t real the stuff I sent. Is it a case of ‘if I don’t know something, I can dodge addressing it’?      What a sad epitaph.

Kim Hill again – was there no good reporting in the week between?

I’ve said it before – we have only one reporter in this country, who ‘gets it. There are plenty of others who could be called ‘intelligent’, and to that could be added ‘enough’. They could get there IF THEY SO CHOSE.

In that list, I include Jim Mora, who’s pathetic Panel efforts this last week just make you wonder. The question about those folk – and I regard Mora as at least as cognitively-capable as me – is whether they are totally knowing but in denial, or seriously capable of genuine between-the-ears cognitive dissonance.

I’ve mentioned Joanne Black (Listener, Panel) in that list before. Opined that “I think there are too many people in the world”. Good on you Joanne, I urged at the speakers on the wall – and? Surely the flip-side of ‘too many people’ is ‘not ‘enough resources’. It’s not rocket science. And – if there aren’t enough resources, then the ability of the future to underwrite debt has to be some degree of short-fall. But – she goes on to enthuse about her house (I wouldn’t mind betting it’s old, and unsustainable in energy terms) do-up. Maybe hers was done with cast up-front – but most weren’t.

Closer to home, an ODT (Truth is part of their Mission Statement) man rejected an OP/ED piece from me, because “Folk would choke on their muesli”. That’s a long way from their avowed goal, if my OP/ED contained ‘the truth’.

This morning, Kim did a brilliant wee interview with a 16-year old (after 10.am). So on to it. He understood Peak Oil, realized we had to morph early, If he can do it, so clearly, there is no excuse for Mora. Mora has an obligation (the News of the Day in a Different Way?) to ascertain truth. If public radio can’t do it – who will?

 

Why do I care? Does it matter?  The answer to that is “Do you think our society owes it to future generations to give them a chance at life (not just our standard, but any) or do you think we’ll be extinct at some point, and it doesn’t matter which?”

 

I’d like to have a crack at the first option. It probably has collateral bonuses for almost every other species on the planet too. Roll on the raising of awareness. Roll on more fearless reporting. Good on you, Kim. How long before the ‘silence Lauder’ ethos organizes a ‘silence Kim’ one?

 

 

 

Gwynne Dyer – right on target. But – which cab leaves first?

I’ve long held the view that Climate Change won’t be ‘first cab off the rank’. I see energy constraints and the reducing returns from efficiencies, crashing the growth-requiring financial system. Then – to be honest – I see global war(s) over what is left in the way of physical resources, particularly energy.

Still, Dyer’s ‘climate Wars’ is prominent on our bookshelf. He’s a thoughtful man, and a good read. This is his latest offering:

http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/216580/what-make-weather

In a newspaper which champions growth, and has ‘truth’ in its Mission Statement.

Go figure.

Monbiot got it wrong.

When I read the Monbiot thing;

http://www.monbiot.com/2012/07/02/false-summit/

 

I shook my head in disbelief. How can folk not see numbers over time? Nobody thought that Peak Oil was the end of oil, nor of fossil fuels – we’ll do ersatz oil from coal until the trading stops, for goodness sake. How can one so capable of words, be so incapable of conceptualization?  Peak Oil is essentially a half-way point, the key element being the maximizing of the flow-rate. Meaning; the maximm amount of work that can be done each hour, day, month or year. There have been some good return-of-service(s) from some:

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-07-04/enough-fossil-fuels-fry-us-all

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-07-04/treehugger-monbiot-and-peak-oil-over

I can’t add anything to that; except to ask the question: Could it be that brains which can compare relativity and exponential concepts, weren’t needed in the fight/flight stage of evolution, and have survived by chance? That there are a majority who just can’t ‘get’ the exponential function? I would explain the masses who swallow the ‘growth forever’ lie. It would also explain the masses who accept being screwed by interest – to the point where they give (gave; it’s all over, at this point, most mortgages will never be repaid) half their lives to a parasitic ‘bank’.

But Monbiot – who has written some good stuff – misses this one in spades.