18 thoughts on “General debate, January 20, 2013

  1. A call to arms from OXFAM published ahead of this weeks Davos summit – The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all.

    Some snippets:

    “Over the last thirty years inequality has grown dramatically in many countries. In the US the
    share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20%. For the
    top 0.01% it has quadrupled to levels never seen before.”

    “The top 100 billionaires added $240 billion to their wealth in 2012- enough to end world poverty four times over”

    “Those in the 1% have been estimated to use as much as 10,000 times more
    carbon than the average US citizen. Increasing scarcity of resources like land and water mean that assets being monopolised by the few cannot continue if we are to have a sustainable future.”

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  2. It is worse than the worst nightmares of the National Nitwits…

    http://www.tullettprebon.com/Documents/strategyinsights/TPSI_009_Perfect_Storm_009.pdf

    The end of “growth” comes with the end of “cheap” energy, and as the EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested) sinks lower and lower we approach a situation in which not only is everything on which our current economic system rests challenged, everything on which our civilization rests is challenged.

    The analysis isn’t made be Greens, it is made by a financial house of some repute. It tells us what WE have always known to be true, is becoming apparent to others. Truthfully I am astonished that anything this well done can come from this sort of source, but it is a comprehensive analysis of the end of growth. Apparent to all with an accurate view of the world as it truly works…

    It is not however, apparent to National who with their eyes wide shut are never going to see what is before them.

    A terrifying read…

    Enjoy

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  3. A terrifying read… … Enjoy

    Is that… anti-tautology?

    I’m about a third of the way through, and it is indeed a good read, and although it is published with the banner of a well known financial instituion, the auther is known as being something of a maverick, none of which detracts from the goodliness of the read.

    There is one element of that report that in particular jives with something else that I’ve been watching and musing over for a little while now.

    There is a theory that energy is simply too expensive for the world to bounce its way out of the continuing recessions, and this report has support for this, under the EROEI bits. I’d never thought of it in this exact way, only going as far as energy is “too damned expensive”, without wondering if there were any specific underlying causes.

    This isn’t, of course, the only reason for the lack of escaping the recession; the long term trend of growing unemployment as the clever people mechanise the low skilled local jobs, and emerging nations grab manufacturing is ensuring that increasing numbers of people don’t have access to employment and thus disposable income and thus the ability to buy “stuff”, which is the accepted wisdom on the way to get economies going.

    Going back to energy; we are lucky in that we generate most of our electricity from renewables (and could do more) and that our energy companies are not tied to the markets. We are about to make that link, which is yet another reason why dumping the electricity industry to the markets is a really poor idea.

    Its not immediately obvious to everyone. but electricity is a prime ingredient of dairy farming, supposedly the backbone of the country. Everyone knows that we use more electricty over winter than summer, as we use electricity for heating. But in parts of the South Island, the electricity load is now summer peaking, as the summer irrigation electrical load exceeds the winter heating electrical load.

    Making electricity more expensive could have a dramatic bad effect on food prices.

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  4. So this information is just a repeat of The Crash Course
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7E8A774DA8435EEB
    Put up online BEFORE the global wheels went all wobbly.
    To me, The Greenz are doing a lousy job of bringing this information to the electorate and making people really analyze the ‘grow, grow, GROW’ mantra being chanted by all the other parties. You need to be slowly swinging the mindset of the people to realizing that it’s the Nat/Lab theory that’s the radical one and the sustainable theory is the conservative one.

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  5. “Report released today [21 Jan] in Davos shows that greening the economy is the only way to sustain a global population of 9 billion expected by 2050

    Increasing public sector investment by US$ 36 billion annually can spur up to US$ 570 billion in private capital needed to avoid devastating climate impacts on economy

    Price tag of weather-related disasters in the US was over US$ 110 billion in 2012″

    http://www.weforum.org/news/us-36-billion-annual-public-funding-can-meet-climate-challenge-says-new-report

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  6. Another way of looking at EROEI is the energy pay back period versus the life of the investment. Oil and gas have had relatively short pay back periods. Solar farms, wind farms and hydro have longer pay back periods. The financial institutions go for the quick fix, low risk projects with shorter pay back periods, but what we need to invest in are the projects with long lifetimes even though they also have longer pay back periods. These are the investments for the future and by their nature tend to be renewable, rather than the one-off opportunities offered by oil and gas. That means that when the wind farm or solar farm reaches the end of its economic life, it can be rebuilt on the same spot without loss of output. When an oil field runs out, all the drilling you like won’t find another field in the same place.

    Of course the NACTs policies are causing our electricity companies to disband their renewable generation design and planning teams as they continue to burn up our non-renewable natural gas resources.

    Trevor.

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  7. When an oil field runs out, all the drilling you like won’t find another field in the same place.

    Unless, of course, you frack it :)

    More seriously, you’ve underlined the Green Party (and many environmentalists generally) failing. When some project comes up, like “lets turn New Zealand into an open cast coal mine”, many green-tinged people will say, “yes, but rather than build that mine (or whatever) you should do this, or that, or the other”.

    Which is all very well, but what dosn’t land on the table is a funded proposal. Without money on the table, it is all just so much hot air.

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  8. With interest rates very low at the moment, investing in long term renewable power generation should be a good prospect. However it is NACT policies including subsidising the oil and gas industry and gutting the ETS that has lead to the continued use of gas-fired generation. Level the playing field and the power companies will put forward the costed proposals for the market to fund.

    Trevor.

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  9. Anyone else hear about Chinese Eugenics?!

    http://edge.org/response-detail/23838

    With the 1995 Maternal and Infant Health Law (known as the Eugenic Law until Western opposition forced a name change), China forbade people carrying heritable mental or physical disorders from marrying, and promoted mass prenatal ultrasound testing for birth defects.

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  10. Where is the Green feminist noting that the student allowance and DPB changes are about making a middle class daughter more dependent on daddy to complete post graduate study and a middle class wife more dependent on her husband to do so.

    Thus less daughters leaving home and fewer wives having a future if they leave their husband.

    I am guessing too many left their husband and did well off post grad study on the DPB and so the men who must be obeyed have acted through this government of their’s. And maybe one or two too many daughters denied a student allowance via their parents income, left home anyway by going onto the DPB. And their daddy’s have also acted through the same government.

    The appropriate Green response

    1. restore student allowance for post graduate study for those who would qualify as undergraduates (this includes those on benefits such as sole parents on the DPB).

    2. introduce a post graduate student allowance for those not eligible as under graduates, in areas of public sector staff shortage and other areas of shortage in the wider economy.

    Consider a bond arrangment in these cases.

    3. restore TIA.

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