If you needed proof we are in the post-peak oil, extreme energy age one need just look at where the Government is going for their next fix. The Government has recently announced the first tranche of the MoBIE Science and Investment Round which included $3.2 million funding for gas hydrate exploration.
No one could say that Greece’s heavy spending on motorways directly caused their default crisis. I’m certainly not saying that. There were many factors at play, though certainly borrowing to pay for projects that were not the best at reducing transport costs certainly didn’t help. From 2000 to 2006 alone Greece spent nearly half of […]
Big changes are ahead for our buses and the regional council wants to know what you think. Today I launched our easy electronic submission guide alongside 11 barrels of oil — the amount of oil our electric trolley bus fleet saves Wellington each day. The regional council’s bus review is proposing to abandon electric trolley […]
A lot of New Zealanders have not yet heard about hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but many of those who do know something about it are worried, and rightly so! The technique is used to extract ‘unconventional’ oil and gas – that’s industry speak for sources of hydrocarbons that until recently were deemed too expensive or difficult to […]
This morning’s Dominion article about ‘boom times’ for the gas and oil exploration industry is an intriguing, even slightly funny, mix of boosterism, drum beating and dissimulation. The Chair of PEPANZ appears almost breathless with excitement as he seeks to fulfil the primary objective of his organisation, “to publicise, promote and advance the interests of […]
‘Auckland Unleashed’ is the catchy title of the draft discussion document that will inform the proposed Auckland Spatial plan. In an earlier blog post I indicated the political battle looming between Auckland’s elected councillors and central Government, who have very different visions for the city’s future. Auckland City’s discussion document makes the case for a compact city, […]
Today the UK Government released its draft Carbon Plan containing some 130 actions and targets to reduce emissions. With petrol prices nearing record highs, UK Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, said Britain had no option but to speed up efforts to move away from oil. “Getting off the oil hook is made all the more urgent […]
August 13 is apparently the only day Her Britannic Majesty has free next year. So I suppose that is the date. It’s a pity this will be such a distraction from the real issues half a world away here in Aotearoa / New Zealand, where we desperately need to address climate change, peak oil, social […]
I have posted earlier about the PM’s short sightedness when it comes to considering the potential impacts of oil price increases on tourism, versus his loud complaining about the potential impacts of flight taxes being imposed by the UK govt. But I wondered if it was possible to quantify the comparison between the departure tax […]
John Key’s reaction to the distance-based UK departure tax shows just how out of touch he is about our economic future. This Government is deeply in denial. There is no question that climate change and rising fossil fuel prices will change travel patterns, and we should be taking this future into account in our tourism […]
They say the human body is about 60% water. What percentage of New Zealand’s economy would be oil? Oil is the grease that lubricates our modern society. It’s given us tremendous power and freedom but now we’re hooked on it. One of the most serious yet ignored issues of our age is the end of […]
Make your submission on the draft Energy Strategy by 5pm on 2 September
One of the world’s biggest insurers is telling business that the two biggest risks they face are peak oil and climate change. It seems Lloyd’s has gone a bit green, or has started reading frogblog.
Use this handy tool to compare the size of the BP oil spill by placing an overlay on top of where you live: Needless to say, if a spill that spanned from the East Cape to Taranaki happened here, we would not cope well. Maritime New Zealand has just $12 million worth of oil spill […]
It seemed strange to have Minister Brownlee fawning all over Russel Norman during question time in the House yesterday, eager to stress how much he cares about oil drilling safety.
I know the idea of oil being too dear is not a normal question canvassed here on frogblog, but I am left scratching my head as to why the price is staying stubbornly high when the data suggest it should be drifting downwards.
Shell has been an increasingly vocal supporter of the need to plan for peak oil. Shell’s future energy scenarios paint a stark future – one where we plan for the demise of cheap oil and one where we scramble incoherently and nature decides for us. This week, in the Wall Street Journal, Shell’s CEO Peter […]
Kiwirail is considering closing the Stratford to Okahukura Rail Line because of damage to the tracks after a derailment last year. Kiwirail has told the media they are asking for submissions from the public before making a decision. Although, in practice, I can’t see any mention of the submission process on their website… Anyway, if […]
The latest from the IEA is hot of the press. I’m curious to see what they have to say this time around, because their stance on oil supplies has shifted quite a lot recently. They used to believe oil supplies would last for a long long time, but are now saying 2020 will be the […]
Everyone agrees that we’re in a crisis. Officials and politicians point everywhere and say – Hey look! Green shoots! The worst is over. Others urge us to ignore the green shoots, the worst is yet to come.
I confess, I haven’t owned a car in almost eight years. I was weaned from my V8 days decades ago, but my head has been turned by a simple four door sedan. It’s the Tesla Model S. It’s electric. It’s cool. The Model S can make the sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 […]
Interesting video about the absurdity of minimum parking requirements for commercial and residential developments. These requirements subsidize driving and encourage urban sprawl.
It seems like a very strange deja vu. It wasn’t that long ago that we were witnessing a steep and steady increase in the price of oil. I don’t think that today’s price – US$71.89/bbl has any longevity. Whether up or down, it will keep moving, as I predicted last October: If I get out […]
The following YouTube clip is Part 3 from a recent lecture Lester Brown gave on Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization and will take you into the heart of the Plan B message. The presentation was to the Chemical Society of Washington on May 8, 2008. Lester, who is President of the Earth Policy […]
I recently attended an ISCR seminar on the future of rail. According to the speaker, Dave Heatley, there’s basically no future for rail. Rail is unfixable in its present form, he argued, without making some “heroic assumptions” about how we measure externalities and the opportunity cost of keeping rail. Heatley’s damning report (available soon on the […]
A frogblog fan reminded me about this lovely article from Monbiot just before the Christmas break. The Guardian’s video of the interview is here. It seems the IEA spent all of 2008 doing what it should have been doing all along – analysing all the world’s conventional oil supply to see when we are going […]
Well, you could go down the clean energy pathway, with wind and solar power, or you could take the other response to peak oil and just nick yourself a Saudi Arabian supertanker. The capture of the [Sirius Star supertanker] is one of the most spectacular strikes in maritime history. “It looks like a deliberate two […]
This summer, from the people who bought you the dairy conversion of John Key’s electorate office, comes the latest blockbuster: Here’s the CoalFinger website and its international quit coal campaign.
It seems Michael Pollan was not alone in calling for the next US president to lead the way on self sufficient food production by growing his own food on the White House lawn. There is a whole movement at Eat the View focused on the fact that today American food travels an average of 1500 […]
As the global economy tumbles the price of oil has plunged down to about US$67 a barrel. As I’ve noted previously the dramatic falls and rises in price are indication that we are hitting peak oil. But, as importantly, peak oil is also playing its part in causing the crisis, as Energy Bulletin notes: The […]
In amongst the flurry about what happens in the next three weeks this news story about what happens in the next 15 years caught me eye: Senior North Shore City transport strategist Archer Davis, speaking on behalf of Engineers for Social Responsibility, said a conservative estimate of a 4 per cent annual decline in oil […]
Food guru Michael Pollan has another must read article –this time an open letter to the next American president explaining why food is the political issue he will be spending most of this time in the White House on – including its integral relationship to climate change, peak oil, foreign and trade policies, health care […]
WorldChanging has this troubling graphic. The extraordinary rise in oil prices since 2003 has sucked hundreds of billions of dollars out of the US economy (and the Cascadian economy). High oil prices have been a contributing cause of most recessions: Since 1948, “all large oil price increases but two have been followed by recessions,” as […]
Russel was in the Herald (off line) this morning saying that Labour and National were both looking at electric cars as some “sort of magic solution to the issues of climate change and depleting oil supplies.” Although they might be worth considering over time, he said the priority was to invest in the better use […]
Today is opening the books day when all the parties get to see how much is in the piggy bank to spend on election promise. The general consensus is that the latest round of tax cuts and a recession means that Dr Cullen might have left the piggy bank empty for the next government. That […]
Yesterday Dr Cullen announced $121m in the current fiscal year to upgrade our rail network. Note that his reasoning for this investment included: Today we have to come to terms with a new set of circumstances – the emerging reality of Peak Oil and the impact rising fuel prices have on our economy. Rail’s energy efficiency […]
I have written a lot about the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change facing humanity. So has the IPCC, our own Kiwi climate scientists and a whole host of pundits out there. Nothing however, is as compelling as live, up to the minute reporting and projections. StormPulse lets you watch as the third […]
David Letterman goes too negative for my hopeful outlook, but his point about leadership is well made.
It was a clever name for a very serious event in Sebastopol, California. Sponsored by the Post Carbon Institute, it was a launch of their Ten Steps for Individuals programme for weaning ourselves off of our oil addiction. The key message is one familiar to kiwis and frogblog readers – localise! While the programme was […]
Sadly, as we’ve been discussing in recent weeks, peak oil is threatening people’s lives in the context of international security, war and militarism in the Middle East and other fossil fuel extracting countries. But it seems here in New Zealand there are less people dying as the cost of burning a limited resource rises: As […]