33 Comments Posted

  1. Transportation may b 27% but the family car is between 8 and 10% depending whether you are measuring percent GHG or carbon footprint.

    And over two thirds of the owners of those cars have no access to public transport, and of those who do most are not using their cars for commuter trips.

    So by promoting public transport you might affect 2 – 3 % of the family car fleet.
    And of course there is no measurable difference between the carbon footprint of the private and public transport systems. And the car fleet gets more efficient by the day.

    So you are right. Why worry about family cars at all. Let them be. Food is about 30% of the family household carbon footprint. So putting everyone on weightwatchers would have a larger effect.

    Household energy consumption in Australia (were Air Con is more common) is only 20% of the household GHG pie.

    See Consuming Australia at: http://americandreamcoalition.org/ConsumingAustralia.pdf

    The study also found that peri urban households generated much less GHG than downtown households.

  2. I just saw this link in Planetzin If you ask anyone whether their house is warm there likely to say “well I put in a heat pump but my electricity bil was….”

    “But the plain fact, as Mother Jones points out, is that buildings, in the electricity they use to run and the materials they require to build, are responsible for nearly half of our nation’s carbon footprint. Transportation? Twenty-seven percent. So it’s safe to say that while transportation is crucial, we can’t solve our carbon problem if we fail to address the energy we use in our buildings.”

  3. My DOG catches birds. He gets up speed on one side of the house and they can’t take off from the back yard before he has a face full of feathers. He doesn’t know what to do with them but they’re just as dead as if we had the cat instead. – BJ

  4. jarbury.\,
    If the plan says enhance then yes you are right.
    But if it doesn’t the court has to look at Part II and s6 and then what the plan says about rural character etc trumps part 2.

  5. Owen – protect, conserve AND enhance would be a good addition to Section 6 I think.

    Doesn’t that kind of seem to be happening anyway though? I remember reading about a case near Gisborne where someone was allowed to clear part of their site of vegetation on the grounds that they enhanced and managed the native vegetation on another part of the site to a higher standard.

  6. They don’t try to ban cats in Copenhagen.

    And yes, Central park is host to myriad birds.
    I am trying to make the point that many of our attitudes to vegetation, and bird life etc are simple minded and not grounded in reality.

    Recent studies sing the praises of having many small urban parks which are preferably as natural as possible because they serve our evolutionary needs more than fancy hard surfaced ones.
    OUr rules focus on protecting trees (as if the NZ population woke up every morning with an urge to chop them down) rather than promote enhancement.
    Section 6 refers only to protection and conservation and makes no mention of enhancement. I want to amend section 6 but under pressure from the EDS Nick Smith has promised to make no amendments to Part II which includes section 6.
    What is going on? If we only protect then what we have is as good as it gets.

  7. Owen, you have a very interesting definition of urban sprawl going there I think. When I think of urban sprawl I think of the crap that has been built in Dannemora, Wainoni (near Greenhithe) and Flat Bush over the past decade or so. These are standalone houses on about 500 m2 sections that are completely auto-dependent because of cul-de-sac street patterns and so forth.

    Contrast that with somewhere like Copenhagen where you have a higher density of development but that allows you to have much greater areas of park and forest area.

    Basically, compare this: http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/6793/density2.jpg (shows an urban forest (a protected landscape) which is completely surrounded by dense apartments which are served both by commuter rail and light rail as well as having frequent shopping areas) with this: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=-36.940082,174.914725&spn=0.012194,0.019269&t=k&z=16 (Auckland’s eastern suburbs showing comparatively little open space).

  8. Some native birds are semi ground feeders – fan tails sometimes get eaten but my cat can make a case that it flew into her mouth.
    However, the food they get from the chooks and so on means that their population is still much higher than when we arrived.

    Re Bird feeders. Birds do get overconfident when in a feeding frenzy.
    The solution is to put the birdfeeder tray on top of a free standing post zz- say 2m tall.
    They can see anything approaching but are not tempted to hop down and down and into the waiting claws.

  9. kjuv Says:
    June 11th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    I thought it was interesting – but not surprising – to see a marked increase in support for the fairly far right and conservative parties to the detriment of the socialist parties in the latest European Elections. It could be that mass immigration and the resultant cultural demands are being perceived as a threat to European ‘culture’ by a significant minority.
    people perceive mass arrivals as competition for resources and resources with living standards, survival. If I have more land I can produce more food for my family. I think this is probably instinctive behaviour.

  10. “But then, what we would know?”

    I put out a special porridge for waxeyes but I had to stop as they would descend to the shrubs below where my cat was waiting.

  11. I had a gander at realestate.co.nz as I’m thinking of moving. One thing that strikes me is the poor housing stock in Christchurch and another is the way the need for a garage and driveway is a driver of design and therefore a negative as far a siting goes. A garage is (essentially) a bedroom for a car with special needs (width, ramp) etc.

  12. Maybe a more optimistic note.
    Urban Sprawl Is for the Birds

    My comment:
    These are complex issues but many studies in many parts of the world demonstrate that suburban gardens provide higher biodiversity than pastoral farms etc.
    Of course you do have to wait for the gardens to mature a few years or even a few decades for large trees.
    It is easy to jump to conclusions. Office desk planners here in NZ try to impose rules saying that cats should be banned from rural residential subdivision. Their simple two-body theory says cats eat birds therefore cats are bad for bird populations therefore ban cats.
    But the main predators of our native birds in particular are imported rats weasels and stoats and cats kill rats weasels and stoats. Also our native birds are top feeders while cats are ground feeders.
    Which is why those of us actually develop park developments with large areas of native forest and other plantings welcome cats because the native birds thrive while the cats tend to drive out the imported birds like mynahs.
    But then, what we would know?

  13. I thought it was interesting – but not surprising – to see a marked increase in support for the fairly far right and conservative parties to the detriment of the socialist parties in the latest European Elections. It could be that mass immigration and the resultant cultural demands are being perceived as a threat to European ‘culture’ by a significant minority.
    There was also an increase in supoport for Green ideology – perhaps the Polar bears and Obama (as well as the Financial upheaval) had some influence in thiis regard?
    However, I don’t think there is too much room for optimism: The voter turnout is decreasing – so in many ways democracy could be a casualty. Then again, perhaps most identify with their country of residence rather than the European Union.

  14. I find Russell’s response extraordinary. Surely the Green’s co-leaders have helpers who can brief them on these issues

    To say “You’ve got regional councils who just haven’t got it together because this isn’t new, it’s no surprise, and they just didn’t get it together to start to phase out polluting home heating, and traffic is the other issue.” shows an astonishing level of ignorance of the financial, democratic and legal barriers that have prevented regional councils from being able take effective actions to meet these air quality standards.

    I lived in Christchurch for 15 years as Ecan struggled to get community concensus to eliminate open fires, coal ranges and older solid fuel burners. The big problem is that the main offenders are so firmly stuck in denial that even if you offered them the solution completely free of charge they would refuse to take it because they insist on having the right to be able to heat the house and hot water when snowstorms knock out the electricity system. The fact that snowstorms of that severity are one in thirty year events is not considered relevant or important by these people.

    Unless government steps in and either mandates the removal of open fireplaces and pre-emission standards burners or invests the entire Green insulation package into the towns and cities with winter smog problems the only way to comply with these air quality standards is to decline industrial users application for boiler air discharge resource consent renewals, with the consequent massive loss of manufacturing and processing employment in those towns and cities.

    It is actually cheaper to move a coal fired or wood chip boiler and it’s factory to a rural area (creating very long commutes for workers) than to replace it with a natural gas or electric boiler. Natural gas isn’t reticulated in the South Island so these standards are the death knell for many South Island towns and cities, Nelson and Christchurch in particular.

  15. BJ,

    Not industry per se by the end of the ndustrial revolution. We can no longer rely on the state or business to provide income and as such will see the end of social benefits, rule of law, etc.

    There will always be inustry, but no longer large industries and one needs to look no further than Detroit to see how cities and communities die when industry goes.


    Have a look at where Ford manufacture cars and how few of them are made in the USA.

    Most USA factories are closing. Workforce and local conditions priced them from the market?

  16. Gerrit

    I don’t think it is the end of industry. I think it is the end of the Wimpy economy (Old popeye cartoons featured a guy named Wimpy who had a tag line “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”)


    It means that some excess population is going to be squeezed to death and some people who have had it good are going to be less well off.

    It probably means the end of “greed-is-good” and “growth-is-better”. It doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t build cars, televisions, computers or rockets, feed ourselves or have live concerts.

    Those are things we have to fight to lose.

    Do we know who the enemy is?


  17. Hey

    For me – optimistic.

    Katie… I didn’t think I said enough for that to come across 🙂


  18. Gerrit, Strings – lovely development of topic.

    BJ – always knew you had it in you to gloat. 🙂
    Great link, I may have to bookmark that blog & keep reading.

    So, my predictions?

    California has broken the ceiling on ‘truth’; bankers are struggling to deny reality, but will now admit that their lending has no clothes, and thus all debts are defaulted, as their paper is not legally worth anything, due to lack of equity.
    America starts burning in the valleys of over-mortgaged properties upwind of San Fernando, and continues eastwards until a conflagration greater than the total burn of the Twin Towers reaches NYC.

    Mel Gibson has already returned to Australia, and sets up a foundation based on royalties from his early “Mad Max” series, to teach the local survivors how to re-use, recoup & recycle any and all materials that have been discarded by earlier generations of dissolute Aussies. Scientology converts to environmentalism and becomes the next great mega-religion.

    New Zealand decides to send all foreigners on short-term work visas home to wherever they came from, but allows Shania Twain, and members of the former Bush Administration, who bought millions of dollars worth of previously state-owned leasehold property, stay. Asian migrant workers riot in downtown Auckland, Ponsonby and Parnell are bereft of wait-service. And cleaners, due to PI visa-holders being sent home as well.

    Tuuhoe finally cecede from Aotearoa, citing lack of signatory to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and develop their farmlands and forests into the only self-sustaining community in Aotearoa not connected to the export market so royally skewed by Fonterra’s crazy marketing of the past 3 years.

    Canterbury’s aquafer’s finally irrigate the last 3 square metres of dairy farmland and dry up, the squatocracy say “I told you so!” and promptly dessicate to the point of spontaneous combustion. Stevan Eldred-Grigg begins another historical novel to tell the story, having interviewed all his extended family and friends in the lead up to the tragedy (How did he know???).

    Scott Base, our Southernmost outpost, melts over the summer of ’10/’11, but not before what remains of the historic huts have been retrieved, bagged, and stored in a giant, purpose-built freezer at the Antarctic Research Centre in Christchurch. The Americans vacate McMurdo Sound, and the American base at Christchurch airport is closed, finally. No more grey goose operations!

    (Ok, I’m tired & they made a mistake with my latest new hypothyroid meds, so I’m grumpy as well as in pain. Slightly more sarcasm & cynicism than I usually exhibit here, but WTH. I watched a whole season of House in the last two days, Hugh Laurie’s style rubs off.)

  19. Strings,

    I would suggest that the money used to bailout the likes of GM, etc. is already electronic. No reserves to back it nor folding stuff printed.

    As the artcle in BJ’s link asks, where are the lenders. There will be none.

    The end of the industrial age is near I would suspect.

    While the Greens may wll think this will be a good thing, it wont be as concepts such as states, nations, law and order, centralised government, etc. will be gone with it.

    No taxes to collect, no government to distribute them. No law enforcement, burn as much coal as you like to keep warm.

  20. Yeah! Russ the Mus…looks like the GP will leave their 6.72% rating to History….ah well, the truth will out.

  21. BJ And Gerrit

    The ripples of a crash are interesting phenomena.

    When you drop a rock into a pond there are many ripples, not one. The first is quite shallow, reflecting the initial contact between the rock and the surface. The second is deep, reflecting the size of ‘hole’ the rock made immediately post-contact and natures desire to fill that ‘vacuum’ by bringing the water level at the contact point back to the original stability point. After that are the aftershocks which get smaller reflecting the inward (as well as outward) direction of the first two.

    The recession in the financial system, including the bailout of institutions and the collapse of housing markets, must be compared to the first ripple, as the sub-prime rock hit the global economic pool. What we are starting to see with the Automotive, Airline, Building, Hospitality, etc., industries, which lead to reduced tax (income and sales) revenue and increased (medical and welfare) costs due to family impacting job losses, is the leading edge of the 2nd ripple.

    I don’t think we are anywhere near the crest of that 2nd ripple’s wave as yet, the countries with cash are starting to need it for internal purposes (India and China are losing revenue due to reductions in export demand and even the OPEC states are beginning to feel the pinch without this time being able to increase prices). This means smaller amounts of surplus revenue to invest in interest bearing investments, the demand for which is apparently growing in billions by the day.

    At some point, late this year or early next, I believe the entire credit system will fall down, and nations will start creating (electronic ) money at a rate never seen in the days of printed currency. The only way out of such a disaster is a complete overhaul of the financial model, with perhaps a single global currency at its heart; however, it will be a cold day in hell when the USA agrees with that happening.

    Incidentally – GW said, when he was told he might have to face Jessie Jackson as a Presidential Candidate in 2003, that pigs would fly when a black man inhabited the White House, have you noticed the way Swine flu is flying around the world?

  22. BJ,

    I cant really see a way out for the USA but to default all the loans.

    The end of the USA empire is not far away.

    What will follow after that is up to the imagination. But expect chinese expansion.

  23. Is Russel still polling at 15% in Mt Albert or has his popularity risen even further?

    Rus voters who were going to vote Shearer to keep Lee out will – as Rus has said – now be free to vote Rus. Would be surprised if he doesn’t get closer to 20 now.

  24. Is Russel still polling at 15% in Mt Albert or has his popularity risen even further?

    To infinity and beyond!

    (We’ll over-take the Nats before they know it, then, with Labour in our sights…time to muscle-up, Russel!!)

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