Key in denial about inevitable impact of carbon charges and oil shocks

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 and economic strategies.

International air travel was not covered in the original Kyoto Accord, but Europe recognised early on that a price on carbon emissions from long haul flights would have to be applied.  Otherwise, growth in demand for air travel would quickly outstrip any gains in fuel efficiency.

There is nothing wrong with the Government lobbying for New Zealand’s interests in the UK, but we need to be realistic. Collectively humans will travel by air less frequently in the near future, because we’re not going to see a cheap replacement for fossil fuels for aircraft any time soon.  Even if we weren’t concerned about human induced climate change, rising oil prices will have the exact same dampening effect on international tourism.

So it’s time to pull our heads out of the sand, and start planning for an economic future that isn’t reliant on cheap fossil fuels. This means rethinking tourism, Mr Key. Here are some ideas about a realistic tourism strategy.

16 Comments Posted

  1. Photonz1 is right, ther are locations that use CO2 to enhance agriculture. These are amongst the best locations for CHP plant, as you get to use the electricty generated, the heat generated, and the “waste” CO2. Fabulous.

    Trouble is, this is a rare time when the planets all align so, the other 99.999% (made up stat!) of the time the CO2 is not a useful waste product.

  2. “..Met 8 mayors today!..”

    my condolances…

    (it sounds like a task on survivor)…

    ..or some weird new hybrid telly-reality-show…

    ..’you must spend four hours engaged in small talk with a series of small-town mayors..

    remember..!..if at any time you just can’t take a moment more..

    …you can hit the big red emergency-exit button..

    ..let’s begin..

    ..with the mayor of the havoc-newsboy-cited ‘gay capital of new zealand’..’s the home of singing cowboys..(in costume..!..) there a connection..?

    ..we think so..!

    it’s the mayor of gore..!..”


  3. rimu says “have another beer, photonz”

    Oh – is it that time already.

    That’s probably a good idea.

    But what about the methane emmissions?

  4. Perhaps we just need to think of carbon in a different way.

    Instead of being so negative, why don’t we just think of carbon as “tree food”.

    There are even places that are pumping carbon emmissions from factories straight into greenhouses with a phenomonal increase in growth rates.

  5. 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.

    Russel: you’ve put two and two together and come up with seven.

    Our Gummint definitely is in denial over climat change. Tick.

    The UK Gummint is (and this was the term in my mind even before I read the linked article) is just revenue gathering. Tick.

    However, there is no reasonable link betwixt the two.

    Still, its not like our Gummint and their underlings don’t revenue gather he…

  6. First drill a hole through the center of the earth (being sure not to kill any stray dinosaurs found in the interior), insulate with a frictionless material (unobtainium is perfect for this purpose) and suck all the air out of the tube. Your elevator to London is ready 🙂


  7. The frequency of the London to Continent flights would suggest that they would be the bigger problem. The Chunnel and close proximity also suggests that these flight could easily be replaced by more use of high-speed trains – an alternative that is clearly not practical for the London to Auckland route 🙂


  8. When one looks at it from a carbon emissions point of view, I wonder which one is the bigger problem – the twice daily Air New Zealand flight from London to Auckland via either Hong Kong or Los Angeles, or the hundreds of flights between London and the European continent by the likes of Ryan Air?

  9. Recognise the problem.
    Be aware of the situation.
    Get prepared

    I like it.

    Overall sustainability seems equivalent (in consideration at least) to finding Hawkings’ “equation for everything”….

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