Just two choices, fossil fuels or ‘sustainability’? No.

We have problems with climate change.

We also have problems on both sides of the climate change debate.

On one side their are arguments like ‘it’s all natural’, ‘we shouldn’t do anything’, ‘we can’t do anything that will make any difference’. here are organised dissers and dismissers – I’m not sure what their actual motives are. Perhaps some are trying to protect status quo big business, or they fear change so resist change that may slow down change.

This side of the argument often tries to rubbish science they don’t like (while liking science and pseudo science that supports their argument or supposedly debunks the overwhelming weight of evidence). A lot of their arguments are fairly easily dismissed.

I think that some the other side of the argument is more of a problem – those who urge drastic change to mitigate climate change without giving any idea of how that would be done or what the possible consequences might be.

David Slack (Stuff): Is it hot enough for you yet?

We have just two choices, they both take us into the unknown, and we have to pick one: give up fossil fuels and move to sustainability, or remain unsustainable and live with the consequences.

We don’t have “just two choices”.

If we “give up fossil fuels” (and some go as far as saying or implying this should be immediate and total) the consequences would be enormous. Virtually no more flying. Virtually no more shipping. Drastically reduced private and public transport. Countries that rely a lot on on fossil fuels, like the US, China and Australia, would have extreme energy deficiencies, with no way of switching to electric transport to any degree.

The flow on effects of these changes alone would have a massive impact on our way of life – and would cost lives. We rely on fossil fuels for emergency services.

There would be massive impacts on food production and distribution.

Any sort of rapid change away from fossil fuels would cause far more problems than continuing on much as we are.

Slack has omitted the obvious choice – work towards alternative energy options as as quickly as we can – far more quickly than we are at present – but without putting civilisation on Earth at risk of catastrophic collapse.

The lack of urgency on some things, especially energy conservation, seems negligent to me. All homes and offices should be well insulated and double glazed at least, and this could be done quickly. It would cost quite a bit, but the risks are negligible, and I think we are better off not requiring as much alternative energy.

But if activists and journalists push for extreme measures this distracts what is do-able and what would actually be sustainable. One of the worst effects is that their demands are easily dismissed as extreme and unworkable, but this allows the other side of the argument room to dismiss all efforts to mitigate climate change effects.

Progress has been made in New Zealand this parliamentary term on a plan towards net zero emissions, this is a long term and fairly vague aim – the target is 2050, thirty years away.

We should be doing much more, starting this year.

I think that Jacinda Ardern may have made a mistake claiming that dealing with climate change is our modern ‘nuclear’ issue.

New Zealand made a symbolic stand against nuclear weapons in the 1980s (and i supported that) – but all we had to do is oppose some ship visits and protest against bomb tests a long way away from here. We didn’t need to change our way of life.

What we should be doing about climate change, and energy conservation, and pollution, requires actual significant change in how we live, now. Some will resist this, but I think most would get behind leadership on this and shift their way of living towards a more sustainable future.

A lack of significant action by the Government leaves rooms for people like Slack to propose stupid choices.

We should be radically changing our thinking about how we live, and we should become more environmentally aware.

We need a plan that is somewhere in between the extreme anti-change brigade and the extreme change/massive vague experiment proponents – closer to the latter, but a plan that reduces risks as quickly as possible without creating bigger risks.

 

Leave a comment

117 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th January 2020

    Good post, PG, but I think you dangerously overstate here:.
    We should be radically changing our thinking about how we live, and we should become more environmentally aware

    No, we need to be more rational and evidence-based about our choices and solutions.
    Human, economic and environmental factors must all be properly considered and balanced. Environmental hysteria and moral panic must not dominate.

    Reply
    • I agree in general, but none of this should stop us from doing far more than at present to live with our environment much better than we have been.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  12th January 2020

        I think that is an unreasonable statement. Overall humanity has been doing a brilliant job of living far better than ever before within our environment and protecting it given the limits if our knowledge.

        I am sure we can and will continue to do better but it is foolish to denigrate what has already been achieved.

        Reply
        • We have generally done a good job at living better, but it has become increasingly obvious that that has been adverse to the environment in a number of ways. We couldn’t keep polluting the way we have been, we can’t keep using resources without some of them running out.

          The rapid deterioration of quality of waterways in New Zealand over the last 20-30 years is one example. That has to be reversed.

          Plastic pollution is another problem that is causing many problems and concerns.

          Over-using resources and continuing to increase pollution has created serious problems, and doing nothing bout it would create bigger problems as deterioration increases and population increases.

          Lifting living standards of less well off parts of the world will put more pressure on the environment.

          ‘Humanity’ has done a brilliant job of some things, and a terrible job of others. The latter needs to change drastically if we are to avoid major problems for future generations.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  12th January 2020

            Have your waterways been degraded? Mine haven’t. Probably cleaner than ever and happily growing oysters and fish and bird life. We have rampant weks that didn’t exist here 3 decades ago and increased kiwi. All with an expanded population and tourism.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  12th January 2020

            Lifting living standards of less well off parts of the world will put more pressure on the environment.

            Exactly wrong. The more affluent the country, the better the care for its environment.

            Reply
            • In some ways more affluent countries care for the environment better, in some ways they don’t.

              The more affluence the more pressure on foodstocks, especially in the sea. and the more pollution that goes into the sea. That’s a major and growing problem.

              A rapid in increase in dairy farming has improved affluence in New Zealand in some ways (and improved world food supplies), but has degraded a lot of our waterways (something Fonterra recognises and is trying to deal with).

              The greater the affluence the quicker mineral resources will be depleted.

            • Pink David

               /  12th January 2020

              “The greater the affluence the quicker mineral resources will be depleted.”

              Untrue.

            • Duker

               /  13th January 2020

              “The greater the affluence the quicker mineral resources will be depleted.”
              Yes, Its so hard to get good- [name mineral here]- these days.?

              Wasnt that the meme about oil a decade ago . How did that pan out . Wasnt food for millions going to run out in the 60s/70s?

              Time PG, to retire those old dated slogans from 15 years ago – especially ones that are completely false

            • There is nothing false about mineral depletion. All mined minerals deplete in their original form. If they continue to be mined and needed then it’s a matter of time before economic recovery becomes unviable. The economic life of various minerals will obviously vary, and replacements and alternatives will be found for some, but if the world continues as an industrial society it is inevitable that the shortage of some will cause problems, potentially serious problems.

              While most may remain available in our lifetimes we have a responsibility to consider future generations. It’s a matter of time before shortages are a problem – unless we can recycle as much as we need.

            • Corky

               /  13th January 2020

            • Pink David

               /  13th January 2020

              “The economic life of various minerals will obviously vary, and replacements and alternatives will be found for some, but if the world continues as an industrial society it is inevitable that the shortage of some will cause problems, potentially serious problems.”

              This is not inevitable. We have the ability to overcome this issue, and have done so many times. This misconception is the problem with the ‘Limits to Growth’. All the predictions the Club of Rome made were wildly wrong. By believing this, you greatly underestimate the ingenuity of humans.

              Just one example, the area required to produce a given amount of food has fallen 65% over the last 50 years. The number of people required to farm that food has fallen 95%.

              Another, tellurium. This is one of the rarest elements in the world and it’s used in solar panels. When will we ‘run out’?

              How about phosphate? Nauru got rich off this and it’s all gone, so why haven’t we run out?

            • Pink David

               /  13th January 2020

              Corky has posted a good example. We use gold at 1/100th the thickness compared to an early processor. For every one you recover and recycle, you can make 100* more.

              *Not quite of course….

            • Duker

               /  13th January 2020

              Not wise to double down on your out moded beliefs PG
              Even the experts don’t agree with you

              https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20140314-the-worlds-scarcest-material
              .

              Other studies indicate that rhodium, followed by gold, platinum and tellurium, are some of the rarest elements in terms of their percentage in the planet’s crust and their importance to society.

              As startling as these figures sound, however, the complete loss of silver, platinum, aluminum or any other mineral resource will likely never come to pass, according to Thomas Graedel, director of the Center for Industrial Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. We have never completely run out of a natural resource, he says, and we almost certainly never will.
              NEVER will. Remember that

            • Of course we are very unlikely to completely run out of a natural resource. That’s obvious.

              But we are lot more likely to find that some resources become very expensive, and we will have shortages – that’s one of Australia’s big problems right now, a shortage of water in many places, which is causing major problems.

              A shortage of fish stocks is another major problem, especially with a rising world population and greater consumption as people get lifted out of poverty.

              Shortages of metals already cause problems.

              Palladium is now the most valuable of the four major precious metals, with an acute shortage driving prices to a record. A key component in pollution-control devices for cars and trucks, the metal’s price doubled in little more than a year, making it more expensive than gold.

              https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-28/why-palladium-is-suddenly-a-more-precious-metal-quicktake-k2ap4ryc

              Some shortages could be deliberate:

              Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
              https://www.ft.com/content/4863fff2-8bea-11e9-a1c1-51bf8f989972

              The US and allied countries have launched an international effort to encourage responsible development of materials needed for new energy technologies, including lithium, copper and cobalt, as they attempt to ensure future supplies of critical resources.

              The move comes in response to growing concern about the huge increases in consumption of some of those materials, which will be needed to support a shift away from fossil fuels towards electric vehicles and battery energy storage.
              A shift in the global energy system away from fossil fuels — driven by cost reductions that are making new technologies increasingly competitive, and by government policies to fight global warming and local pollution — is expected to result in steep increases in demand for some metals and other materials.

              In the past few years, Chinese companies have been moving to secure supplies of these materials, buying up mines in countries from Australia to South America.

              https://www.ft.com/content/4863fff2-8bea-11e9-a1c1-51bf8f989972

              Deletion of resources in some areas makes this control of the market easier and more likely.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  13th January 2020

              The first issue is not how rare it is but how much of the available mineral has been used. The second issue is how clever are we are at making more available. The third issue is how clever we are at finding an altermative. And the market price magically drives and rewards all of the above.

            • Blazer

               /  13th January 2020

              an economic illiterate..speaks..
              ‘And the market price magically drives and rewards all of the above.’

            • natashachassagne

               /  8th June 2020

              I wholly disagree. Science has prove that affluent countries are both directly and indirectly responsible for greater CO2 production than less affluent ones. Like Pete has said more affluence,more pressure on food stocks, pollution, as well we greater levels of consumption overall which results in more fossil fuel. Where do fossil fuels and other extractive industries get their resources? From developing countries, which ultimately skews the data on who is putting pressure on the environment. Resources in less affluent countries are being extracted and exported to support the extraordinary high levels of consumption in affluent societies. On top of that, in traditional communities in many of those developing countries, they herd a greater respect for and connection to nature. If they rape, pillage and pollte their lands, they have no livelihoods and their own health suffers. Whereas we, in more affluent societies are extremely disconnected from nature and thus are more inclined to disrespect it because we do not see or experience direct consequences.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th June 2020

              Simply wrong. NZ like most affluent countries imports very little from “developing” countries.

          • Pink David

             /  12th January 2020

            “The latter needs to change drastically if we are to avoid major problems for future generations.”

            The thing about humans is that when the need for change arrives, we change. The issue is that the people most in favour of shutting down the fossil fuel industry are also those most against the alternatives that work.

            Almost every prediction about the future from ‘experts’ has been wrong. From the Limits to Growth to the Malthusian’s. Our ability to adapt is infinite, our ability to predict is zero.

            The world will decarbonise energy production without any need for intervention.

            “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. ”
            H L Mencken

            Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  12th January 2020

          There are still many unnecessary things around, alas, like endless new phones, bigger and bigger televisions and the number of disposable items.

          The term ‘conspicuous consumption’ was coined in the 1880s, but the concept has been around forever as anyone who has read social history will know.

          Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  12th January 2020

        Fossil fuels provide us with most of our appliances; what do the antis think that phones and computers are made from ? Few of us, I think, would be willing to give up phones and computers.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  12th January 2020

          I agree, Alan, and it angers me when some people (and I don’t mean to sneer at Pete) act as if nothing at all is being or has been done. Councils have had recycling for many years and some have compost collections. There are compost bins for sale; who’d sell them if no one bought them ?

          My vacuum cleaner is far lighter than its metal ancestors because it’s made from fossil fuel. The metal from the old ones would have been mined, of course., before it was made into things. Being so much heavier would make metal appliances use more fuel when they were transported, as paper bags do, thus creating more emissions.

          Many people are doing their bit for the environment, even in small ways like using both sides of the paper before it’s put in the recycle bin or using bread bags instead of buying lunch bags. Push mowers are still in use and have had a bit of a revival. And so on.

          I have my doubts about whether climate change can be stopped, but these are all good for the environment, anyway.

          Reply
          • NOEL

             /  12th January 2020

            “My vacuum cleaner is far lighter than its metal ancestors”

            May be lighter and have a bigger motor but everything about it today is designed for early redundancy.

            Where the old vacuum had a metal clip that held the hose to the unit today it’s two metal pins for the power head into plastic destined for early wear.
            The curved fitting for the cleaning head was curved metal now plastic destined to break in half as the plastic degrades.

            The light hoses are an improvement and so is the motor but you could get replacement parts cheap back in the day.
            Now it’s cheaper, regardless if the part is available, to replace the complete vacuum.

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  12th January 2020

              The cost of metal, both in terms of raw resources, and energy is many times that of plastic. The costs, and resources, required to maintain a spare parts supply is huge, add to that labour and it simply makes little sense to not go to a disposable supply chain for appliances.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th January 2020

              The cost of appliances in the past was eye-watering and far more in real terms than it is today. I can’t see many people wanting to go back to the prices equivalent to the ones in some old magazines that I have. Automatic washing machines c.1960 cost the same as they do now; not in real terms but the actual price !!! They’d have been out of reach of most people.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  13th January 2020

              Mit der dummheit kampfen gotter selbst vergebens.

        • Pink David

           /  12th January 2020

          “Few of us, I think, would be willing to give up phones and computers.”

          The sacrifices are to be made by ‘others’. Important and worthy people will still need their private jets and phones and mega yachts. Less important people will be living in their yurts and cold insect porridge.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  12th January 2020

            Appliances now have a longer life expectancy that people give them credit for.

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  12th January 2020

              Yes. They are also more reliable during that life expectancy. People simply do not realise just how much better most things work these days.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th January 2020

              The 4 PDTs don’t, but they wouldn’t, poor things. You’d think that they’d google these things; perhaps they don’t know how. Sad.

              Do they know that making car bodies from thermoplastic makes them much safer than the old metal ones because nowadays the car takes the shock in a collision whereas in the old days the people inside did ? Or what these are made of ?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  13th January 2020

            Morons.

            Reply
          • Duker

             /  13th January 2020

            Yes my dad bought a colour TV when they first came available in NZ for a 26 in , it was in today’s money about $8000 . It kept for a long time, but most parts were replaced, mostly because there were parts and repairarers around who could work with valves etc

            As for rare metals and such
            “For starters, some resources such as indium – found in computer and smartphone display screens – are byproducts of other mining operations. Almost all of the world’s indium comes from zinc mines; there are no dedicated indium mines, because it occurs in such small amounts mining for it is impractical”

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  13th January 2020

              sounds like you came from a wealthy family.
              More power to you for understanding the realities of privilege and life in general.

            • Duker

               /  14th January 2020

              No we werent wealthy. My dad just believed buying a few high quality appliances, we also had an expensive Bendix front loader instead of those ‘cheap’ and dangerous F&P tubs with wringers. He also taught me how to make sure appliances lasted a long time . Always turnoff at the wall after use , as the internal transformer might be the first part to fail. My TVs ran for 20+ years, this computer Im using now ( NOT an expensive buy to start with ) dates from early 2012 – hard drive the most likely part to fail after 5 years was replaced by SSD . And yes its turned off after use ( hibernate)

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th January 2020

              I always turn things off at the wall, but didn’t know it extended their life.

              I remember someone who had one of the early microwaves paying over $1000 for it in the 80s..

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th January 2020

              The first b/w televisions here cost 130 pounds; thousands in today’s money.

              Our first computer was one of the Dell ones sold by The Warehouse for $999, the first time that they’d gone below $1000.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  12th January 2020

    The no fossil fuel brigade ignore or don’t know how many things are made from these.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  12th January 2020

      The PDTs seem not to realise that the computers they’re using are made from fossil fuels…what do they think they’re made of ? Wood ?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  13th January 2020

        Idiots…they seem to do so.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  14th January 2020

          Seven fools who don’t know that appliances like computers need fossil fuels. Google it if you can’t take my word for it.

          Reply
  3. David

     /  12th January 2020

    How about the world funds/builds nuclear power stations in India and China seeing as the vast bulk of emissions and growth in emissions comes from these two, lets halt the expansion of coal power while allowing lesser developed countries to embrace the economic opportunities the west has had.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  12th January 2020

      We could have de-carbonised almost all energy production world wide over the last 30 years and coal could have been completely removed from that energy production. Those who are most vocal about this being needed are also the ones that stopped it happening.

      Instead, we end up with Drax changing from burning coal to burning down entire North American forests because it’s ‘green’.

      Are the people who created this situation just profoundly stupid, or are they evil?

      Reply
  4. David

     /  12th January 2020

    I would like to see the worlds shipping industry move to nuclear powered vessels too and the end of the cruise industry immediately, probably the most wasteful damaging and rapidly growing industry on earth..or sea.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th January 2020

      No. Shipping is very efficient for the tonnages carried. The big diesel engines use a bunker fuel thats almost tar like and not much useful for anything else in refineries. Nuclear cargo ships are an expensive fantasy, that was tried but was unworkable even back then.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  13th January 2020

      get an electric car…David. 😉

      Reply
  5. Pink David

     /  12th January 2020

    “All homes and offices should be well insulated and double glazed at least, and this could be done quickly. It would cost quite a bit, but the risks are negligible, and I think we are better off not requiring as much alternative energy.”

    This has been attempted in both Australia and the UK, in both cases it has been a disaster. It not only killed people, it also left houses inhabitable. Many billions have been wasted on this. Insulation is not a solution.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  12th January 2020

      Just to add, Grenfell Tower was the direct result of this obsession with tacking on insulation.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th January 2020

        More people get killed falling off ladders when painting the house, does that mean no one should be painting?
        The insulation thing was retrofitting in Australia, some cowboys hit the ceiling wiring. No one here has had the same problems.
        Grenfell Tower also was a ‘cowboy culture’ problem as well , as that specific form of cladding shouldnt be used on residential towers, its more for your low rise commercial buildings

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  12th January 2020

          “More people get killed falling off ladders when painting the house, does that mean no one should be painting?”

          It means people should not be working off ladders.

          “Grenfell Tower also was a ‘cowboy culture’ problem as well , as that specific form of cladding shouldnt be used on residential towers, its more for your low rise commercial buildings”

          It was used because it was the cheapest that met the requirements for insulation. Other materials increase the costs. Retro-fitting tower blocks is complex and expensive.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  13th January 2020

            It didnt meet the requirements , its was substituted way down the chain of contractors of the Tower refurb, which included modern windows, changes to the podium etc. Like I said low rise commercial , Yes. High rise residential No.
            End of story

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  13th January 2020

              “It didnt meet the requirements”

              It did. It was compliant with the regulations and met the insulation requirement. KCTMO’s primary drive was to keep the cost down.

              ” its was substituted way down the chain of contractors of the Tower refurb,”

              Your only arguing over the difference between a PIR and PUR panel. PIR panels have better fire performance, but they would not have prevented the fire. They may have allowed more people to escape and slowed the spread of fire, but not the fundamentals.

              In either case, fire performance of the building would have been significantly better WITHOUT the addition of new cladding and insulation.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  13th January 2020

      Er…’left houses UNinhabitable’ ?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  13th January 2020

        Didn’t the Grenfell Towers tell people to stay where they were if a fire happened ?

        Reply
  6. NOEL

     /  12th January 2020

    I don’t think we can make a diffierence.
    After all China, India, US and others who are heavy emitters don’t really take it seriously.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  12th January 2020

      I was unimpressed to see a story made about India’s car pollution….made by Americans who would have flown there to make it and would all own cars themselves, telling India and Delhi in particular how bad it was to drive cars and pollute the air.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  13th January 2020

        I saw this as hypocritical; you may not. Why is it all right for people in the West to own cars, but not for people in the East to own them ?

        Reply
  7. Pink David

     /  12th January 2020

    A hydro dam that produces the cleanest and most reliable renewable energy is blocked by environmentalists because of ‘kayaker’s’. These same people tell us climate change is the most important issue in the world, an existential crisis. Yet here they are blocking a part of the solution because kayakers are more important.

    Why would anyone take them seriously?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/115349596/mt-cook-of-rivers-will-not-be-tamed-as-govt-rejects-waitaha-hydropower-scheme

    Reply
  8. Kimbo

     /  12th January 2020

    I commented on a Labour/Green-inspired Facebook thread this week that was soliciting a hate-feat pile-in on Simon Bridges for committing the heresy of refusing to acknowledge there is currently a “climate emergency”. When I pointed out that unless they had thrown away their car keys and foresworn air travel, their actions and lifestyle choices indicated they actually agreed with Bridges, I drew the response, “how dare you criticise us in such a personal manner”.

    Then followed the usual dissembling and rationalising about one can act personally but “the problem is so big and urgent that it needs action at governmental level” Translation: I should still be allowed to have a vehicle with an internal combustion engine to protect my livelihood…but others in places like Taranaki must lose their jobs, and the Third World can remain in grinding poverty courtesy of government fiat.

    Oh, well. For the edification of we who are confused at the incongruous disconnect between rhetoric and actions, at least Harry and Meghan will soon model the appropriate “progressive” lifestyle that somehow incorporates regular trans-Atlantic air travel into their personal contribution to the addressing the climate emergency. 😳😂

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  12th January 2020

      And Little Greta will still be sailing on a yacht made from fossil fuels that took five sailors to sail, all of whom had to fly across the Atlantic in order to do so, while she thunders against the evils of fossil fuels on a computer made from these.

      Reply
      • Kimbo

         /  12th January 2020

        Was just informed by the resident Vegan n our household that it is entrenched economic and political forces stopping the transition to Green energy, rather than the more obvious explanation…they are not yet economic. In early 19th Century Britain whole industries and the nation’s defence and livelihood was invested in producing ropes to power sailing ships, including those of the Royal Navy. By the mid-nineteen Century massive social and economic change occurred, despite the attempts of the rope-making industry to stop it, such that ships were then powered by coal-fed steam engines. Then, by the start of the 20th Century, despite being in the middle of an arms race and having no ready access to oil within the United Kingdom, the Royal Navy switched nonetheless switched to oil-burning propulsion.

        You can try and circumvent or stop human nature, but ultimately it is futile, including when it is manifested as collective economic meta-forces. If and when Green technology is economic, the change will occur.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  12th January 2020

          There are two forces in the world – private enterprise trying to do things more efficiently and politicians and bureaucracies trying to stop them.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  13th January 2020

            so you do not believe in regulations Al?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th January 2020

              Mostly they are a make-work scheme for the middle class designed to keep the less fortunate unemployable. Highly successful in achieving that objective while reducing global productivity and wealth.

            • Blazer

               /  14th January 2020

              @Al….can you have rich people without …a whole lot of poor people?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th January 2020

              The average wage is dependent on the productivity of the country. Productivity is increased only when people have both the incentive and freedom to make changes. You cannot have freedom without allowing some people to get rich. Your choice is poverty or freedom. Make it now and own it.

            • Blazer

               /  14th January 2020

              @Al,maybe good theory,but would be interested in some real examples of this stark choice of freedom or…poverty.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th January 2020

              You can’t be very interested or you would have found plenty yourself. I doubt you’ll find any wealthy countries without rich people. Poor countries may have other issues besides lack of freedom such as war, despotic leadership or lack of education but given freedom and property rights they can progress.

            • Blazer

               /  14th January 2020

              very,very vague there Al for someone so passionate about..freedom.

              I doubt whether you will find ANY countries without wealthy people!.

              Your correlation of freedom and property rights being an indicator of wealth is flawed.

              Capital and its allocation is the MAIN source of wealth.

              Btw do you view debt as an asset or a liability and does it reflect wealth?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th January 2020

              Debt is always a liability but may be an opportunity if used well. Capital is wealth. It may also be a source of wealth if used well.

              Freedom and property rights are enablers to wealth if used well.

              Poor countries may have rich rulers but no rich people outside the ruling oligarchy.

            • Duker

               /  14th January 2020

              That ‘Hill” story is just an opinion column, not news or fact
              “Kristin Tate is author of the new book, “The Liberal Invasion of Red State America,” and an analyst for the nonprofit Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian organization based in Arlington, Va.”
              I though the ‘swamp’ was being drained…not multiplied

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th January 2020

              The facts cited can be verified and the “opinions” follow from them, like it or not.

            • Duker

               /  14th January 2020

              Trump facts is it ?
              The reality is the poorest states are deep red Trump and have high levels of government expenditure , while the richest states are deep blue democratic.
              Tell us how the GOP did in the governor races last November ?
              1 out 3 is terrible https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_United_States_elections

              The future can always be spun as rosy when you ignore what has recently happened and republicans in republican states can be ‘predicted’ to win. A easy mistake made by amateurs to think otherwise
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_United_States_gubernatorial_elections

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th January 2020

              Ironic that poor people vote for Trump instead of your Lefty elites isn’t it, Duker? They know who actually cares about them.

        • Duker

           /  12th January 2020

          Kimbo your naval history is a bit wonky. While Britain had coal, its volume and manhandling couldnt compete with oil. And the source of oil was the Gulf region of then Persia,( Churchill secured the services of the Anglo- Persian oil company,later to become BP) The Maracaibo basin in Venezuela and of course US. As well you wont have heard of Petrolia Ontario Canada. Storing oil was even easier than storing coal.
          Britain had control of the seas through the RN and could get all the oil it wanted by those means. Germany was behind in that matter as it s Navy had practically no reach beyond Baltic or the North Sea , neither would give them oil

          Reply
          • Kimbo

             /  12th January 2020

            @ Duker

            Er, no, my history is not wonky at all. Oil situated in the Persian Gulf is not necessarily accessible in time of war, especially when naval superiority was being contested by the afore-mentioned arms race (the Kaiser/Tirpitz Imperial German Navy build up), and there turned out to be a belligerent (the Ottoman Empire) in the region during the 1914-18 conflict. You’ve made the mistake of reading the final result into the dynamic situation as if it was inevitable. Including the Britannia continuing to rule the waves, whether in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean or Persian Gulf. It wasn’t.

            Nonetheless, despite the risks, the Royal Navy under Admiral Jackie Fisher switched from coal to oil before 1914, because, as you rightly imply, it was the best method that suited their needs. When Green technology does the same, especially economically, the change will occur wholesale. But not before.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  13th January 2020

              No the royal navy didnt switch from coal to oil ‘before 1914’ like you say. They did trails with mixed firing mostly coal with oil sprayed for the higher speeds ‘in some boilers’ -larger ships might have a dozen or more boilers. One class of battleship , 6 ships out of dozens they had, before 1914 was oil only , a later class was to be coal- oil mix. The steam turbine was the major advance around 1905 and yes most ships after that time had them.
              In 1912 Churchill as the Minister for the Navy set up a Royal Commision on Fuel and engines. The advantages were over whelming including the increase in size of boilers , 50% reduction in stokers in engine room.
              To ensure supplies massive storage tanks were proposed. From a range of oil producing countries, Including Anglo -Persian which the government controlled for this purpose.
              The progress of the war showed they didnt really have an issue with supply. Remember battleships only had a week or so supply of coal on board and colliers were required to supply naval bases, which could be sunk by submarines too. In a coal era getting enough for homes , industry, railways, shipping was a major issue and as France’s main coal fields were under German occupation Britain had to supply them as well – by ship, which was the main supply method for SE England from NE Colleries.
              The progress of WW2 again showed oil supply wasnt a critical problem, even though coal warships were a rarity, by then the needed aluminium as well for aircraft- along with other strategic materials. Only the Mosquito was a major plane that was a wooden wonder ‘if’ Aluminium became a shortage.

            • Kimbo

               /  13th January 2020

              Yes, Duker, “one class of battleship”: the Queen Elizabeth class of…dreadnoughts, a super weapon which due to size, range of guns and…speed made every other naval vessel before it obsolete. And the Queen Elizabeth was version 2.0.

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Queen_Elizabeth_(1913)

              But, hey, if you want to miss the point of the significance and cost/benefits analysis of the switch to oil (even though it was an energy source that could potentially be cut off in the time of war that soon eventuated) and argue it was significant that the Royal Navy of 1914 still had vessels powered by coal, sail, or oars, go for it…

            • Duker

               /  14th January 2020

              You make so many errors of fact .
              Persian Gulf wasnt only source of oil in 1914, Carribean and US wouldnt really be accessible to the Kaisers fleet.
              The previous UK dreadnoughts were coal burners, and in confronting the Germans werent too disadvantaged by that.
              I said the benefits were overwhelming ,and the acess to oil a small issue, as they could stock oil in sufficient quantities with resupply – or buffering as we would call it these days.
              NZ is supposed to stock oil offshore even now , just in case. !
              You seem to be both arguing against having oil and for having it , using old cliches about submarines ( which failed).
              BTW the Germans made the correct decision not to convert to oil only, ( doesnt mean the reverse would apply) as they couldnt guarantee acess sufficient oil at all- and so it came to pass as even food became short ( many reasons but drafting farm labour into the army and using materials that would have made fertilizer for fields into explosives were amoung them)

            • Kimbo

               /  14th January 2020

              And you make so many errors of analysis.

              Germany could afford to lose at sea, but still had a measure of time (and that turned out to be ver four years) in which she could still win the war by prevailing on land. Hence their three failed gambles on the Western Front that almost delivered them victory – the Schlieffen Plan of 1914, the Verdun Offensive of 1916, and the Kaiserschlacht Offensive commencing on March 21 1918. In contrast, as soon as Britain lost at sea, it was all over for her. So the issue in the naval contest wasn’t the lack of German access to oil, but rather, Britain was dependent upon it. And therefore potentially and in actuality vulnerable.

              It is indeed the case that the Royal Navy’s coal-fired dreadnoughts “in confronting the Germans weren’t too disadvantaged”, but that is not good enough when your national security demands clear superiority over the seas. Hence Fisher had initiated the building of the dreadnought class in 1906 so that Britain maintained a clear advantage over all comers in general, and Germany in particular. And if the weapon that delivered the crucial edge in the contest – the oil-burning QE class dreadnought – could be deprived of that oil…the dominos were in danger of falling.

              Stockpile oil? What, four years’ worth?!

              And yes, ultimately the “submarines failed”, the British blockade had its effect and by November 1918 Germany ran out of time. Actually it was in August 1918, when the Germans began to lose irrevocably on the Western Front, that the die was cast. But again you are reading the final result into the situation as if it was a fait accompli. On the contrary, it was a close-run thing. Including Britain securing her maritime trade routes in and around the North Sea and North Atlantic, especially once the fourth failed German gamble to win the war – the 1917 unrestricted UBoat warfare Offensive – was launched.

              Yet despite the risk, Britain still switched hat proved to be one of her critical war-winning national security-guaranteeing weapons to oil.

          • Kimbo

             /  12th January 2020

            …hence Winston Churchill, the then-First Lord of the Admiralty described Admiral John Jellicoe, the commander of the British Grand Fleet stationed in the North Sea as, “the only man who could lose the (Great) war in an afternoon”.

            Reply
          • Kimbo

             /  12th January 2020

            …and why in 1917 the Germans launched their second campaign of unrestricted U Boat warfare in a gambled attempt to end the conflict by starving Britain of all her necessities, including oil be it from Persia, Venezuela, North America or wherever.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  13th January 2020

              Guess what country had people dieing from starvation in WW1?
              Its wasnt Britain. While Germany ‘tried’ to cut Britain off , Britain did cut Germany off , virtually completely.
              Thats the trouble with looking at failed strategies of WW1 , you come to the wrong conclusions when tried again in WW2 ,. and people who dont know the difference still repeat them 100 years later.

            • Kimbo

               /  13th January 2020

              @ Duker

              That’s right, Duker. War, wherever and whenever it is waged, is a contest of force to decide what the future will be. Or “politics by other means” as per von Clausewitz.

              And despite the risk to the Royal Navy in switching in the early 20th Century from coal (which was readily available in Britain) to oil (which had to be imported via merchant shipping, therefore making it a very vulnerable energy source during an aforesaid military naval contest), nonetheless a benefits vs costs analysis determined the change was made.

              And despite the risks and uncertainties – including who would ultimately prevail, be in in the North Sea, the Atlantic or on the Western Front – the Royal Navy prevailed over the Kaiser (and later Hitler, whose loss at Stalingrad was a result of his attempt to secure oil in the Caucasus) in their mutual attempt to deprive the modern industrial state of the necessities to prevail in a total war.

              Which is why, as human nature hasn’t changed, all attempts to spruik, cajole, demand and legislate Green energy are pointless because it will not be embraced until such time as…the economics and other benefits vs costs gains make it worthwhile. And once those benefits really add up in tangible, not bullshit Utopian rhetorical terms, there will be no stopping it.

      • Pink David

         /  12th January 2020

        She is heading to Davos now, where the heating will be provided with fossil fuels. It would be fun to see just how long they would last there without the heating. (it’s -8 deg C and snow bound)

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  12th January 2020

          Not to mention her Swedish homeland where every rural home seemed to have a shed the size of a small house filled with firewood for the long winter. For the sake of the planet they should all emigrate to somewhere warmer and let those trees take over.

          Reply
  9. lurcher1948

     /  12th January 2020

    PG i dont care,i have a 2.5 Nissan X Trail for my dogs and agility travelling and my wife drives a 2016 Toyota Corolla GLX our other car, both ours, of course, it’s hard when you have heaps of money as a pensioner and have your own home mortgage-ree offcourse AND TEETH and people like Corky treating you like you never built NZ as a tradesman and are POOR and are an old fart, with false teeth (PG THATS YOU TO)Corky insulted me, its a mirror image of you
    a good Sunday rant, DONT PICK ON A SCOTSMAN…we are not nice

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  12th January 2020

      IM SCOTS WEALTHY AND PROUD OF IT SUCK ON IT Corky,chatter chatter chatter, thats me getting my money out….SUCK ON IT, my teeth are my own

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  12th January 2020

      I blame bagpipes and haggis, Lurch. That would put anyone in a bad mood, let alone the weather. No wonder they need whiskey.

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  12th January 2020

      Lurch, Corky insults those who are better informed and more knowledgable than he is; he is one of those who have to put down anyone who is better at anything than they are. You had a trade, are mortgage free, own two cars, are a well known agility winner…I have three sets of letters after my name, have travelled to quite a few countries, am also mortgage free…no wonder he can’t stand us.

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  12th January 2020

        Thanks kitty we are just two posters

        why do I respond and get wound up,all I do is piss PG of ..back to watching Dracular on Netfix,

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  13th January 2020

          He’s not worth responding to, but sometimes his vileness provokes one into doing so, especially when it’s a gratuitous attack, lie or unacceptable slur. It’s hard not to respond to a lie !

          Reply
      • Blazer

         /  13th January 2020

        ‘I have three sets of letters after my name’

        No doubt someone has…four.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  13th January 2020

          One thing I don’t have after my name:

          ”Dear Corky

          We at Baycorp believe inclusive resolution of outstanding debt is the best way forward. In fact we think it’s the only way forward.

          Lemonade with a slice of bitter lime…anyone. 😂

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  13th January 2020

            You seem to know how Baycorp writes letters, which is odd if you’ve never had one. It sounds an odd sort of letter.

            If you’re trying to say that I have outstanding debts, that is, of course, a total lie.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th January 2020

              If you are trying to say that…what is this outstanding debt ? How much is it for ?

  10. Corky

     /  12th January 2020

    The NSA would feel right at home here. Somewhere in the maize of circuitry Lurchy’s finest meltdowns are stored. With quantum computing around the corner, what changes to this centre will take place?

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  12th January 2020

      Dalles Oregon. Basically on the Pacific Coast earthquake wise. I doubt Google has few employees with an IQ under 130…and they build a data centre in this location?🤔

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  13th January 2020

        No its not. Dalles is inland from that ‘zone’. If it was really an issue, Facebook wouldnt have built a massive data centre south of the The Dalles in another small town, Prineville. Buildings can be made resilient as well
        The attraction of the area is the high speed fibre backbone and cheap electricity from Hydro
        https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2019/07/earthquake-risk-along-nw-coast-is-not-the-same-for-all-areas.html

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  13th January 2020

          And, of course, as buildings can be made earthquake proof as they are here it’s unlikely that these ones are in any danger from earthquakes ! It’s probable that the regulations there make this compulsory for new buildings.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  14th January 2020

            Surprise, PDTs ! There have been regulations in place to make buildings earthquake proof for many years. Keep up with these things, do. You seem sadly behind the times and lacking in knowledge; you must have missed hearing about the Christchurch earthquake and how buildings nationwide had to be made earthquake proof. Where do you live – in a cave ?

            Reply
        • Corky

           /  13th January 2020

          You didn’t read my comments properly as usual, Duker. I said:

          ”Basically on the Pacific Coast earthquake wise.”

          Let’s forget about the data centre and ask ourselves, what of the surrounding area should an earth quake strike? What then for a possibly isolated installation?

          You see, what areas will and will not be affected by earthquakes is at best a calculated guess.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  14th January 2020

            Earthquake zones can be quite narrow.
            Wanganui has them all the time , not so much New Plymouth. Same for Rotorua, Hamilton not so much, while Gisborne is more riskier than Rotorua.
            It was really such a risk for towns like Dalles or Prineville, they could have moved say another 150km east , but didnt.
            Read up on how subduction zones work, you could learn something..again

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th January 2020

              Don’t waste your time, Duker.

            • Corky

               /  14th January 2020

              You still haven’t answered my question. Let’s say Dalles is rock solid. Little chance of earthquakes, or earth quake damage. What of the surrounding areas? If the surrounds aren’t navigable into Dalles, then what?

              You talk of hydro. Hydro generally means dams. Dams hold lots of water because gravity feed is required for turbine generation. So you have problems to the front of you…and problems behind you.

              Quote:

              ”Over the last decade, Oregon has slightly improved funding for safety regulation of existing dams and increased the number of dams with Emergency Ac-tion Plans. Additional legislation is in progress to modernize Oregon dam safety regulations. However, Oregon dams are aging and there has been no change in funding made available for maintenance, repair, or replacement of state regulated private dams. About two-thirds of Oregon’s dams are older than their typical 50-year design life and over the next five years, over 70% of these dams will be over 50 years old. Meanwhile, Oregon remains unprepared for extreme hydrologic and seismic events such as the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. ”

              Click to access FullReport-OR_2019.pdf

            • Corky

               /  14th January 2020

              ”Meanwhile, Oregon remains unprepared for extreme hydrologic and seismic events such as the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. ”

              Yep. Duker and Kitty know more than Oregon’s state legislature. Sometimes I don’t know why I waste my time.🤔

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th January 2020

              Needless to say that neither of us have said that.Another lie.

              But you seem to imagine that you know something that Google, Facebook et al don’t, although you don’t live there and have probably never been there. They may be assumed to know their own country and where it’s safe to build, and how to build safe buildings. Why don’t you write to them and tell them what you think and where they’re going wrong, as you claim to have done to the FDA and many others ?

          • Corky

             /  14th January 2020

            Sometimes logic escape those with nothing between their ears. Case in point.

            ”Read up on how subduction zones work, you could learn something..again.”

            So I did.

            ”Meanwhile, Oregon remains unprepared for extreme hydrologic and seismic events such as the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. ”

            [Deleted sniping and trying to dictate commenting of others]

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th January 2020

              Saying that something is a lie is not inane; it’s a statement of fact. You lie about me frequently and make gratuitous and inaccurate insults. You knew that I was never married (although people who knew my husband offered condolences on YNZ), that I don’t own a house or have insurance (more lies) and that I called my Pakeha neighbours across the road feral Maoris although I had never mentioned them on YNZ, having no reason to.

              You went on and on about the soft plastics recycling not existing outside my imagination despite there being bins for this outside supermarkets and The Warehouse, clearly labelled and a website.

              You repeat the same childish insults like a stuck record; this doesn’t make a lie true. There’s nothing about my life here. except where I pointed out why you seem to feel the need to try to put me and Lurcher down further up the page, just before your implying that I was in debt and being written to by Baycorp (a lie) . There’s nothing about my life in this section about Oregon.

              You will never acknowledge that anyone, no matter how well read or well educated, knows more than you about anything, even when they have the facts to back this up. It’s just possible that the people of Oregon, who live there, know something that you don’t. You are the one claiming to know more than the state of Oregon legislature !

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  14th January 2020

              The ‘feral Maori’ neighbours were, in fact, two young professionals who were not Maori One was English.

  11. RedLogix

     /  12th January 2020

    Hi Pete,
    Thanks for your participation at TS today; it’s a hopeful and exciting sign to see the horrible political polarisation that has bedeviled this issue for at least 30 years may be starting wane. I fully expect conservatives and liberals to continue to argue the toss on exactly what the strategic plan should be, but we do seem to be converging on a common set of understandings.

    Please be patient with us, we can be an irritatingly flighty and waffly bunch, but we do for the most part mean well.

    Cheers
    RL

    Reply
  12. Pink David

     /  13th January 2020

    He is one of the fundamental problems foe people who truly believe climate change is an important problem that needs solving.

    The people who make the most noise about climate change have a different agenda.

    Stuart Basden is a founder of Extinction Rebellion. He is far more interested in destroying Western Civilization than he is in climate.

    “So Extinction Rebellion isn’t about the climate. It’s not even about ‘climate justice’**, although that is also important. If we only talk about the climate, we’re missing the deeper problems plaguing our culture”

    View at Medium.com

    Reply

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