I’ve been doing some reading on embodied energy. If you google search this term you will find references to the embodied energy of buildings. Yes, eco-architects are on to it. Buildings have life cycles and the eenrgy involved in the extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly and end of life phases adds up. All this energy becomes “embodied” in a product. So when we engage in discussions of our renewable energy future we can say much more about it than what energy source we will use. Mostly the discussion is about moving to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels. Continue reading “Zero Carbon Act means lower growth”
Peak oil and climate change. Which do we worry about most?
About 15 years ago I was co-founded Otaki Transition Town, part of a movement that focussed on both climate change and peak oil. We were predicting dire warnings of a fall off the cliff and reading books like “Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller” by economist Jeff Rubin and “The End of Growth” and “The Party’s Over” by Richard Heinberg. Then when US discovered they could frack for oil and did so with great success, people forgot about peak oil and focussed their energies on climate change.
Continue reading “Peak oil and climate change. Which do we worry about most?”
Are transformative climate measures too threatening for the establishment?
When George Monbiot wrote his great article (Days of Rage) about the inadequate response of governments to the climate emergency, I read it three times because it felt so important. He said environment groups are arguing the only realistic approach is incrementalism. He said they will campaign, issue by issue, sector by sector, for gradual improvements. But he said that system change was the only fast and effective means of transformation.
Continue reading “Are transformative climate measures too threatening for the establishment?”
Is there a solution to inflation?
In July 2022 New Zealand inflation hit 7.3%. It was worse in some other countries. Both US and UK were at 9.1%. In US 85% thought the economy is getting worse, a figure that should make us all think hard.
The usual solution to inflation is for the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates, but we will never win this way. Inflation is here to stay until we see the light regarding currencies. This at least will resolve food price inflation to some extent. Continue reading “Is there a solution to inflation?”
Tradable Energy Quotas – the magic route to degrowth and control of emissions
In the face of an urgent need to reduce emissions, we are proposing a TEQ scheme replace the Emissions Trading Scheme. This article argues that price-based schemes to reduce emissions are unfair to the poor and not working anywhere. They must be replaced by a numbers-based scheme. And since the Government has recently reduced the excise tax on fuel, we must now decide the purpose and future of fuel excise taxes. Continue reading “Tradable Energy Quotas – the magic route to degrowth and control of emissions”
We need 700 times as much lithium as we are currently mining to electrify global transport
Mining professor Simon Michaux has done a mammoth study on electrifying the global transport sector. He worked out how many cars, trucks, ships there were and how far they travel. Since most are still ICE(internal combustion engines) vehicles he figured a great many things from there. Among his calculations were:
Continue reading “We need 700 times as much lithium as we are currently mining to electrify global transport”
Light rail to the airport? We need fewer cars in Auckland not more
Newsroom journalist Marc Daalder has written a piece on the two options for light rail to the airport. The government has chosen tunnelled light rail to the airport and the Minister of Transport, believing it to reduce emissions, has argued he wants to “pull all levers” for decarbonisation. Continue reading “Light rail to the airport? We need fewer cars in Auckland not more”
Compulsory optimism on overshoot in our society is maladaptive
Effective climate action? Follow the money
I have just been on a webinar from https://climateinteractive.org describing their climate change simulator. Called Climate Interactive I was greeted with a happy faced man who asked all global participants what there was to be optimistic about the climate issue. So I imagine we are here to be optimistic and positive.
Continue reading “Effective climate action? Follow the money”
Five things Jacques Cousteau and Sir David Attenborough have in common
Five things Jacques Cousteau and Sir David Attenborough have in common are:-
- Their long careers as explorers and naturalists – Cousteau in the oceans and Attenborough on land and water.
- Due to their intense curiosity to go further and see more of nature’s wonders, they helped advance photography and exploration techniques.
- They both featured in popular long running television series, influencing millions.
- They both became passionate environmental advocates in later life.
- Both made animated addresses at international climate conferences. Cousteau addressed the first climate conference fifty years ago in Rio de Janiero the Earth Summit, 1992 . Nearly fifty years later Attenborough addressed COP26 in November 2021 in Glasgow at the age of 95.
Continue reading “Five things Jacques Cousteau and Sir David Attenborough have in common”