Wednesday, October 19, 2005

On regime change, ministers of energy and vespas...

Yes indeed we have a new Government, or should we say a menagerie. I guess I was hoping for some inspired leadership as we enter this new era, one which will be defined by energy (mark my words). Inspired leadership however is eroded within indecisive democracies as much as it is by multi party representation (Germany seems to be suffering the same palsy). And so, I suppose for the moment at least it's back to the future.

A backward step is clearly evident in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between United Future and Labour. Peter Dunne so rabidly dogmatic about building more roads (Transmission Gully) that he has to include it in the agreement. I suspect this road, which if built would be about as smart as building a nightclub on the Titanic, after it hit the iceberg, will actually never be built. By the time all the moaning, groaning, bitching and finger twiddling is over peak oil will be well upon us. We'll be entering an economic recession, the real estate bubble will have burst like a New Orleans levee.

Actually Jim Kunstler's line was sexier...

the mortgage industry is going to implode like the death star under the weight of these non-performing loans and drag every tradable instrument known to man into the quantum vacuum of finance that it creates.

Nice stuff Jim. I considered just cutting and pasting this line but I'll leave the plagiarism to the Maxim Institute.

And so, I decided to send the new Energy Minister, David Parker a warning (here's hoping aye).

Dear David,

I'd suggest given that Energy=Work, and clearly if we are unable to grow energy supply we will simply be unable to grow economically, you have arguably the most important job in the new Government as Energy Minister.

I notice Business Week Online today cites increased demand, low spare production capacity, lack of refining capacity and increasing worries about adequate long term supply of oil as critical factors in the increased price of oil. I'd add, these factors loom large as contributors to recent cost cutting news from Air New Zealand, as well as the reasons cited for failures of several large US airline companies. I amongst others have suggested that the Airline companies would be the canaries in the economic coal mine in regard to oil price and supply. We are in for one helluva shock in regard to oil supply, availability and the consequent price rises associated with increased scarcity over the next term of Govt.

I wonder if you have read the Hirsch report (attached) commissioned by the US Dept of Energy and delivered earlier this year. Dr Robert Hirsch suggests deal with peak oil production (both at a national and international level) requires a decade of expensive intensive attention.

David, I seriously recommend you clue up on Peak Oil. In fact I'd suggest the assembly of a task force or committee of some sort to address this issue and report back to yourself as soon as possible - mitigation being the primary focus. During this term of Government New Zealand will learn some extremely sobering lessons in regard to our dependance upon oil and it's by products. The social and economic repercussions will be the most severe of the modern era.

If you wish to have further discussions on this topic I would be more than happy to meet with you.

Kind Regards
Steve McKinlay

I'll let you know if I get a reply. In the meantime it's now costing me about 12 bucks a week scooting on the now like hens teeth Vespa PX200. I tried spitting on a black Hummer parked in a car yard on Customhouse Quay (but I forgot I was wearing a full face helmet), it didn't have a price tag on it. No doubt the clueless egotistical plonker that will eventually buy it leveraging himself to the hilt on his over valued house will have voted United Future or ACT in the hope that he has kilometres of fresh asphalt to burn up.

Talking about spitting, someone similar to the Hummers future owner (in a Ford Explorer - yes, black with tinted windows from memory) foaming at the mouth, ranting and swearing at me the other day because I'd split a couple of kilometres of traffic on the Vespa to sit, first in line at the traffic lights. I just turned and laughed at him. It's amusing how angry people get sitting in traffic. It's equally amazing just how much pleasure I get from spending a fraction on petrol and - no traffic jams. Hehe.

love, peace and cheap energy.

related ref's
Air New Zealand expect larger slide in earnings - citing energy costs
Air New Zealand aims to sack 600 workers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Labour to focus on the economy (NZ Herald)

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