The Bullroarer - Monday 1st February 2010

NineMSN - Why we’ll pay for China’s car obsession

In the last year, Chinese companies have cut deals with oil companies around the world to secure supply, rather than buying on the open market.

These deals include tie ups with Brazil’s Petrobas, Russia’s Rosneft and stakes in Iraqi oilfields. All of which guarantees oil supply for China and crimps the amount of black gold left to buy on the open market.

Which means less supply for everyone else. Which leads to higher oil prices and higher petrol prices.

How much more we’ll be paying is not clear. In its last global outlook, the International Energy Agency predicted oil prices would be at around US$100 a barrel by 2020. However, Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the IEA also reckons the world will hit peak oil production (the point where the amount of oil produced starts to fall) in 2020.

Otago Daily Times - Water infrastructure challenges identified

Climate change, peak oil and a $1 billion bill are just some of the challenges identified in the Dunedin City Council's 3 Waters strategy document.

SMH - The Lleyton Hewitt lesson in solving Australia's population issues

It is no accident that the limits to this model created the housing and car industries crises. Many large American cities have finally adopted a public transport strategy and are painfully, expensively building metro systems. In Australia we continue in our state of denial. Just last week it was reported that NSW was considering another $23 billion freeway expansion scheme yet cancelled metros. It is an inescapable physical law that more roads create more traffic, more congestion and more pollution. And higher oil import bills, which reached $26 billion in 2007-08 at the time of peak oil prices. Add to that congestion costs — possibly $30 billion by the end of this decade. Then there is traffic accidents, where the largest cost is long-term disability.

Proactive Investors - Global supply of rare earth elements could be wiped out by 2012

And yet virtually no one has heard of this problem! People are familiar with peak oil, global warming, ocean acidification, the national debt and the depletion of fossil water, but very few are aware of the looming crisis in rare metals... upon which much of western civilization rests.

Online Opinion - The electric car revolution will soon take to the streets

Other factors behind the push to manufacture electric vehicles are a federal mandate to improve fuel efficiency to an average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, concerns about global warming and peak oil, and sheer technological progress building better batteries. - Copenhagen accord recycles old climate commitments

With the passing of the Copenhagen Accord’s 31 January deadline for its supporters to submit their pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the absence of strengthened commitments has failed to meet the Accord’s stated objective of taking action to …Copenhagen Accord Recycles Old Climate Commitments, Leaving The World Heading For Catastrophic Climate Change.

Top News NZ - 27% Plunge in 2009 Revenue for Woodside

According to Peter Kropetz, an industry analyst with State One Stockbroking, the decline in oil production was an expected consequence of the maturing of oil business. "You could see a decline in traditional oil production as a negative but if you have the view that LNG is the energy supply of the next 10-20 years, it's brilliant".

Northcote Leader - Darebin group shifts houses by bicycle

MOVING house by bicycle might take a little longer than using a man with a van but it’s a lot more fun, says Preston resident Jos Tait.

Ms Tait is a member of the Transition Darebin group, formed late last year as part of the global Transition Towns movement, which prepares the community for peak oil and climate change through practical, low energy alternatives.

ABC - Abbott to reveal climate policy cost

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Coalition will include costings when it announces details of its climate change policy tomorrow.

ABC - Feedback sought on wave plant impact

A $5 million wave-energy plant off South Australia's Eyre Peninsula is a step closer, with public comment being invited on its environmental impact.

The Australian - Global body can't improve climate

EVERYONE is blaming everyone else for the failure of the Copenhagen climate conference but British Prime Minister Gordon Brown blames something else: "The lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship."


No global bureaucracy will overcome the basic problem haunting UNEP, Copenhagen and international co-operation today: political hostility to top-down, one-size-fits-all solutions. As US delegate to Copenhagen Jonathan Pershing said: "The UN didn't manage the conference that well," adding diplomatically, "I am not sure that any of us are particularly confident that the UN managing the near-term financing is the right way to go." - Wind farm opponents may challenge court's consent

Rangitikei Guardians opposed the project because of the visual effect the 135-metre-high turbines would have on a natural landscape.

"It's going to be built in close proximity to a world heritage area - Tongariro National Park - and will degrade views of Mt Ruapehu for landowners, and tourists travelling on State Highway 1.

Hastings Leader - Frankston in the running for $100 million energy test

Electric cars, solar-powered neighbourhoods and home appliances controlled via mobile phone could soon be a reality in Frankston.

If Victoria wins its bid to host an Australian-first trial of advanced power technologies, more than 10,000 Frankston residents will take part in trials reshaping the way power is used and delivered in the community.

Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said the Brumby Government had thrown its support behind Victoria’s bid to take part in Smart Grid, Smart City, the Federal Government’s National Energy Efficiency Initiative.

Sunshine Coast Daily - MPs queue for greenhouse sceptic

THE visit to Noosa by climate change sceptic Lord Monckton on Saturday was so popular that not even local MPs could get a seat.

He got a similar reception in Brisbane:
Courier Mail - Climate sceptic warmly received during debate

LORD Christopher Monckton, imperious and articulate, won yesterday's climate change debate in straight sets.

Forget facts and fictions, numbers and statistics, this British high priest of climate change sceptics is a polished performer, even against the most committed of scientists.

Aided by Adelaide's Professor Ian Plimer, Lord Monckton cruised to victory before a partisan crowd of suits and ties, movers and shakers.

So, some idiot flying into the US from Yemen sticks a pathetically ineffective bomb down his underpants and Security Experts worldwide wet themelves at the mere contemplation of it.

Meanwhile Lord Monckton swings around the world doing vastly more 'real' damage, confounding action on climate change, and nobody in the Oz government says boo.

Although there is one rather unexpected voice in the wilderness...

Lord Monckton, described as "from the fringe" by Australian climate change sceptic Senator Barnaby Joyce...

Think about it. Lord Monckton probably poses more threat to your personal well-being than Osama Bin Laden ever will...

Surely the blonde 'Bean' from Bbbritain couldn't pose such a dire threat. ;-) He looks so harmless... no towel on his head.

Conspiracy theory or not, it was rather convenient that a man without correct consular paperwork was allowed on to a plane just when it appears that the US needs to establish bases on the other side of the straights of Hormuz... and on the eve of the expiration of sections of the US patriot act.

Cry wolf in climate clothes and be ignored, cry wolf in mioslem garb and see your budget explode. It must be so wonderful for "intelligence analysts" to have such an identifiable enemy. Those aesthetic Communists where never so culturally homogeneous. Bastards.

I'm reminded of Stalin's horribly apocryphal quote, killing one is a tragedy, killing millions is a statistic.

Thanks,SP. Now I have a reasonable idea where you are coming from and where you are from.

And please learn to spell in English.

You know nothing at all about me thirra, that's just you making more assumptions.

I DO apologize for the typo and correctly spelt, but incorrectly placed word. Yes, I meant to say atheist.

Was that not obvious?

But then the Russian Communists did put a lot of money into revolutionary art programs. ;-)

And please learn to spell in English.

This boring little phrase says nothing about me, but it does imply a few things about you.

SEE an expanded critique from our other exchange here.

A little round up of climate commentary this week, including John Quiggin on "Lord" Monckton..

re: ' MPs queue for Greenhouse Sceptic'

' “As I hold the party’s climate change and sustainability portfolio, I am keen to hear both sides of the climate change debate but I simply couldn’t get in,” Mr Elmes said.'

So this guy who actually holds the Climate Change portfolio thinks there is a 'debate' still to be had and decided following points awarded to the best debater?

This 'Lord Monckton' is a mouthpiece the extreme Right, a 'One World Government' conspiracist. His arguments are clever sophistic deceipts, full of deliberate dog-whistling anti-science nonsense.
He wants us to think that the whole Climate Change issue is a scam and we should ignore it and get on with our willfully wanton energy consumption and wastage without a second thought.

This, of course is precisely what many of the punters want to hear- including the weasley Mr Elmes who clearly is not the slightest bit interested in the truth- which he would have been able to grasp long before this meeting if he actually cared to find out the facts. What he really wants most is to be elected and the future of the world be damned.

I listened to the sleazy Christopher Monckton ( surely we have moved on beyond the idea of hereditary title in this country??) being interviewed by Fran Kelly on Radio National
and she gave him far more courtesy and leeway than she would give most interviewees- including when he says things that are blatant lies. But of course we don't expect her to have any meaningful understanding of these matters ( see my comments on the subject of politicians/journalists a couple of weeks ago).

If Mr Elmes (supposedly fully briefed on the issue) thinks there is still a 'debate' to be had on the subject of whether Climate Change is real or just a hoax, then what hope is there?

At this rate The Mad Monk will romp it in at the next election, surfing on the back of a wave of self-inflicted mass ignorance.

If Climate Change 101 is too hard what hope for Peak Oil 101??

Aeldric is right, we are well and truly fucked.

Well - I couldn't agree more regarding your opinion of Chris Monckton.

Crikey had a good look at his history of crazy theories (and failed business endeavours) :

There will always be people like Monckton who trade on the cognitive dissonance of large numbers of the population.Australia has more than a few home grown Moncktons in various contentious or worrying issues.

Being aware of reality,harsh or not,has never been a strong point with Homo Saps.

Woolworths' weak sales key to RBA's decision on interest rates

A little birdie told me that Woolies Management (IE, anything above store level) are genuienly surprised at the 'low' sales figures.

In a 'growth is inevitable and expected' environment of the likes Luscombe et al live in, sales must increase YOY. As such, the Wage budget is altered to reflect the expected increase (wage budget is increased, but not by the same amount as sales increase, leading to an effective budget cut. Do more with less, blood from a stone etc. Ever wonder why Retail workers never look happy?) Last year, we had the Stimulus Package, leading to 'better than expected' sales figures. The Accounting Trolls then simply added last years figures to the regular projected sales increase, and came up with this years figures. Except, there's no Stimulus this year, so sales are 'down'. Cue pressure from TPTB to slash the wage budget.

This illustrates the blinkered thinking of large organisations. Certain divisions are firewalled, not only from each other, but from reality. Procedures that 'have' to be followed result in decisions that are inconsistant with the reality on the ground.

Add to this the constant expansions of the various supermarkets. Locally, within a 15-minute bicycke ride from my house, there are two Woolworths, a Spar, and two Coles. Ground has been broken on a Super IGA, and another Woolworths, and a 20-minute drive away up the Range is an exising Super IGA with another Woolworths going in. Head east for 30 minutes by car, and there's yet another Woolworths. South for 20 minutes is yet another Woolworths, a Coles, and an IGA. This is before you bother counting all the smaller markets like Foodworks and 7Eleven.

All of these stores are 100% dependent on trucks to deliver their stock, despite there being a railway line nearby, and enough vacant land behind one of the Woolworths for a small yard (the pre-existing freight yard at one of the local stations is now used for EMU/SMU/IMU Citytrain storage).

One suspects that these companies would make more money, in aggregate, if they just stopped competing so hard for every dollar, and just allowed each other a 'sphere of influence' and 'capture zone' (it's not like we're not getting ripped off on fruit-n-veggies anyway). But The Market! requires constant expansion, so expand they do.