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Our Renewable Future

“There is probably no credible future scenario in which humanity will maintain current levels of energy use.”

Transition to 100% renewable energy? Sure.

Maintain current levels of growth and consumption? Not gonna happen.

Note the current percentage renewables contribute to total global energy…

web-figure-i-3-world-primary-energy-consumption-by-fuel

Note this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t roll out as much renewable energy generation as we can… It’s just that the lower ‘energy profit’ from creating renewable energy machines and processes, relative to fossil fueled ones, means that the ‘net energy’ left after gathering the energy resource is so low that it won’t allow us to continue the rate of material throughput our industrial civilisation requires to function in its present form. There’s also the issue of non-substitutable uses of liquid fuels for heavy transport vehicles, and many other considerations.

To learn more, this highly readable book, ‘Our Energy Future’ from the Post Carbon Institute comes highly recommended! The book is freely available online here: www.ourrenewablefuture.org

View the book’s authors presenting on the report, go to this link. NZ refrigerated food exports get a mention in the discussion of decarbonising the food supply chain in this segment of the presentation.

For a very encouraging, up to date as at June 2016 presentation about ‘The Winning of The Carbon War’ by Jeremy Leggett, click here. The playing field is shifting fast!

I’ve been actively writing and engaging with local and national government on this issue for several years now, and have created quite a few resources of my own, as submissions to various consultation processes. I focus on the “3 E’s” – Economics, Energy and Ecosystems, and the fundamental limits these place on the solution spaces available to us going forwards. Here’s a selected bibliography to date:

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Submission to ICC on the draft ‘Code of Practice’

Subsequent to my original submission below, I submitted a further response in writing on the day of my spoken submission, as I found the council’s response to be evasive, dismissive and generally unsatisfactory: bit.ly/1VGMHmW

The Southland Times has picked up on this, and has written an article here: bit.ly/1NO4HsH

Here’s the comment I’ve posted on the article:

I’ll be very interested to see how the residents of Invercargill feel about this issue that I raised in my submission to ICC – thanks to The Southland Times for assisting in publicising this issue! – I’d like to suggest a change: probability is twice as high as the one-in-ten recommended by Standards New Zealand.” should probably read: “The probability is twice as high as the one-in-ten recommended by Standards New Zealand, which means the intensity of the event is around 1/3 LOWER. As such, drains installed to the ICC 5% AEP will flood with a much smaller event, leading to significantly more surface water ponding.”

This is based on my understanding from the High Intensity Rainfall Dataset from NIWA http://hirds.niwa.co.nz/hirds_data/Invercargill%20/NZMG/5411541/2152696/2,4,6/IFD which also demonstrates how rainfall intensity will increase with increased mean air temperatures.

Just carrying on with a particular design standard, especially one that is below the NZS recommendation from 2010, and just ‘because it’s been done like this for 30 years’ is in no way defensible in the face of the challenges that Climate Change (and other ‘Planetary Boundaries’) and resource depletion (as I outlined in my submission to the council’s Long Term Plan last year: bit.ly/1BJBHqL) pose to our current way of life.

This was also only one of several issues that I raised in my submission (bit.ly/1Y2FxXG). We need to think a LOT harder about these issues as a community, and that process starts by having public debate on the issues, and coming to a mutual understanding. In the council’s response to my original submission, their summarisation of my comments for councillors misrepresented my views in several key areas, and I submitted a further response on the day of my spoken submission bit.ly/1VGMHmW

The predicted effects of climate change will be very difficult to deal with, and I have sympathy for ICC’s predicament with regard to how and where to expend the ratepayers capital effectively, it’s a very hard problem… It also mirrors the more general predicament we all face, which is that what has worked in the past is no longer working in many respects, and this situation will only worsen over time. These are symptoms of biophysical Limits to Growth that we face, and are an issue I continue to work with the Wise Response society to publicise to the general public. The New Zealand parliament would do well to form something similar to the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group.
“Four and a half decades after the Club of Rome published its landmark report on Limits to Growth, the study remains critical to our understanding of economic prosperity. This new review of the Limits debate has been written to mark the launch of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Limits to Growth. It outlines the contents of the Club of Rome’s report, traces the history of responses to it and dispels some of the myths surrounding it. We unravel the arguments that have raged for forty years in its aftermath and explore more recent findings which relate to the original hypothesis. As Prof Tim Jackson summarises the report in his recent CUSP blog, if the Club of Rome is right, the next few decades are decisive. One of the most important lessons from the study is that early responses are absolutely vital as limits are approached. Faced with these challenges, there is also clearly a premium on creating political space for change and developing positive narratives of progress. A part of the aim of the APPG is to create that space.” bit.ly/1Y2Hjbo

Even though central government isn’t taking these things seriously, local and regional government can and should act to educate itself and others on the implications and positive responses. My submissions aim to assist this process.

The newly forming discipline of Transition Engineering as described by Susan Krumdieck, Daniel Kenning and others (bit.ly/transitionengineering) approaches these complex systems challenges as a ‘systemic’ problem, and doesn’t shy away from dealing with the complexity. It also respects the fundamental constraints that nature imposes on our future ‘solution spaces’ and aims not to pursue options the fundamentals don’t support. Here’s an excellent talk by Susan on the subject: bit.ly/1NrLTdc – I love her ‘flying elephant’ test. Already a classic, up there with ‘if you’re in a hole, stop digging’…

Original Submission follows:

Schema Consulting Ltd
Nathan Surendran
60 Dublin Street
Invercargill
9810
021 209 6286
nathan@schema.nz

C A MCINTOSH
DIRECTOR WORKS AND SERVICES
INVERCARGILL CITY COUNCIL
101 ESK STREET
PRIVATE BAG 90104
INVERCARGILL
16 March 2016

Ref: SUBMISSION Bylaw 2016/1 CODE OF PRACTICE.

I wish to be heard by the Councillors and Mayor in support of my submission.

General:

By not giving a larger portion of the copyrighted standard in the consultation document, giving the context for proposed amendments, the council has failed to provide a fair ‘public’ consultation. This biases the responses to professionals who have access to the full document, and excludes the views of the citizens of the city who do not have

Despite having followed periodically the consultsouth website (why isn’t there a ‘subscribe via email’ option?!) informing people of consultations, and the council’s Facebook page, I only found out about this consultation on Thurs 14th, 1 day before it closed. As I stated last year, the council needs to signal these consultations much better…

My submission to the council’s draft LTP (http://bit.ly/1BJBHqL) last year identified 3E’s – Economics, Energy, and Ecology that will shape the solution spaces available to us as a city. NZS 4404:2010 is designed for ‘Green Streets and Livable Communities’ (Hall http://bit.ly/1NrLSpR).

As Prof Susan Krumdieck (University of Canterbury – http://bit.ly/1NrLTdc), Prof Charles Hall (http://stanford.io/1yifujq) and other leading academics and industry specialists are communicating, declining Energy Return On Investment ‘EROI’ for our fossil fuel supply means we will have to work within a much reduced energy budget. This is quite aside from the imperative to reduce industrial pollution such as CO2 emissions to prevent negative ecosystem impacts. Both of these limitations on future activity come at a time when the economic ponzi scheme that has created mostly cheap credit (in financial terms) since the dropping of the gold standard in the 1970’s is ‘topping out’, leading to a potentially quite prolonged period of stagnation as limits to credit expansion are reached and breached globally. We will have no option but to work within the much reduced number of ‘solution spaces’ that this confluence of issues leaves open to us in subsequent decades. This will require us to change substantially the narrative we live by, the story we tell ourselves of who we are. This change from a ‘Sacred Money and Markets’ story, to a ‘Sacred Life and Living Earth’ story, over time, in response to the limits imposed on us by our finite planet, will alter radically the trajectory we are currently on. It will give us cause to explore significantly different urban forms, which I mention as ‘Agrihoods’ or villages (even within the city’s current boundaries), to use the more mundane title. This was the subject of a recent 15 minute presentation I gave recently at an Innov8 Invercargill event (presentation http://bit.ly/1pWlsXS and a voice recording: http://bit.ly/1MiV70h).

Specific comments:

1.9 Bonds and charges – Amend clauses as below 1.9.1 Uncompleted works 1.9.1.3 The amount of the bond shall be 150% of the estimated value of the uncompleted work or a value agreeable to the TA plus a margin to cover additional costs estimated to be incurred by the TA in the event of default.

Who is to be the arbiter of what is ‘agreeable to the TA’? How are the public supposed to comment on this proposal if no indication of the potential size of the financial impact (as a percentage of the estimated value, for example) is given? Does it introduce the potential for restrictions to developments proceeding?

I propose this amendment be removed from the code of practice document, as it gives the potential for a perception of restrictive amounts being demanded arbitrarily, or for political or anti-competitive reasons.

Table 3.2 – Road design standards

  1. The changing of the minimum road widths to 3 and 6m from the recommendation in the NZS is going to cost the rate payer an additional 8%  (approximately; 5.5/6=0.9167) for the upkeep and maintenance of future roads developed which are vested with the council.
  2. I understand that wider roads are seen as a feature of the city, giving it a different character. The historic basis as I understand it was the turning circle of a horse drawn cart.. There are clear trends in car ownership, and particularly future cost rises in the price of ashphalt, reductions in vehicle ownership through passenger vehicle automation, declining affordability / availability of fuel due to resource depletion, etc . For future developments, given these undisputable trends, please provide rationale as to why the council is proposing this amendment?
  3. Please advise if there is other rationale that I am not aware of, and please also give an estimate of projected roading infrasturcture increases, so this can be communicated as a potential future liability to rate payers…

 

4.3.5 Design criteria

The following is to be added to the end of the clause.

The design shall be based on the Rational Formula,

i.e. Q=k*C*i*A where…

  1. Please provide reference as to the origin of this formula. If it wasn’t included in the NZS, why does the council feel it necessary to insert it? Without rationale for this change, how can the proposed amendment be assessed by a member of the public? (I’m aware that a google search provides answers like these: http://www.lmnoeng.com/Hydrology/rational.php – I’m pointing out the poor quality of the consultation document).

4.3.5.1 Design storms

All new primary stormwater systems shall be designed to cope with climate change adjusted design storms of at least the annual exceedance probability (AEP) set out in table 4.1 unless specific approval has been obtained from the TA. with a 20% annual exceedance probability (AEP), a 20% AEP design storm has a return period of 5 years. All new secondary systems shall be designed to cope with 1% AEP (100 year return period) design storms.

Table 4.1 Recommended AEP for design Storms Not part of Code

  1. I dug out Table 4.1 – took a while…

NZS 4404_2010 - Table 4.1 AEP's.png

http://www.fndc.govt.nz/your-council/meetings/record-of-meetings/2014-archive/2014-04-30-infrastructure-committee/2014-04-30-Infrastructure-Committee-4.3-Proposed-Stormwater-Bylaw.pdf

  1. It is unclear, to say the least, why the council is choosing to go from “at least 10% (where no secondary path exists)”, to only “20%” of the AEP in this proposed amendment. As I pointed out in my submission to the ICC LTP last year, rainfall intensities are set to increase, due to the increased moisture carrying capacity of a warmer climate.
  2. One possibility that comes to mind is that the council has decided to accept the reality of having to abandon large parts of the city to climate change induced sea level changes within the next 50-100 years, and is willing to reduce the infrastructure provision to induce localised flooding events to incentivise people to move, and reduce its drainage expenditure.
  3. Another is that the council is suffering from denial about the ongoing changes to weather patterns in a broad sense (notwithstanding the 30+ years without a major flooding event in Southland – not to be taken as a sign that such events won’t happen), and wishes to change the weather by changing its code requirements…
  4. Why specifically did they choose to go to a higher probability, lower impact event, which is the opposite direction to other TA’s such as QLDC (below), Hamilton, and probably others?

 

4.3.7.6 Vegetated swales

4.3.7.7 Rain gardens

4.3.9.3 Minimum pipe sizes

4.3.9.5 Minimum gradients and flow velocities

AND ALL OTHER CLAUSES AFFECTED BY THE 20% AEP RECOMMENDATION:

  1. For the above clauses, refer to my comments on 4.3.5.1 Design storms

 

4.3.9.4 Minimum cover

6.3.3 Future development

AND ALL OTHER CLAUSES AFFECTED BY THE STATEMENT “Replace clause with the following

  1. Replace what clause with the following!!! How are we supposed to comment on this?

 

5.3.5.1 Design flow

based on 0.7 litre/second/hectare (l/s/ha).

  1. What is the basis for this figure? Needs rationale to be appropriate for comment…

 

SECTION 6 WATER SUPPLY

  1. As I noted in my comments to the LTP last year, the council should consider rainwater collection as a serious alternative to mains water supply, and as a future resilience upgrade for the city, which could be encouraged in the place of the proposed secondary water supply for the city that is included in council plans elsewhere. I do not accept the council’s rationale for dismissing my proposal in its response to by submission on a fire fighting basis as other cities in drier parts of NZ that have adopted this approach have clearly considered this, and found a way around it.

 

SECTION 7 LANDSCAPE

  1. In line with other TA’s globally, recognising the threat to their citizens from sole reliance on the supermarket infrastructure and gardening for food supply, I request that the council consider introducing an incremental experiment with edible planting for the parks department. Allocate an initial 5% of the planting budget for an experiment with edible planting, and increase this yearly, as species and locations that ‘work’ in the local context are identified.
  2. Consider putting an emphasis on edible planting for new residential developments, and limiting grass as a percentage of total section size, as is currently done with hard cover % to stabilise drainage. This would also go some way to reducing the issue I raise regarding the 20% AEP above, as planting for perennial and annual edibles increases soil porosity and organic matter content relative to grass cover, reducing runoff. Perhaps insert something into 7.2.1 Approval regarding this?

 

Due to the inadequate time available, I have been unable to review this document past page 36. I will try to find time over the weekend to make some brief comments on this, which I will submit as an addendum to this submission.

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Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind

Following last night’s post, I come across this in my blog feed today! Serendipity!!

“Most people who argue about the viability of their [insert favorite technology] only see that viability in terms of money. Energy, to most people is such a nebulous concept that they do not see the failures of their techno Utopian solutions…….”

Damn the Matrix

Chris Harries, a follower of this blog, has found an amazing pdf file on XRayMike’s blog that is so amazing, and explains civilisation’s predicaments so well, I just had to write it up for you all to share around.  I think that the concept of the Earth as a chemical battery is simply stunning…….. the importance of this paper, I think, is epic.

The paper, written by John R. Schramskia, David K. Gattiea , and James H. Brown begins with clarity…

Earth is a chemical battery where, over evolutionary time with a trickle-charge of photosynthesis using solar energy, billions of tons of living biomass were stored in forests and other ecosystems and in vast reserves of fossil fuels. In just the last few hundred years, humans extracted exploitable energy from these living and fossilized biomass fuels to build the modern industrial-technological-informational economy, to grow our population to more than 7…

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Nine Reasons Why Low Oil Prices May “Morph” Into Something Much Worse

An explanation for continuing depressed commodity prices from an energy perspective from”our finite world”:

“We are running short of options for fixing our low commodity price problem.

The ideal solution to our low commodity price problem would be to find substitutes that are cheap enough, and could increase in quantity rapidly enough, to power the economy to economic growth. “Cheap enough” would probably mean approximately $20 barrel for a liquid oil substitute. The price would need to be correspondingly inexpensive for other energy products. Cheap and abundant energy products are needed because oil consumption and energy consumption are highly correlated. If prices are not low, consumers cannot afford them. The economy would react as it does to inefficiency.

See Figure 12. World GDP in 2010$ (from USDA) compared to World Consumption of Energy (from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014)

These substitutes would also need to be non-polluting, so that pollution workarounds do not add to costs. These substitutes would need to work in existing vehicles and machinery, so that we do not have to deal with the high cost of transition to new equipment.

Clearly, none of the potential substitutes we are looking at today come anywhere close to meeting cost and scalability requirements. Wind and solar PV can only built on top of our existing fossil fuel system. All evidence is that they raise total costs, adding to our “Increased Inefficiency” problem, rather than fixing it.

Other solutions to our current problems seem to be debt based. If we look at recent past history, the story seems to be something such as the following:

Besides adopting QE starting in 2008, governments also ramped up their spending (and debt) during the 2008-2011 period. This spending included road building, which increased the demand for commodities directly, and unemployment insurance payments, which indirectly increased the demand for commodities by giving jobless people money, which they used for food and transportation. China also ramped up its use of debt in the 2008-2009 period, building more factories and homes. The combination of QE, China’s debt, and government debt brought oil prices back up by 2011, although not to as high a level as in 2008 (Figure 7).

More recently, governments have slowed their growth in spending (and debt), realizing that they are reaching maximum prudent debt levels. China has slowed its debt growth, as pollution from coal has become an increasing problem, and as the need for new homes and new factories has become saturated. Its debt ratios are also becoming very high.

QE continues to be used by some countries, but its benefit seems to be waning, as interest rates are already as low as they can go, and as central banks buy up an increasing share of debt that might be used for loan collateral. The credit generated by QE has allowed questionable investments since the required rate of return on investments funded by low interest rate debt is so low. Some of this debt simply recirculates within the financial system, propping up stock prices and land prices. Some of it has gone toward stock buy-backs. Virtually none of it has added to commodity demand.

What we really need is more high wage jobs. Unfortunately, these jobs need to be supported by the availability of large amounts of very inexpensive energy. It is the lack of inexpensive energy, to match the $20 oil and very cheap coal upon which the economy has been built, that is causing our problems. We don’t really have a way to fix this.”

Our Finite World

Why are commodity prices, including oil prices, lagging? Ultimately, it comes back to the question, “Why isn’t the world economy making very many of the end products that use these commodities?” If workers were getting rich enough to buy new homes and cars, demand for these products would be raising the prices of commodities used to build and operate cars, including the price of oil. If governments were rich enough to build an increasing number of roads and more public housing, there would be demand for the commodities used to build roads and public housing.

It looks to me as though we are heading into a deflationary depression, because prices of commodities are falling below the cost of extraction. We need rapidly rising wages and debt if commodity prices are to rise back to 2011 levels or higher. This isn’t happening. Instead, Janet Yellen is talking about raising interest…

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Why EIA, IEA, and BP Oil Forecasts are Too High

“The amount of available future oil is likely to be much lower if real-world price constraints are considered. There are at least two reasons why oil prices can’t rise indefinitely:

Any time oil prices rise, economies that use a high proportion of oil in their energy mix experience financial problems. For example, countries that get a lot of their revenue from tourism seem to be vulnerable to high oil prices, because high oil prices raise the cost of airline travel. Also, if any oil is used for making electricity, its high cost makes it expensive to manufacture goods for export.
When oil prices rise, workers find that the cost of food tends to rise, as does the cost of commuting. To offset these rising expenses, workers cut back on discretionary spending, such as going to restaurants, going on long-distance vacations, and buying more expensive homes. These spending cutbacks adversely affect the economy.
The combination of these two effects tends to lead to recession, and recession tends to bring commodity prices in general down. The result is oil prices that cannot rise indefinitely. The oil extraction limit becomes a price limit related to recessionary impacts.

The cost of oil is currently in the $60 per barrel range. It is not even clear that oil prices can rise back to the $100 per barrel level without causing recession in many counties. In fact, the demand for many things is low, including labor and capital. Why should the price of oil rise, if the overall economy is not generating enough demand for goods of all kinds, including oil?”

Good questions from @gailtheactuary

Our Finite World

When forecasting how much oil will be available in future years, a standard approach seems to be the following:

  1. Figure out how much GDP growth the researcher hopes to have in the future.
  2. “Work backward” to see how much oil is needed, based on how much oil was used for a given level of GDP in the past. Adjust this amount for hoped-for efficiency gains and transfers to other fuel uses.
  3. Verify that there is actually enough oil available to support this level of growth in oil consumption.

In fact, this seems to be the approach used by most forecasting agencies, including EIA, IEA and BP. It seems to me that this approach has a fundamental flaw. It doesn’t consider the possibility of continued low oil prices and the impact that these low oil prices are likely to have on future oil production. Hoped-for future GDP growth may not be possible…

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Some thoughts regarding Venture Southland’s “Southland Region Labour Market Assessment”

I came across the report here: 
https://www.facebook.com/VentureSouthlandNZ/photos/a.531052700277206.1073741828.528568267192316/800562116659595/?type=1&permPage=1

My immediate thoughts in response to a quick scan through the report introduction:

From the introduction to the report: “historical data, feedback from the Venture Southland labour market workshop, and broad regional and national trends, are then used to project both future labour supply and labour demand for the Southland Region, from 2014 to 2031” – the problem being that at this point, on the cusp of economic, energy and geopolitical crisis (http://bit.ly/1m19reG), the ‘historic data’ and ‘trends’ are not a reliable predictor of the future. This point was well made last year in the ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ report by the prestigious global economics committee for the ‘New Climate Economy’ taskforce which states simply ‘It will not be business as usual’ (http://bit.ly/1Dm790C), although it’s neo-classical economic assumptions are flawed.

 
Specifically, assumptions of ‘business as usual’ are flawed at this point as declining energy profit from fossil fuels ultimately driving a loss of GDP, an effect that can only be temporarily masked by printing money (QE) and other neo-classical or ‘Keyensian’ assumptions. Rather, we must consider the physical reality, which is that the economy is fundamentally intertwined with ecosystems and a finite resource base, and that we’re up against planetary boundaries as a species. This means that the patterns of these complex adaptive ecosystems will enforce limits based on energy availability on economic activity (entropic or energy profit related, a point I’ve made here: http://bit.ly/1DmgbL1). Consider some of the policy implications that this implies:
“An acceptance that the human society and economy are governed by the same nested adaptive cycles as ecosystems, leads to an acceptance that growth is only one part of a healthy adaptive system. For such a system to remain healthy it must experience regular periods of contraction and radical reorganization. Such an insight stands in deep contrast to a Keynesian philosophy that believes that fiscal and monetary policy should be utilized to offset the contractionary part of the cycle. It also challenges the neo-classical tradition that views the economy as a self-correcting system that tends towards an efficient equilibrium point. Instead, an economy may experience sudden and significant changes that move it from one equilibrium point to another that exhibits lower levels of social welfare. This was the case during the 1930’s.
Preventative measures would seek to facilitate both more regular, but smaller, periods of reorganization and limit the social impacts of such reorganizations (e.g. increased unemployment). In addition, the preservation of institutions, resources and knowledge required for the next growth phase would be an important consideration. In this light, the extension of the economic and growth cycles through the utilization of fossil fuels, and the extension of the financial system growth cycle through repeated bailouts and rescues, could be seen as creating a much larger contractionary phase in the future. Resilience continues to be degraded, and network complexity and interdependence intensified, rather than the required simplification being allowed to take place. With an earth system that is being pushed into a contractionary cycle by the huge scale of humanity’s ecological footprint, and the possible peaking of fossil fuel energy on the horizon, both ecological and human cycles may interact in a rapidly reinforcing fashion. Better to release some of society’s adaptive cycles prior to the challenges that may be delivered by resource constraints and multiple probable ecological crises.
One of the system rigidities produced by the extended conservation phase that human societies have been experiencing are the dense, strong, interconnections between sub-systems as the global economy becomes more integrated and extensive. Local production has been replaced by global production networks that tightly integrate many regions together, with the final assembly of a product possibly involving subsystems supplied by a myriad of suppliers based in many different countries. Just-in-Time delivery systems have also removed many of the local stockpiles of goods in the name of efficiency. The branches of national, and global, banks have replaced local financial institutions. Overall, there has been the growth of very large organizations, both private and public, upon which the system depends. Examples are the “Too Big To Fail” financial institutions, large corporations in the agricultural, retail, energy and other areas, together with, central banks. Locally produced food has been replaced by the production of cash crops for export, with countries being made more dependent on imports for basic foodstuffs. In the case of Europe, even national currencies and governance structures have been replaced by the Euro and European-level organizations. Local variability, and the range and scope of locally adaptive changes have been reduced. The buffering effect of local production and buffer stocks has been removed. The overall global system may have become much more efficient, but much of its resilience has been the price of that efficiency. The system has also become more tightly fitted to, and therefore dependent upon, its current ecological and resource niche. Complicating, and deepening, any reorganization phase.
Another issue is the reduction in heterogeneity and redundancy, as globalization concentrates and homogenizes organizations, products, cultures, and worldviews. A single monoculture is much less resilient to challenges than one with much variation and duplication. In the latter, the removal of a single subsystem may be dealt with successfully through the ability of other subsystems to take over at least part of the functions provided by the failed one. Through the impacts of industrial agriculture, a limited set of crop variants has replaced a much greater variety of local variants in many parts of the world. These crop variants are dependent upon a wide range of industrial inputs, from herbicides and fertilizers to farm machinery and the oil that fuels them. On a cultural and worldview level, Micheals[12] argues that a single master story based upon economics has largely forced out competing narratives. He states:
“In … the twenty-first century, the master story is economic; economic beliefs, values and assumptions are shaping how we think, feel, and act. In a monoculture … that single perspective becomes so engrained as the only reasonable reality that we begin to forget our other stories, and fail to see the monoculture in its totality, never mind question it. We accept it as true simply because we’ve heard its story so often and live immersed in it day after day. The extent to which we accept that monoculture unquestioningly and live by its tenets is the extent to which our lives are unconsciously being shaped by it.”
Such as unquestioned belief system greatly restricts the possible corrective actions that can be taken, by restricting the conceptual framework within which such actions will be assessed. Some possible actions may also be explicitly excluded from, or simply not part of, the conceptual framework that stems from the belief system. Due to this, human society may be unable to even contemplate actions that would be beneficial to its ability to successfully traverse the process of reorganization.
Beneficial policies would be those focused on fostering diversity in all forms, and forestalling economic and social concentration.”
Also from the introduction to the report: “While supply of labour is projected to decrease, with sustained economic growth, demand for labour in Southland is projected to increase” – sustained how exactly, in light of a probable rather than wished for, or indeed ‘projected’ future..?
Lastly from the intro: “many strategies will be increasingly difficult to implement in a global environment of high competition for labour” – in a region such as Southland, with so many of the fundamentals right (fresh water, productive land, low population, distance from nuclear hazards – military and commercial, region less effected by climate upheaval than others) I believe the opposite will be true in the timescale this report considers – there will be many people attracted here, and the problem will be integrating them all successfully (e.g. climate refugees from Australia)…
 
I hope Venture will consider these points carefully. I’m happy to talk to you regarding this at any point…

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This Is The Beginning Of The End For Oil Production | Peak Prosperity

Am interview with one of the most credible commentators on oil and its effect on the economy, Gail Tverberg:
” What we need is cheap energy. We need cheap, liquid oil. When it’s high-priced it really messes up the economy. We need oil to run our cars and to operate our trucks and such things, but it needs to be cheap. And it suddenly is today. 

But, you have to be able to keep pulling it out at that same price. And the critical thing is, we can’t keep pulling it out at that price. What is going to happen, I’m afraid, is that once production goes down, we won’t be able to get it back up again. ”
http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/91503/gail-tverberg-beginning-end-oil-production

You can find more of her analysis at http://www.ourfiniteworld.com

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