Category Archives: Environment & Resources

Open Modelling Climate Change Policies

The Climate Change Commission should immediately publish the details of its economic models and enable the public to access them. There is something strange going on with the Climate Change Commission. In its draft report the CCC said                 ‘We have looked at the impacts which our budgets could have on the economy and society…
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Notes to Select Committee Considering the Zero Carbon Bill

Presentation on 26 August, 2019. The full submission is here. Summary 1. Climate change and sea level rising is one of the greatest challenges the world faces. 2. New Zealand should play its part in the world’s effort to restrain greenhouse gas emissions. 3. I broadly endorse the intention of the Climate Change Response (Zero…
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Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

Submission to Select Committee reviewing the bill     July 2019                                                                                                             Fundamental Recommendation That the 2050 target in the legislation be defined in terms of ‘net’ methane emissions rather than ‘gross’ methane emissions. Proposed Amendment That all references to biogenic methane emissions in Clause 5O be deleted. In particular the current proposed clause 5O 5O Target…
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NEW ZEALAND’S METHANE CLOUD

Summary:. Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas. Some methane comes from atmospheric carbon-dioxide which is fixed in grass, eaten by livestock, belched into the atmosphere and eventually returns to atmospheric carbon-dioxide. Before it breaks down, the methane molecules form a ‘cloud’ in the atmosphere which adds to global warming at a much higher rate per…
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UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Paper to the Fabian Society, 12 October, 2016   While we continue to chew over the carcass of the Fourth Labour Government – the Lange-Douglas one – we pay little attention to the subsequent Fifth Labour Government. Yet the Clark-Cullen one is greatly shaping the current Labour Opposition and the current National Government. It will,…
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Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?

Can an environmentalist focus solely on sustainability or are they drawn into wider issues such has how fairly the material product of the economy is distributed? Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not…
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Regional Development Policy?

The Northland by-election demonstrates we do not have a regional development policy. Should we? What might it look like? The government’s announcement that it would be upgrading ten one-way bridges in Northland was a response inspired by the forthcoming by-election. Whatever the politics, it well illustrated the feeble state of regional development policy in New…
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Trading Water Resource Consents

‘Iwi leaders and the Government have agreed on a deadline to sort out Maori interests in fresh water by Waitangi Day 2016.’ (News: 5 February 2015) Law and economics recognises three distinct aspects of property rights. There is the ability to use the property, the ability to transform it into something else, and the ability…
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Are We In For A Meltdown As We Tackle Climate Change?

Does it make sense to compare our climate change adaptation with Rogernomics? (There is nothing in this column which questions the notion that global warming presents a serious challenge which will require considerable adaptation.) Rod Carr, the chair of the Climate Change Commission, said that the shifts required to run our economy without fossil fuels…
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HOW SUSTAINABLE IS NEW ZEALAND?

One of the biggest issues missed during the election campaign was the sustainability of National’s economic, environmental and even social policies. So what do you do if the government’s not thinking long-term?   Pundit: 29 September, 2014.   Keywords: Environment & Resources;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History; Social Policy;   Behavioural economics is…
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Business of Office

It’s much easier to be environmentally pure in opposition than in government.   Listener: 27 March, 2014   Keywords: Environment & Resources; Political Economy & History;   Last year, a blogger argued that the Green Party did not need to engage with business interests while in opposition since whatever it did, it would win no…
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Writings on Earthquakes (Index)

This index, first compiled in January 2013 and subsequently updated, is a list of article on the website which have a substantial content about earthquakes and other natural calamities. They were not a focus until the Canterbury Earthquakes, which I began writing about as “Listener” columns to illustrate general issues. However, they are acquiring a…
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The Too Hard Basket

THE TOO HARD BASKET Listener: 19 January, 2012. Keywords: Environment & Resources; Distributional Economics;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History;  Regulation & Taxation;  Social Policy; Every government has issues it hopes will go away. They don’t. Here are some for our one. Our Emissions Trading Scheme is looking like a dog’s breakfast, and/or something…
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Infrastructure Problems in New Zealand

Listener: 17 September, 2011. Keywords: Environment & Resources;  Governance; The cinema may give a good idea about the sewers of Paris and Vienna, but I have little idea what goes on underneath the city in which I live. I just pull the plug or chain and the waste magically disappears. For the citizens of Christchurch,…
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