In April 2016, the Royal Society of New Zealand published a report ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy for New Zealand’. The report was deeply substandard in my opinion, and I am not alone. I wrote up my findings and the resulting paper was rejected. I am publishing the original paper and the redacted referees’ reports here to show how serious debate is being suppressed.
This paper is in three sections. The first is a paper I wrote examining claims made by the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2016 on transitioning New Zealand to a low carbon economy. The second is the correspondence with the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. The third deals with the editor of the Journal of New Zealand Studies. While the referees thought the approach to the research was to be lauded, they could not agree with the results, and used the old ruse of nit-picking instead of unravelling the substantive arguments...
Jacinda Ardern's Government wants to ban the plastic shopping bags, that households find so useful, even though there is no evidence that New Zealand bags are harming our environment. So what does the consultation document say that might justify banning their use? In short, nothing. This is Nanny State Government at its worst.
Referring to plastic grocery bags as “single use” is almost certainly a misnomer. Consumers in jurisdictions with bans who reused the grocery bags to line their household trash cans, pack lunches, or even pick up their dog’s poop most often have little choice but to purchase significantly higher-density plastic bags for these purposes.
Much has been written recently about the misrepresentation of the effectiveness of methane as a Greenhouse Gas (GHG). Our paper published in The Journal, the official publication of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management in September concludes that methane is irrelevant as a GHG and so is nitrous oxide.
The cost of living is on the rise due largely to the record prices that New Zealanders are now paying at the petrol pump. Petrol hit $2.40 and more for the first-time last week, but over the weekend, the “no new taxes” Labour Government imposed a new petrol excise tax adding another 3.5 cents per litre – plus GST - onto the cost of fuel.
Ever since Meremere power station was commissioned in the 1950s, New Zealand has relied on coal-fired power stations supplemented by gas and oil to provide the 10% of annual energy needed in a 1:20 dry year to replace the shortfall in hydropower generation. To make up for the shortfall we need to have an energy store that can be converted into electricity over a four month dry period.
At the Electricity Engineers Association annual conference a few weeks ago many of the speakers seemed to have forgotten that, as technological advisers to the government, it is their duty to tell the government what it needs to know rather than what they think it wants to hear.
The Economic Development Minister recently dismissed surveys showing business confidence is at its lowest level in a decade, as "junk”. In doing so, he revealed the deep seated anti-business sentiment that pervades the Labour-led Government - along with an alarming ignorance over what makes a country prosper.