Typical Green economics

February 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Jason Krupp at Stuff reports:

New Zealand, which made headlines by illegally occupying oil drilling rigs, has opened a new front against the National-led Government – the .

Today, the environmental lobby group will make public a 30-page report, The Future is Here, outlining the economic gains within New Zealand’s reach if it begins transforming its oil-based economy to a green one. …

The think tank modelled what would happen if the country produced 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and was fully reliant on renewables for all its energy needs by 2050.

The headline figures suggest New Zealand could be oil free in 22 years, save $7 billion a year in oil imports by 2035, and create 27,000 jobs in the bio-energy sector. It would also reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 94 per cent on 2009 levels.

So what would this all cost?

Where the report stumbles is on the financial side, giving no detail on the level of investment required or the economic tradeoffs, making it impossible to judge if the transformation would be worthwhile or simply a pyrrhic environmental victory.

An economic report that doesn’t even detail the cost isn’t worth the recycled paper it is printed on.

Argent said this was a deliberate choice, with the aim of the report to spark a discussion rather than getting too bogged down in the numbers.

Oh yes, let’s avoid minor details such as cost. I mean you can just print more money – right?

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27 Responses to “Typical Green economics”

  1. Barnsley Bill (974 comments) says:

    I have seen a copy;
    Building yurts from unicorn hair.
    Spread out over 500 pages of course. But that about sums it up.
    The global political pressure group and multi-national chuggers. No wonder they lost their charity status.

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  2. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  3. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Argent said this was a deliberate choice, with the aim of the report to spark a discussion rather than getting too bogged down in the numbers.

    As laughable and absurd as it gets.
    Greenpeace, the Luddites mouthpiece, deserves to be vilified over this.

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  4. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    The primary aim of the Greens seems to be to start a revolution without getting too bogged down in the numbers.

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  5. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    You know Greenpeace and the Green Party are two separate things, right PG? ;-)

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  6. Alan Wilkinson (1,816 comments) says:

    Greenpeace has its own successful business model – turning b.s. into donations.

    Time they were taken to the Commerce Commission for false advertising.

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  7. Grendel (950 comments) says:

    you sure RRM?

    one is the political wing and one is the priesthood, but as far as i can see they are basically the same group of nutjobs.

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  8. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    RRM – fine. they dont have to give numbers. if thats the case though, they shouldnt expect ANYONE to listen to them.

    what a waste of time. i wonder how much the report cost them to generate? a cool million dollars worth of donations?

    they make me sick.

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  9. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    Perhaps they are right.

    NZ Greenpeace and the other enviro-extremists are producing enough bullshit to provide all the biofuel power the interconnected grids of North America could ever use.

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  10. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @RRM,

    If it was the Labour Party or the Green party putting out a statement of their policy, yes I would expect detailed costings.

    This tweet earlier from

    Felix Marwick ‏@felixmarwick
    Greens and Labour endorse Greenpeace clean economy report

    So they endorse an investment report that has no costings at all, let alone detailed ones? And they are somehow fit to govern?

    I struggle to believe they actually even read it before endorsing it.

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  11. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Here is Marwicks report :

    The Green Party is giving a tick of approval to Greenpeace’s economic formula.

    The environmental group argues that promoting clean technology could create jobs, and save the country billions of dollars in reduced oil imports.

    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says Greenpeace has set out a credible plan, and it is one the Government should adopt.

    But the party doubts they will.

    “This Government has shown its hostility to renewable energy and the green economy.

    “I think what it shows is there is a great opportunity to New Zealand, and given a good Government, I think we can grab it.”

    Remarkable. Greenpeace said “the aim of the report to spark a discussion rather than getting too bogged down in the numbers.”

    And Russel Norman says Greenpeace has set out a credible plan and and it is one the Government should adopt.

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  12. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    What a complete joke. How on earth can you have a discussion about something as monumental as this without any costing??? Are we supposed to take them seriously? Comrade Russel sounds like he is. To hell with the costings the Greens say lets plow ahead and hope like fuck we don’t go tits up as a country. The Green Party slogan should be ‘Gambling with NZ’s future’.

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  13. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    bhudson / PG – oh right… that’s not too flash!

    All I am saying is:
    Sensible sentencing trust argues as hard as they can for keeping criminals behind bars longer because that would be “good.”
    Libertarianz argues for fewer laws and red tape because that would be “good.”
    Greenpeace argues for fewer oil wells / baby seal headlights / etc because that would be “good.”

    ALL of these organisations have govt policy wish lists that would impact the NZ crown accounts and private businesses if they were implemented.
    I don’t believe ANY of these organisations publish complete detailed shadow budgets for the NZ govt based on fully funding their entire wish lists. Surely that’s a job only the Minister of Finance (or the opposition finance spokesman) can accomplish?

    Sure it would help the greenpeace case a lot if they could project how much capital industry would need to raise for their ideas to happen.

    But to say greenpeace ideas are not worth listening to on that count alone seems unreasonable IMHO.

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  14. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    In keeping with Bret McKenzie’s song (which failed to win a Grammy today) – it would seem that Russel Norman is a muppet of man

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  15. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @RRM,

    Any org wanting to promote policy – and be successful – would be well advised to present real detail to support their case. Where you want the nation to make large scale investments in certain directions, that would include some rigour around costings. Else it is just like a letter to santa.

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  16. JC (906 comments) says:

    “The Green Party slogan should be ‘Gambling with NZ’s future’.”

    I think you’ll find that since the 1970s that environmentalists and later the Greens, Greenpeace and various offshore activists see NZ as laboratory to try out various publicity stunts, policies etc.

    As you saw with the Lucy Lawless thing and many others over the years the are few penalties applied by the authorities to make them consider the cost of their actions.

    JC

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  17. rouppe (914 comments) says:

    We have a report from June 2011 about Mighty River Power bringing a new 82MW geo-thermal station online for close to half a billion dollars.

    I don’t know how many mega watts of generating capacity is required to make us 100% renewable, but this provides the baseline. And being renewable energy, you actually need to oversupply for the times that lake levels (hydro generation) are low, or the wind (turbines) isn’t blowing

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  18. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Uh, this was Obama’s big plan.

    It’s been a disaster. For example, they pumped massive money into battery makers, who have now shut down because there was no one to sell the batteries to.

    To me, you can pull out number, that’s one thing. If you can point to somewhere else where your plan (or a simmilar one) has worked, then you have my attention.

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  19. anonymouse (695 comments) says:

    And the Herald, either the reporter or the Sub editors should also be taken out the back of a woodshed and given a lesson about NZ’s emission profile and told to actually read the report again.

    It would also reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 94 per cent on 2009 levels.
    That’s not what the report says,
    The report says reduce NZ’s Co2 emissions by 94 per cent , which is less than half NZ’s total emission with the bulk from Methane and N20 from the Ag sector, which are not touched by this plan. So it does not reduce NZ’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by anywhere near 94 per cent

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  20. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    ah. and the tide is a long way out at Taupo today.

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  21. Rightandleft (629 comments) says:

    This is exactly why these radical anti-science nuts can never be taken seriously. If the Sensible Sentencing Trust or Libertarianz put out a report on NZ’s future economic policy and didn’t include any actual figures they’d be slammed for it too. It isn’t just about arguing for what is ‘good,’ they went way more specific here but have nothing to back it up. How many hours were wasted producing this rubbish report?

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  22. OneTrack (2,581 comments) says:

    “Argent said the upside of geothermal was that the expertise already existed, and could be exported to other countries in a market that potentially could be worth as much as $4.4b a year”

    “could be exported” “as much as”. How about “worth as little as $0 a year”

    I think other countries know how to get power from geothermal energy “Approximately 70 countries made direct use of 270 petajoules (PJ) of geothermal heating in 2004″ (wikipedia).

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  23. ChrisM (92 comments) says:

    I actually read their 100 pages of assumptions. They are based on a very high carbon charges, together with a whole lot of arm waving on what could happen and reliance on technology that doesn’t even exist. They have twice the geothermal generation than even the Geothermal Association thinks exists. Oh, and the cost of wind turbines will halve over the next 20 years with solar cells going to 20% of their current cost. It wouldn’t stand up to even a simple engineering analysis and is just a PR puff piece.
    The funniest part is they acknowledge support (financial?) from the wind power and solar energy associations. Imagine what would have happened if a report sponsored by Exxon was put out saying fraccing was great with no problems. Yet the opposite occurs and MSM thinks it OK

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  24. annie (537 comments) says:

    The Great Leap Forward for the 21st century. The last one was a New Zealander’s brainchild, too.

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  25. Australis (99 comments) says:

    “they acknowledge support (financial?) from the wind power and solar energy associations”.

    Of course. Who else would have paid for the glossy report? The wind/solar lobby probably drafted the informercial report/model runs as well.

    Why does the Herald report an informercial as if it was news? Would this happen for any other multinational or lobby group?

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  26. Bogusnews (441 comments) says:

    It would also be interesting if they gave some sort of analysis of the attempts that have been made to do this overseas – with disastrous results. Pretty much every initiative has required massive amounts of Govt (our) cash and have ended up going down in flames.

    So how are they going to be different? Perhaps this is why they did not included costings.

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  27. Left Right and Centre (2,819 comments) says:

    I love those melons

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