by Kevin Moore
I understand you will see Pete Hodgson on Friday 25 June 2004.
Having had some dealings with Pete Hodgson, may I offer you a little advice? When you meet him, please expect to be talking to a person who lives on a different planet from the rest of us.
On our planet the vast majority of oil geologists say that there have been no appreciable discoveries of oil or gas for several decades, many of the world’s major oil fields are at or past the peak of production and the major oil fields of the Middle East, our biggest suppliers, are close to or at the peak of oil production. Although there is still debate about just when the worldwide peak of oil production occurred/will occur, the majority of oil geologists talk in terms of the peak being between 2004 and 2008, with 2005 or 2006 being a fair starting point for discussion as to when worldwide supplies enter the [terminal] decline phase. In the real world, analysts all agree that China’s demand for oil is increasing at a phenomenal rate and that a demand-supply crisis is probably only months away, at which point we can expect oil prices to rise dramatically, perhaps exponentially, with no prospect of them ever falling.
On Pete Hodgson’s [fantasy] planet oil supplies are secure until 2025 or 2030, so there is no requirement for action for a decade or so and in the meantime the government can continue to promote policies, such as increased migration, increased tourism, increased trade etc. that increase our oil dependency!!
On our planet the inappropriate use of Maui gas over the past thirty years has placed the country in a precarious position for numerous sectors of the economy and the fact that no appreciable replacement fields have been found indicates that there are none.
On Pete Hodgson’s [fantasy] planet the fact that no fields have been found is simply a question of tax incentives and a change in the tax regime will assure that the required fields are found!
On our planet the opening up of the New Zealand market to the dumping of oversized vehicles places an immediate and continuing strain on the nation’s balance of payments and the increased fuel consumed by these vehicles further increases the drain on the balance of payments, increases the nations greenhouse gas emissions and takes us further and further away from sustainability at the very time when sustainability should be our highest criterion for policy.
On Pete Hodgson’s planet it is perfectly acceptable to focus on short term goals at the expense of long terms goals and to have one sector of government policy that is totally at odds with another and to continue to promote policies that are in complete contradiction not only with the Kyoto Protocol, but also with common sense!
On our planet it is criminal that the government actively discourages the use of motor scooters by extracting exorbitant road user fees from the owners, totally out of proportion to the damage to road surface, occupancy rate etc. that such vehicles actually incur.
On Pete Hodgson’s planet it is perfectly acceptable to spend billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money on roads and motorways that will not even be required in the not-too-distant future because there will be little or no fuel to power the vehicles. On Pete Hodgson’s planet there is no requirement to address such anomalies as discouraging the use of motor scooters, the fact that many cyclists are unable to use the roads because they are simply too dangerous and too polluted to cycle on, or the fact that government policy takes us away from a more sustainable and healthy society!
On our planet tens of thousands of people are getting thoroughly sick of a government that is in total denial of reality and continues to promote policies that not only have no future, but are also actually taking us in completely the wrong direction.
On Pete Hodgson’s planet denial of reality is the name of the game and since he does not have the energy to invent new excuses, he repeats same platitudes that have been used for several years to justify inappropriate action or total inaction!
On our planet thousands of people regard Pete Hodgson as a dopey berk who hasn’t got a clue.
On Pete Hodgson’s planet delusion encourages the perception that everything is under control!
I hope this helps.
Environmental Consultant and Educator