At the same time we’ve got peak oil – the point where half the oil in the world has been extracted and global maximum oil production is reached. This is not the end of oil, but it is the end of cheap oil, as we see every time we go to fill our cars up at the petrol station. We’ll be paying $2 a litre within months, and I think the climb to $3 will happen quite quickly after that.
Now, STH points out that petrol coming up to $3 is much less likely than Sue thinks.
But the issue I have is that we have not extracted “half the oil in the world”. We’re not even close.
See, 2/3 of the oil in the world is in oil sands, and these have only been in production for the last few years.
Not only that, but major fields have been discovered in recent years. Not to mention old fields that keep on going, thanks in large part to new technology.
But I guess that doesn’t sound as good. Tales of Doom are always good sellers.
I also noted this quote.
Last year American farmers diverted 20% of their maize crop, one of the world’s main food sources, to ethanol. Rich nations continue to keep other countries’ agricultural exports out of their markets, ensuring more of the poorest people face starvation at home. Food riots have broken out in Mexico, India and elsewhere.
Sheesh. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t. Ignore the greenies and you’re destroying the environment, listen to them and you’re killing the poor. We did try to point that out you know!
Matt’s comments absolutely epitomize some of the contradictions we face. He was saying, I think, that we shouldn’t have the 10 cent regional fuel tax because it would hit low paid workers and beneficiaries the hardest, which of course it will. The Green Party on the other hand supports the tax, because we are fighting for it to go towards the electrification of Auckland’s rail system. We know how urgent it is to get the trains running from a renewable energy source, and to get them running a lot more frequently – so that the citizens of our largest city can get around in a future where many will be unlikely to be able to afford to take their cars to work or study or play, even if they wanted to.
Funny, most Aucklanders cannot take the train to work, “even if they wanted to”.
Alongside this we believe that it is urgent for the gap between rich and poor to be decreased in this country, and that measures to address this are equally urgent.
The minimum wage should be lifted to at least $15 an hour immediately. The ERA should be overhauled, including strengthening the ability to use multi employer collective bargaining and agreements and to deal more strongly with freeloading.
Heck, if you want a prosperous society, why stop with a $15/hr minimum wage? Why not go the whole hog, and up it to $30, or $100! Imagine how that would solve our wage gap!
But nothing beats the opening lines.
The capitalist media and commercial TV keep trying to cocoon us and persuade us that the days of protest and activism are over except perhaps for a few fringe deranged people. But what all of us here I’m sure have learned, and need to keep remembering and passing on, is that no matter what kind of Government we have, it is essential that the political struggle on the streets and in our workplaces and communities continues.
I for one vote that the greens put that quote on all their advertising. It’s a sure winner. Just add that bit about Christians getting off by beating their children and you’ve got the perfect election message.