Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: ALTered States

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  • Angus Robertson,

    Don't they have dams in China too?

    No, not so much.

    And as Idiot points out, if we could use the dam power for our own electricity, we could effectively stop using coal (with some infrastructural changes along the way of course).

    Transmission loss of about 7% means we can't quite actually make that work. And btw all the transmission lines would be made from aluminium, made in China by coal powered smelters.

    The manufacture of aluminium at Tiwai Point is inherently clean and green; whilst the consumption of power in Auckland is inherently dirty and wasteful. The powering of a naked news reading, a pavement light scuplture, a 'buzzy bees' P lab, illuminating a 100 acres of motorway or heating up a soy-mocha-chino-latte should not be treatred preferentially to world leading green production of aluminium.

    Shifting it is not going to help. Period. Not now, not never.

    Just because it's cleaner than moving to China, should Comalco get special treatment not afforded to anyone else for whom moving is not an option?

    Yes. We should definitely offer preferential treatment to aluminium that has the lowest carbon footprint.

    China is a massive problem for the environment, and the world nations need to put pressure on them. Personally, I can't do a lot about it. Nor can our Government by itself. But eventually they have to see sense (don't they?) or feel pressure of sanctions or whatever it's going to take. And the only way we can get to that point is by making the first move.

    Totally agree with those statements and that is why I say that these current Kyoto ETS proposals are facillitating the pollution of our planet. I suggest the Chinese will not see sense or suddenly engage in a group hug (at least not within 10 years), sanctions will be required. Meanwhile our government is placing sanctions on their cleaner & greener competition from Tiwai Point - 180 degrees completely wrong in every single way.

    Contrary to what the Nats would have you believe, NZ is not 'going first' or 'leading the world' when it comes to lower its emissions.

    Again totally agree, we're not.

    And even if we were, is that such a bad thing? Because not every business will relocate to China - for economic, social or whatever reason, some will choose to stay and clean up their act. And when they do, it means a better global environment for the South Island, and China.

    If we do this and tax only business to reduce their carbon emmissions we will drive all businesses that can move away to a developing country where they can pollute tax free. There will of course be some businesses that stay for "social" & "economic" reasons to service the unfettered consumer society of New Zealand. In 2012 every Jafa driving a 4x4 to the bach through the Orewa tunnel carting their Zorb, Blo-kart, a new 50" plasma & towing the jet-ski (all made in China) will feel proud that NZ is close to meeting its Kyoto targets - they will feel a little worried a new petrol tax (deferred by Labour in 2008 & again by National in 2010) is planned for 2015, but surely all we really need to tax is our dairy cows...

    The fundamental flaw is thinking we can control AGW gases by limiting point production in the developed world alone (Kyoto), fundamentally this cannot be done. What we should be doing is limiting our consumption in the developed world, which we can do by taxing consumers' carbon footprints. We should pay a tax on the AGW gas emissions our consumption creates. This horrible ETS "externalises" to "big business" our obligations to reduce our carbon footprint - it is populist political sop that is accelerating the pollution of our planet.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Don't make this a JAFA vs Southlander thing, because it's not. You're launching a fallacious argument here buddy

    I agree with you, up to a point Damien. But do try and keep in mind that the next time you say "fuck 'em", them includes one or two people whose livelihoods are under threat. You know, people who have no say in the ongoing game of political chicken being played out here, and quite understandably aren't inclined to see the bigger pcture.

    God know that's nowhere near as important as Lisa Lewis' rack or halting the P Epidemic one dairy sting at a time...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12363 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Don't they have dams in China too?

    No, not so much.

    Are you sure?
    Only the biggest one in the world

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Although.... just reading further through that article there's a graph showing China's power sources....comparing thrmo-fossil, hydro, and nuclear... and hydro is getting smaller percentage wise.... So I'll have to fact-check myself and agree with the "not so much" comment.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I suggest the Chinese will not see sense or suddenly engage in a group hug

    And then there is this.

    Our bus trip from Hong Kong to Guangzhou last month had to go through a compulsory emissions check station on the way through. These seem to be dotted around the cities I saw too and cars are randomly checked.

    I've got a buddy who manufactures signs, gifts and the like for companies by recycling their products and earlier signage. He's moving his production to an industrial park outside Shanghai. The cost is pretty much the same but the environmental manufacturing standards he needss he can't find in Australia.

    It's not all gloom.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3275 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The manufacture of aluminium at Tiwai Point is inherently clean and green

    From wikipedia:

    The process also emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, though the smelter is hailed as being amongst the Top 5% of all aluminium smelters worldwide in terms of limiting its emissions.[5]

    It's, y'know, still a smelter. It still produces greenhouse gases and a pile of toxic waste. Just because it has a green power source doesn't make it green.

    And Tiwai Point doesn't own Manapouri. The opportunity cost of Tiwai smelter is Huntly power station. If we didn't have the smelter, we could refocus our electricity priorities, take the hit in terms of transmission loss, and shut Huntly down. Which would be a massive improvement in our carbon footprint.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Bluff would die as a town, shops shutting down, schools downsizing etc etc.

    Only if we do nothing about it. As I pointed out, we could easily pay for a regional development agency to do something about that, just like we did for the West Coast when Timberlands was banned from clearcutting native forest.

    The problem is turning theoretical compensation into reality. That was a big problem with the 80's and 90's reforms, which were sold on the basis of the theoretical ability to compensate losers, without ever actually doing so.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    But do try and keep in mind that the next time you say "fuck 'em", them includes one or two people whose livelihoods are under threat. You know, people who have no say in the ongoing game of political chicken being played out here, and quite understandably aren't inclined to see the bigger pcture.

    I politely suggest they take it up with their management

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    It's, y'know, still a smelter. It still produces greenhouse gases and a pile of toxic waste. Just because it has a green power source doesn't make it green.

    We will still need aluminium, if it is not smelted here it will be smelted somewhere in those 95% of smelters that are worse and most likely by powered by thermal generation. Here its greener.

    The opportunity cost of Tiwai smelter is Huntly power station. If we didn't have the smelter, we could refocus our electricity priorities, take the hit in terms of transmission loss, and shut Huntly down. Which would be a massive improvement in our carbon footprint.

    Every piece of aluminium the world ever buys will have an increased carbon footprint, because of New Zealand removing a carbon efficient producer of aluminium. In New Zealand we would have achieved "improvement in our carbon footprint", because our electrical supply will be greener. On balance the removal of Tiwai shall increase AGW, but our nimbyists do not care.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    We will still need aluminium, if it is not smelted here it will be smelted somewhere in those 95% of smelters that are worse and most likely by powered by thermal generation.

    That's great if the world all holds hands and sings "we are the world". Or if China wants to make me the boss of "things China can and can't do". New Zealand is responsible for New Zealand, we can't control what other countries do.

    And your argument is wrong btw. The difference in the world, if Tiwai was to leave NZ, would be the closing down of Huntly, and the opening up of another coal fired station in China. Same amount of coal-fired power stations the world over, just less in New Zealand, one more in China.

    Just because Manapouri power feeds Tiwai, doesn't mean that closing down Tiwai would mean the closing down of Manapouri, or reduction in its output. Its power would just go elsewhere, carbon trading would mean that Huntly would be on the block.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    How can the following possibly make sense?

    To combat AGW New Zealand will place taxation on aluminium produced with low carbon emmissions at Tiwai Point, whilst exempting from taxation aluminium produced by high carbon emitting smelters anywhereelse in the world.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Kyle,

    That's great if the world all holds hands and sings "we are the world". Or if China wants to make me the boss of "things China can and can't do". New Zealand is responsible for New Zealand, we can't control what other countries do.

    No shit.

    And your argument is wrong btw.

    No its not:

    The difference in the world, if Tiwai was to leave NZ, would be the closing down of Huntly, and the opening up of another coal fired station in China. Same amount of coal-fired power stations the world over, just less in New Zealand, one more in China.

    The other smelters of the world are less carbon efficient than Tiwai Point - opening one in China will mean more AGW.

    Close Tiwai = more AGW. More AGW is not what we want to achieve.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I didn't mean that Damien personally has a "social authoritarian agenda", I'm sure he doesn't.

    I meant that the broadcast and print media in NZ does, and that the "dairies selling drug precursors" story is a clear example of this.

    TV1 basically found a dairy owner/manager/lad behind the counter who was willing to mouth off and built this up into a story. The upshot of this was the usual "there are terrible bad things going on and we need to be protected". So many NZ media stories follow this model: boy racers, binge drinkers, gang members, graffiti artists - all needing to be suppressed.

    I consider this a form of political bias. It's interesting to me that people in media (like Damien) who come from a fairly liberal background don't think this way.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5539 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    @Simon - Green-field development of an "Eco-City" is like bio-fuel to the hungry.

    Eco-City developments need to be brown-field, reshaping existing urban spaces not destroying vital natural habitat.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The other smelters of the world are less carbon efficient than Tiwai Point - opening one in China will mean more AGW.

    Only if one that opens in China follows that path. There's nothing inherent in the smelter that makes it more or less polluting, it was just designed that way. China could build as good a smelter if they wanted to. In fact, given that Tiwai is almost 40 years old, they could probably build a better one using new technology and designs.

    And I fail to see why we should adopt a policy of "New Zealand will take on pollution for the rest of the world because we're slightly better at it." Not in my backyard thanks very much.

    On that basis, when I took my dogs out to run on Aramoana Beach, we'd be walking past a bloody great big smelter instead of a reserve.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    TV1 basically found a dairy owner/manager/lad behind the counter who was willing to mouth off and built this up into a story. The upshot of this was the usual "there are terrible bad things going on and we need to be protected". So many NZ media stories follow this model: boy racers, binge drinkers, gang members, graffiti artists - all needing to be suppressed.

    I didn't see the story, but I saw the adverts for it or the headlines or something.

    If some dairy owner is knowingly supplying products in quantities and prices for the production of what almost everyone seems to admit is a dangerous drug which has had serious impacts upon individuals and society... in full knowledge that that's what he's doing.

    I'm presuming that isn't against the law, and in that case, being shamed by the media, and hopefully stopping doing it, is the next best thing.

    Probably won't make any difference in the world at all, but the guy is making it a little bit easier for people to produce the drugs that are making the mess. I hope he got the shock of his life when he found he was caught on TV and his business is affected as a result.

    Maybe that's a social authoritarian media. Sounds OK in this instance to me though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I thought it was a justifiable sting.

    But the accompanying tone of “We have just done the country a favour” wound me up a little.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    And I fail to see why we should adopt a policy of "New Zealand will take on pollution for the rest of the world because we're slightly better at it." Not in my backyard thanks very much.

    Because your backyard is on the planet we should be trying to save.

    On that basis, when I took my dogs out to run on Aramoana Beach, we'd be walking past a bloody great big smelter instead of a reserve

    That reserve will make a nice reef, i guess.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    To combat AGW New Zealand will place taxation on aluminium produced with low carbon emmissions at Tiwai Point, whilst exempting from taxation aluminium produced by high carbon emitting smelters anywhereelse in the world.

    You're right, it makes no sense. We should clearly be imposing a border carbon tax on imports from polluter nations.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    You're right, it makes no sense. We should clearly be imposing a border carbon tax on imports from polluter nations.

    As the European Union, led by France, is considering.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    What's best about the coal-fired Chinese smelter, is that hopefully we can be the ones to also supply them the coal for it! So not only is it just as dirty as Huntly, we also consume more carbon getting it there...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    We should clearly be imposing a border carbon tax on imports from polluter nations.

    We could be placing a consumption tax on carbon released by a product. It could be run in the same way as GST and apply to all products foreign or domestic consumed in NZ.

    Not so keen on doing it on a by nation basis, if that might penalise green production from the polluting USA to the advantage of polluting production from green Slovenia.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    These are not watched substances.

    These people have all the solvents you want in up to 209l containers. I'm sure they'd ask what one wanted it for, but a quick google reveals a helpful site explaining the (legitimate) purpose for all the main solvents.

    Or, if you prefer an online site where you don't need to explain yourself, RS sell Isopropanol
    in handy 5l cans.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5539 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Because your backyard is on the planet we should be trying to save.

    I'm thinking globally, acting locally. If a bunch of Chinese got together and did the same thing, there'd be one less aluminium smelter, and one less Huntly power station.

    That reserve will make a nice reef, i guess.

    Your argument is that Aramoana smelter should have been built because it will stop the beach going underwater? That's an interesting line to take.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    What's best about the coal-fired Chinese smelter, is that hopefully we can be the ones to also supply them the coal for it!

    I've been sitting on that idea for days.... too chicken to suggest it here. Although I managed to rile up a dinner party last week.

    But yeah, we should sell them all our coal. Bit of a win/win really. Just don't mention the planet.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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