Sustainability

Pommy green taxes will add a third to electricity prices by 2020

Thanks to the green taliban, stealth taxes and subsidies in the UK poms can look forward to their electricity bills being more than a third higher than they are now by 2020.

Swingeing green stealth levies on energy bills are ?perverse? and should be scrapped, MPs warn today.

A major report says the taxes are hitting poorer families hardest.

MPs also call for middle-class pensioners to lose their winter fuel allowance, with the savings redirected to help low-income households insulate their homes.

And they attack the regulator Ofgem for failing to hold energy firms to account for soaring prices.? Read more »

Rise of the Green-empire

Photo/ NZGBC Facebook

Photo/ NZGBC Facebook

Policy Parrot says:

Green buildings are a farce.

Firstly green buildings are championed by an industry that is self promoting and eager to grow. These businesses have ingenuously attached their ideas and products to the notion ‘green’ and with a powerful lobby convinced everyone that building sustainable buildings are required to save the planet.

Utter cods-wallop and trite.

In New Zealand we have the Green Building Council. It offers services including certification for office buildings in the form of a star rating from 3-6 stars depending on how many points a building earns after evaluation. The cost for this ‘certificate’ is $100-150,000.

The Green Building Council is under threat from other similar rating organisations that have arrived or about to arrive from overseas and who will offer rival rating systems for building owners. Competition. Which system is better and who says any of them mean anything? Aren’t these organisations simply spruiker’s capitalising on the modern day popular trend?

Lets be clear – this is a rating industry masquerading under the banner ‘green’. It’s making loads of money selling certificates to building owners so that they in turn can sell or lease buildings to tenants who think (but don’t know) that the buildings are somehow better for the environment and lower costs.

But where is the proof? ? ? Read more »

Intensification – A Dense Idea

While Len Brown wants to sock landowners with a 70% stealth tax from Canada, new evidence is emerging that despite his claims of following best practice for intensification, it is in fact detrimental.

It turns out cramming more people into cities won?t help the environment or our health, and may even hurt the economy

… In the eyes of many city planners and political leaders, the suburban ideal of the single-detached house on a quiet cul-de-sac, complete with a large yard and the requisite lengthy commute, is a relic of a bygone and largely unsustainable era. In its place, they are pushing for ?smart growth? communities featuring high-density housing?usually in the form of apartment and condo complexes?in mixed-use neighbourhoods where everyone walks, bikes or takes the bus. It?s the only way, we?re told, to handle our rapid population growth without destroying the environment and clogging streets with traffic.

Urban planners have been hotly debating how to cope with sprawl?or whether we even need to cope with it at all?for decades. But the smart-growth movement has picked up steam over the past decade as environmentalists concerned about global warming pointed the finger squarely at the suburban commuter for contributing to climate change.? Read more »

Wind Turbines kill more birds p.a. than total killed by Exxon Valdez oil spill.

According to the?American Wind Energy Association?more birds are killed by wind turbines every years than the number of birds estimated to have been killed by the?1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The estimate of wind energy related bird losses attributed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the column is in fact the opinion of one biologist and not an official agency statistic. The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, a collaboration of government officials, conservationists and industry representatives, more accurately estimates, based on actual data collected from over 100 wind farms nationally, the loss to be 200,000 birds annually.? Read more »

A good example why subsidies are rubbish

Subsidies are dumb, they?distort?the market and in general encourage that which should not be encouraged…like biofuels.

Five years ago, rural America was giddy for ethanol.

Backed by government subsidies and mandates, hundreds of ethanol plants rose among the golden fields of the Corn Belt, bringing jobs and business to small towns, providing farmers with a new market for their crops and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the producers of this corn-based fuel blend.

Those days of promise and prosperity are vanishing.? Read more »

Taking the gayness out of recycling

I have a recycling bin, I chuck everything in it…everything, it is much easier than actually giving a shit about recycling. Turns out this is the best way to encourage recycling.

In Houston, for example, they want to construct a high-tech sorting facility that would allow 75 percent of the city’s trash to be recycled using technologies from the mining and refining industries (residents put everything in one bin; technology handles the rest). In Boston, they want to put more youth data in the hands of parents and empower them to share it more easily with educators, technologists, and researchers to ensure the best programs for their children. Even in a smaller town, like Springfield, Oregon, they are trying to create mobile primary healthcare that combine at-your-door service with telemedicine technology in order to reduce EMS and ER costs.? Read more »

Living on $35 per week – easy as

While the Green Taliban and Labour moan about the minimum wage of $550 per week ($13.75 x 40 hours) this inspiring story of a family living on $35 per week puts all that in perspective.

Since almost losing her home and business during the height of the recession, Lyn has saved more than $100,000 by cutting her weekly shopping bill down from $200 to just $35. She says without the drastic measures, she would have lost everything.

?I?d be on the DPB right now, I think,? she says from her Northland farm. ?I was really in the poo in 2009. I spent money without thinking about it and I had no nest egg, so when I ran out of money and the farm was struggling, the banks wouldn?t help me.?

Excellent ? Lyn owns her life and accepts responsibility for her situation ? seems she does not expect or want to be dependant upon the state

Lyn?s youngest daughter Stevie ? once resistant to the budget ? has developed a real skill for making innovative lunches and snacks in the kitchen from nothing at all.

Living mostly out of her garden ? collecting milk and eggs from her livestock and only purchasing staple items such as ?flour, sugar and legumes ? Lyn also refuses to buy any cleaning products and cosmetics, replacing the majority with baking soda.

Amazingly, the entire family doesn?t miss any food item from their ?previous life? ? the only thing Stevie misses is dishwashing liquid.? Read more »

The rank hypocrisy of the Green Taliban

As news broke yesterday, fuelled by uninformed idiocy from the SST, and?Lucy Craymer?and Charles Anderson running a hate campaign against the New Zealand agriculture sector the Green Taliban went on attack issuing statements about ‘chemicals’.

In a 2008 interview with Gordon Campbell – check out Russel Norman’s last answer:

Campbell:?So from what you?re saying, if the Greens are in government after the next election, it will be asking farmers to pay the full costs of its emissions much sooner ?

Norman:?Yeah?and its actually in a good position to reduce its emissions. The technology already exists. Its just nuts. They?re half of our emissions, and we?re saying the sector doesn?t have to do anything.

Campbell:Excuse me, but the technology to reduce methane emissions doesn?t exist at the moment.

Norman:?The technology to reduce nitrous oxide emissions exists at the moment, with nitrification inhibitors.

Read more »

Green taliban policies starving the poor, f*ck you very much

Because of green taliban policies mandating bio-fuel content in fuel supplies farmers in the US are switching crops from producing food to producing fuel. The resulting shortage of grains like corn is causing dire consequences in third world countries.

In a globalized world, the expansion of the biofuels industry has contributed to spikes in food prices and a shortage of land for food-based agriculture in poor corners of Asia, Africa and Latin America because the raw material is grown wherever it is cheapest.

Nowhere, perhaps, is that squeeze more obvious than in Guatemala, which is ?getting hit from both sides of the Atlantic,? in its fields and at its markets, said Timothy Wise, a Tufts University development expert who?is studying the problem?globally with?Actionaid, a policy group based in Washington that focuses on poverty.? Read more »

This will rip Len Brown’s undies

Len Brown wants us to have the most liveable city in the world…perhaps I might subscribe to his plans if he had said most productive city in the world…unfortunately his plans preclude that and thus doom Auckland to mediocrity and poverty.

The denser the city, the more productive, efficient and powerful it becomes. The theoretical physicists,?Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West?calculated that if the population of a city is doubled, average wages go up by 15%, as do other measures of productivity, like patents per capita. Economic output of a city of 10 million people will be 15-20% higher than that of two cities of 5 million people. Incomes are on average five times higher in urbanised countries with a largely rural population. And at the same time, resource use and carbon emissions plummet by 15% for every doubling in density, because of more efficient use of infrastructure and better use of public transportation.

Read more »

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