Whadya know...See ^^ Mr S(tupid) Joyce is going to seriously FUBAR (**** Up Beyond All Recognition) New Zealand.The Government plans to cut almost all funding for coastal shipping from 2009, the Green Party has discovered.
“Sea freight is a key part of our transport infrastructure,” said Green Maritime Transport spokesperson Sue Bradford today.
“National plans to throw this all away by removing funding for rail and sea freight development,” Ms Bradford said in response to the Government’s revised Policy Statement (GPS) released this week.
“A huge amount of work went in over the last few years in getting the Roadways to Waterways and Sea Change strategies under way. The gains are now all at risk.”
The Sea Change strategy aimed to transform coastal shipping in New Zealand and double its share of the freight task to 30% by 2040, taking trucks off New Zealand’s roads and making the country’s freight infrastructure more sustainable. The previous Government had committed up to $179 million to develop sea and rail infrastructure through to 2019. National propose reducing this investment to between $8–13 million.
“Instead of helping Kiwi ships operate staffed with Kiwi seafarers, National are leaving them high and dry, without a plan to grow their share of the freight industry or the required investment to achieve it,” Ms Bradford said.
“Even worse, National seems to neither know nor care that sea freight has the potential to make a huge contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our reliance on foreign oil.” Coastal shipping is the most energy efficient way to move freight around the country, producing only 14 grams of CO2 per tonne-kilometre compared with road at 92–123 grams of CO2 per tonne-kilometre.
“This retrograde step flies in the face of any Government commitment to emissions reduction.”
Ms Bradford also expressed concern at the lack of consultation on the proposed decimation of sea freight funding. The deadline for feedback on the funding changes is Thursday, April 2 – just one week away.
“I doubt whether the Ministry has made any effort to consult with key shareholders such as unions or the Shipping Federation. A lack of public awareness leads me to suspect that there has been no real effort to seek the views from those most affected by the proposed changes,” said Ms Bradford.
The Green Party called on the Government to urgently reconsider its decision to cut funding to coastal shipping development.
I know this a few weeks old. Does anyone know anything about this?
Trucking timber from Nelson to Christchurch has the same carbon footprint as shipping it all the way to Australia, says a study of greenhouse gas emissions by a Nelson forestry company.
The study, published by Nelson Forests Ltd, showed that ocean freight was five to 10 times more efficient than road transport in terms of carbon emissions, according to its author, Dan McCallum.
Coupled with the low carbon footprint of log products produced in New Zealand's plantation forests, this meant logs sent overseas were "just as competitive, if not more competitive on a carbon basis as those of our leading competitors", he said.
A truck carting logs 900km - roughly Nelson to Southland - would produce the same emissions as freighting the logs by sea to Asia.
Programme manager of NZ Wood Geoff Henley said the study confirmed that sustainably grown plantation wood products from New Zealand could not only compete well on price internationally, but also in environmental terms.
Mr McCallum's snapshot of Nelson Forest's operations in 2007 calculated the carbon footprint of its logs supplied to the domestic market at 18.7kg of CO2 per cubic metre and at 65.1 kg of CO2 per cubic metre for its export operations.
Tim Davin: Inadequate analysis of effects of heavier trucking loads
4:00AM Monday Aug 03, 2009
Should the maximum legal truck load be raised from 44 to 50 tonne? We really don't know the answers to these questions as the analysis has not been done.
The Ministry of Transport is proposing to increase allowable vehicle weights and dimensions, and this is principally being driven by the contribution this will make to lifting productivity. The argument is that this will enable freight transport to be more efficient, with more freight being able to be moved more safely and with less fuel, lower labour costs and less emissions. These are powerful arguments.
However, there is considerable concern that the analysis of the costs to date has not been adequate - particularly relating to the impact on roads, and it cannot be argued that it will improve productivity without such an analysis.
Studies to date suggest that there will be a 16 per cent reduction in the number of trips and a 21 per cent reduction in fuel use. This could have a positive effect on New Zealand's gross domestic product of between $250 million and $500 million a year.
The proposal will allow heavier vehicles to operate more freely but they will be restricted to specific routes.
The proposal is to increase weight limits from 44 tonnes to 53 tonnes - an increase of 20 per cent. The damage to road pavements is generally regarded to follow the 4th power rule which means that if a load is doubled, the damage to the road pavement increases 16- fold.
While there is ongoing debate about whether the number is smaller or larger than the 4th power, if we assume it is the 4th power, and axle loads are increased by 20 per cent then the damage to a road by each truck will increase 102 per cent - that is double. This far outweighs the reduction in trips of 16 per cent.
To date there has been no analysis of the impact on roads. This proposed change will result in many more loads over 44 tonnes on many more roads than is currently the case.
There is also concern that rather than decreasing the number of trips by 16 per cent with improved competitiveness, road freight will become more attractive to operators, and we may see increased trips and emissions.
With larger vehicles on more roads, and an increase in trucks, it's possible we will face a double whammy - more damage on more roads.
Until research is undertaken on the likely extent of the damage and the costs analysed in economic terms and balanced against the benefits, it simply cannot be concluded that this will improve productivity.
The impact of making an uninformed decision could be considerable. Twice the wear on roads will not be noticed overnight.
Road pavements are designed to withstand a certain number of (equivalent) axles over time. The proposed change will significantly shorten the usual 20-30 year lifespan of pavements, but the cost will not be felt for some time.
Rising costs will not be solely met through heavy vehicle road-user charges. Currently freight vehicles contribute around 37 per cent of the Government's revenue and fuel excise 63 per cent. Local government pay half the cost of local roads so increased maintenance costs will inevitably fall on petrol users and ratepayers.
The proposal to allow these increased loads on specified routes may not be practical. Freight movement relies not only on the state highway network but, at every origin and destination, local roads.
With more freedom of movement for large trucks, will it be practical to specify such large number of routes? How will we carry out suitability assessments of the routes? And how can we ensure trucks will use them?
Eighty-eight per cent of roads in New Zealand are local roads and a third, unsealed. Many trucks, particularly tankers, which are not currently full, are able to increase their loads without modification.
This means there is a real possibility that low-strength and low-volume rural roads and bridges will have to cope with much heavier milk and wine tankers. Growth in the agricultural and horticulture sectors will only exacerbate the problems.
The issues are much more complex than simply considering economic benefits, reduction in emissions and improvements in safety.The cost of the impact on roads must be assessed. Who will benefit and who will pay has to be evaluated. If we analyse the issues we can address them.
We all support improving New Zealand's economic performance and productivity but without a serious analysis it is not possible to conclude that an increase in vehicle weights will contribute to that goal.
* Tim Davin is director of public policy at IPENZ (Engineers New Zealand).
This is getting a little more frequent these examples of wisdom out of this rag. Has someone high up suddenly woke up and gone "Oh ****! What a total cluster **** these wankers in the National party are turning out to be."The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.
Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.
In an interview with The Independent, Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years - at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.
But the first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields in the world, covering three quarters of global reserves, has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago.
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On top of this, there is a problem of chronic under-investment by oil-producing countries, a feature that is set to result in an "oil crunch" within the next five years which will jeopardise any hope of a recovery from the present global economic recession, he said.
In a stark warning to Britain and the other Western powers, Dr Birol said that the market power of the very few oil-producing countries that hold substantial reserves of oil - mostly in the Middle East - would increase rapidly as the oil crisis begins to grip after 2010.
"One day we will run out of oil, it is not today or tomorrow, but one day we will run out of oil and we have to leave oil before oil leaves us, and we have to prepare ourselves for that day," Dr Birol said.
"The earlier we start, the better, because all of our economic and social system is based on oil, so to change from that will take a lot of time and a lot of money and we should take this issue very seriously," he said.
"The market power of the very few oil-producing countries, mainly in the Middle East, will increase very quickly. They already have about 40 per cent share of the oil market and this will increase much more strongly in the future," he said.
There is now a real risk of a crunch in the oil supply after next year when demand picks up because not enough is being done to build up new supplies of oil to compensate for the rapid decline in existing fields.
The IEA estimates that the decline in oil production in existing fields is now running at 6.7 per cent a year compared to the 3.7 per cent decline it had estimated in 2007, which it now acknowledges to be wrong.
"If we see a tightness of the markets, people in the street will see it in terms of higher prices, much higher than we see now. It will have an impact on the economy, definitely, especially if we see this tightness in the markets in the next few years," Dr Birol said.
"It will be especially important because the global economy will still be very fragile, very vulnerable. Many people think there will be a recovery in a few years' time but it will be a slow recovery and a fragile recovery and we will have the risk that the recovery will be strangled with higher oil prices," he told The Independent.
In its first-ever assessment of the world's major oil fields, the IEA concluded that the global energy system was at a crossroads and that consumption of oil was "patently unsustainable", with expected demand far outstripping supply.
Oil production has already peaked in non-Opec countries and the era of cheap oil has come to an end, it warned.
In most fields, oil production has now peaked, which means that other sources of supply have to be found to meet existing demand.
Even if demand remained steady, the world would have to find the equivalent of four Saudi Arabias to maintain production, and six Saudi Arabias if it is to keep up with the expected increase in demand between now and 2030, Dr Birol said.
"It's a big challenge in terms of the geology, in terms of the investment and in terms of the geopolitics. So this is a big risk and itis mainly because of the rates of the declining oil fields," he said.
"Many governments now are more and more aware that at least the day of cheap and easy oil is over, [however] I'm not very optimistic about governments being aware of the difficulties we may face in the oil supply," he said.
Environmentalists fear that as supplies of conventional oil run out, governments will be forced to exploit even dirtier alternatives, such as the massive reserves of tar sands in Alberta, Canada, which would be immensely damaging to the environment because of the amount of energy needed to recover a barrel of tar-sand oil compared to the energy needed to collect the same amount of crude oil.
"Just because oil is running out faster than we have collectively assumed, does not mean the pressure is off on climate change," said Jeremy Leggett, a former oil-industry consultant and now a green entrepreneur with Solar Century.
"Shell and others want to turn to tar, and extract oil from coal. But these are very carbon-intensive processes, and will deepen the climate problem," Dr Leggett said.
"What we need to do is accelerate the mobilisation of renewables, energy efficiency and alternative transport. [ <- S(tupid) Joyce read here]
"We have to do this for global warming reasons anyway, but the imminent energy crisis redoubles the imperative," he said.