A short essay on the energy politics of New Zealand, Australia and Japan
By Cole Ryan
July 2, 2018
Because of the increasing cost of electricity in New Zealand the Government is subsidizing various classes of its citizens by paying their electricity bills to help keep their lights on and to keep them warm
New Zealand (NZ) is rapidly following in the footsteps of the record high energy prices and blackouts that are occurring in South Australia.
Like Australia, NZ has the solution to its crippling electricity prices under its feet in the form of huge reserves of coal that could provide hundreds of years of cheap and reliable energy. Accessing these reserves and using the latest technology for burning coal cleanly could quickly solve the problem of one taxpayer having to pay another’s electricity bill.
Japan is building 45 new high-efficiency, thermal coal plants that burn the coal at very high temperatures and scrub almost all the emissions from the exhaust. The main byproduct is the demonized gas, carbon dioxide (CO2). Five minutes spent Googling CO2 will provide a lot of information concerning who should be believed about the virtues or vices of CO2 and there is definitely is enough information to make a choice.
The alarmists provide passionate arguments, and many very intelligent and educated skeptics have provided well-reasoned rebuttals to their arguments.
Which side a person chooses to believe is likely to be governed by which argument best fits her or his politics or the natural inclination to be optimistic or pessimistic.
Japan signed on to the Paris climate agreement (which lets each country set its own CO2 management plan) but subsequently has viewed its situation much differently and has decided to build 45 new thermal coal plants.
Conversely New Zealand and Australia, which ironically will be exporting much of the coal to Japan, are currently experiencing economy-destroying high electricity prices and blackouts, both of which are due to the green ideology of their leaders who have chosen to believe that the CO2 produced from burning coal is responsible for every adverse weather event, drought, or natural disaster.
Currently, there is no political party in New Zealand that citizens can vote for that would challenge this green ideology and the political courage required to debate the risks and benefits of CO2 is non-existent in all of NZ’s mainstream political parties.
This is an opportunity for an aspiring leader to become involved in government because, under NZ’s MMP electoral system, as little as 5% of the party vote will put 6-7 members of a political party in the government and that is sufficient to have a big influence.
If a centrist party were to campaign and state that CO2 is not the control knob of the climate, that party would attract the votes of sceptics, deniers, and realists, who currently have no reasonable party to vote for, thereby easily achieving the 5% threshold required to have a seat at the table in government.
A skeptical voice in New Zealand’s leadership is needed to provide a balance of opinions and to enable the possibility for its citizens to enjoy the use of their country’s natural resources to lower electricity prices rather than exporting all of these resources to Japan!
A skeptical voice in the NZ government would have the potential to significantly lower power prices for all of the country’s citizens, make the current subsidies for electricity unnecessary, and keep the country’s energy costs competitive with its trading partners.
You don’t have to hate fossil fuels to love the planet.