Helen Gets a Little Bit Bold(er)

My blog a few weeks ago (‘I want my bioethanol now’) sparked a number of responses from my readers (and since then I’ve also gained over 100 new subscribers!)


Helen likes Sweden’s bold vision…

Obviously alternative fuels is a hot topic and in the past few days has also re-entered the political arena in New Zealand.

It sparked-up again yesterday when Green MPs quizzed Helen Clark regarding the Governments preparedness for peak oil. Her responses were actually quite encouraging – here’s a few snippets… (or view the full transcript).

Jeanette Fitzsimons (NZ Green Party Leader): “Does the Prime Minister have confidence that her Minister of Finance has considered the impacts of peak oil on New Zealand\’s future trade balance, given that rising oil prices account for nearly half the increase in imports to January this year?”

Rt Hon Helen Clark (NZ Prime Minister): “Yes, and I am sure that the Minister of Finance will also be fully supportive of policies to find other sources of energy, including the bio-fuels policy, which needs to be further developed.”

Jeanette Fitzsimons: “Does she have confidence in those Ministers who stated, in response to an official information request last year, that they had no idea how much vehicle fuel their ministries consumed; if so, is she confident that they now have plans in place to prepare to make their ministries less dependent on imported oil?”

Rt Hon Helen Clark: “Whether Ministers have found the answer to that question, I do not know. But, as the member knows ’” because of recent discussions I have had with her ’” I am of the view that New Zealand needs to think a lot more boldly about issues of moving beyond being an oil-dependent economy. I am aware of other economies, like Sweden, which are looking at how to eliminate the use of oil in their economies within the next 20 years. I think we could well learn a great deal from others who are exploring those possibilities.”

Nice one – this is more like the sort of attitude I was looking for!

Then in a press release yesterday Jeanette reiterated what I wrote about just a few days ago (Anesthetising Our Way of Life):

In the release she says: “The world is close to maximum oil production – called ‘peak oil’ – and is unlikely to be able to expand supply to meet growing demand from China and India. At present our cars, jobs, food supply and even our health services all rely heavily on oil. We can’t continue as we are without a real ‘reality check’.”

In the spirit of ‘realness’ – what are your real thoughts on all this? Use the ‘Comment’ link below to share your viewpoints and ideas…

One response to “Helen Gets a Little Bit Bold(er)”

  1. Mary Avatar

    I heard on the radio this morning that a scientist thinks NZ could use gorse for bio-fuels!