Bennett - Editor
Welcome to another two weekly review of
energy and environmental events and developments from both here in
New Zealand and around the world.
As always, we hope you find our collection of stories to be
of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.
Firstly, I would like to wish you all the
best for 2011 and hope this year has lots of positive news to share
In this issue we examine a number of
predictions for 2011 as well as looking at the state of the global
economic market, which continues to blindly see things only in terms
of GDP growth and financial profits rather than how values and
lifestyle needs to reflect our species co-dependency on the health
of the planet and its ability to nourish life.
First we start with the predictions for
2011. They are mostly
positive, pointing to improvements in indoor air quality, greater
energy efficiency, smarter buildings, an increased awareness in
green issues and for carbon emission tracking to expand to encompass
supply chains. Other
predictions include consolidation amongst energy management software
providers. As ETSL with
e-Bench™, is an energy management software provider in the New
Zealand, North American and shortly Australian markets, we look
forward to 2011 with eager eyes.
The market is certainly set to expand, with
predictions that the smart building management business sector is to
increase from US$900 million in 2010 to US$2.4 billion by 2016.
An outstanding example of this is in Abu Dhabi where they are
positioning their nation to maximise the opportunities of renewable
energy and sustainable living.
Even though it is a nation where the average wealth of its
420,000 citizens is a staggering US$17 million, considerations of a
life after oil must be looming large to make such a commitment.
And with all these other positive
developments, we look at one of the most eagerly awaited ISO
International Standards of recent years, ISO 26000:2010, ‘Guidance
on Social Responsibility’.
This aims to bring together the current multitude of
CR/sustainability standards and should in our opinion be one of the
most widely used ISO Standards for the foreseeable future.
Which is all much overdue, as our global
society very much needs guidance for change.
The economic model that has been in place much this century
is no longer appropriate.
Any model that is built on continuous GDP growth is simply
flawed and unsustainable.
Any model that rewards elements of society for creating zero
wealth or no tangible value is just plain wrong.
And yet this is what is happening,
For example, the top ten Wall Street fund managers earned
over US$ 1 billion in 2010 and 40 percent of all US corporate
profits were from the financial sector – a sector, that creates no
wealth but simply redistributes it.
At the same time society is crumbling through an inability to
invest in the things that bind it such as infrastructure.
Our next couple of articles provide
examples of this. The
first is how many US and European cities could face financial
collapse in 2011 and in turn default on trillions of dollars of
loans. The next is how
the price of oil, which is nearing US$ 100 is likely to threaten the
fragile global recovery, which in part is sending world food prices
to record highs and in turn likely to lead to riots and unrest.
And yet some in our society are able to
afford a staggering US$400k for a single Bluefin Tuna.
That’s over NZ$1,600 a kilogram!
It makes Bluff Oysters and whitebait seem undervalued…
Furthermore, this is for a fish that is on the brink of
extinction. Yet our
society seems to be in a quagmire of apathy or unwilling to do
anything about it. Such
is the disconnect between those who have financial wealth and the
true value that the majority of society probably hold dear.
How is it we allow financial values to far outweigh all other
Our next article reviews the raft of
occurrences where dead birds have fallen from the sky or where
shoals of fish have been washed up ashore.
Natural events or something more sinister?
In the USA, one group has claimed it is because of the repeal
of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Bill see here
… yeah right.
Our last article looks at the
devastating flooding in Queensland and how it is the result of
Australia being in the grip of an unusually strong "La
Niña". This is a
periodic climate phenomenon that brings more rain to the western
Pacific, and less to South America along the eastern Pacific.
"The Queensland floods are caused by what is one of the
strongest – if not
– La Niña events since records began in the late 19th century,"
said Prof Neville Nicholls at Monash University and president of the
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.
Given that 2010 saw record equal ocean temperatures with
every 1C increase in water temperature translating into another 6-8%
in air moisture, it looks like we are all going to need a good
raincoat... and a dingy.
Thanks for taking the time to read this
issue and look forward to catching up with you again.
If you have any items of interest you would like to submit,
then please feel free to forward them.