From the Guardian:

"To leave my mobile phone charger on standby, plugged in but not charging, uses 0.009 kWh a day. So in effect, I could leave it on for over a year - 380 days - for it to have consumed the same power as running a bath, which for a single 90 litre soaking uses 3.5kWh."

"Let's take the microwave. On standby that uses 0.096 kWh per day. Yet having a single shower uses 1.4kWh. Therefore leaving the microwave on standby for 14 days uses the same power as having a 40 litre shower at 40C."

"If I leave it on standby all day, my 28in CRT TV eats 0.168 kWh per day. But if I leave it switched on all day it consumes an extra 1.2kWh."

I'm all for reducing waste, but I don't subscribe to a Luddite mentality.  That is sacrificing a technological convenience can't be the way forward, otherwise we might as well ban the iPod and take up the recorder.  If the article above is anything to go by turning off standby devices is nothing more than tokenism.  If you were really concerned about saving power you'd shave a minute or so off your shower time. 

Whenever I unplug my electric tooth brush charger.. I forget to plug it back in to my great frustration when I next clean my teeth. 

I try and make practical contributions;  make my lunch, bike to work, and combine multiple car trips. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Call for changes to KiwiSaver



Rennie said the incentives meant people were being encouraged to save in one way when there were many ways people could save.

"People save in many different ways, not just by putting money in the bank.

"Yet it is now more rewarding for people to join KiwiSaver than it is to pay off debt or a mortgage, or to invest in business or an education.

I'm a fully signed up Kiwisaver because with the incentives you're foolish not too.  The goal of Kiwisaver is to increase 'new savings', but if the quote above is anything to go by it maybe just shuffling money from one form savings to another with a huge amount of government money involved.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

The cost of Living



^My goodness my quick shops have a big shop price!  And I only brought a 250gram block of cheese.  The high inflation has affected other items too, such as toiletries. 

Sure the price hikes aren't the government fault.  What is the govt. fault is our ability to coupe with the price raises.  After years of some of the best economic conditions since WWII our real world wages have not kept pace - especially compared to Aussie. 

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Helen's gloat


From the Herald:

"Helen Clark, Labour leader for 14 1/2 years, hit back: "As the member is the fifth leader of the National Party I have dealt with, I would say there are rather more loyalty issues over there, including one from the person sitting next to him [deputy leader Bill English]."

Seeing off five National Party leaders sounds impressive, but is it:  Bolger defeated Clark in '96.  Dr Brash practically tied with her in '05, and Key's about to defeat her in '08.  Obviously she had to defeat someone to get into power, which was Shipley.  So that only leaves Bill English who she annihilated (unfortunately for English the voters were experimenting with MMP).

Overall Clark's party vote has hung around ~40% at best; hardly an earth shattering mandate. 

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Woolies admits Oz pays more than NZ | NEWS.com.au


At last! A positive statistic for New Zealand.


Less sleep makes you a fat drunk smoker | NEWS.com.au

And on that note..... I should got to bed!


From the Telegraph:

Whatever your political inclinations, there is an inescapable human tragedy here: an intelligent, if wrong-headed, man who seems to have no idea what is so unattractive about his behaviour, or any inclination to make the concessions which would put it right.

And that is, I admit, quite fascinating. But other politicians have been emotionally tone deaf in this way - Edward Heath comes immediately to mind - without their inadequacy in this area becoming the stuff of public obsession.

It may have been Mr Brown's misfortune to have his particular idiosyncracies exposed in a period when voyeurism and the morbid exposure of personalities to unconscionable strain has become the currency of entertainment.

He has inadvertently facilitated the process by which politics becomes a species of reality television. In the Westminster village, we are all waiting for the next installment.

Will Mr Brown crack at the next PMQs and have to be led out of the chamber? Will we actually get to see him reduced to incoherent rage during his next television interview? Whose kick-and-tell memoirs will be next to reveal the details of his sulks and private outbursts?

On the flip side, this article suggests Gordon Brown would be a more successful PM 20 or 30 years ago.  If that's the case is it fair for the media to home in on his personality flaws...?  If only our media would home in on Helen Clark's arrogance, nasty put downs and miraculous ability to call others hypocrites and be guilty of doing the exact same thing but to a much greater degree. 

But then I think of how Don Brash was mascaraed for his seemingly bumbling and quaint style. 

So I can see the argument from both sides of the coin.  However, personality flaws are very much a matter of perspective, so to answer my question - no it isn't fair.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

All steamed up over buyback


It was difficult to know why Cullen was so incensed. Was it Key's claim that Labour in general and him in particular had been deceitful? Or the claim that the Prime Minister's chief of staff Heather Simpson had successfully pushed for the buyback in the face of the Finance Minister's opposition that the price was too high?

Heather Simpson has been described as New Zealand's most powerful unelected official - ever.  So this doesn't surprise me at all.  No wonder Cullen is easily aggravated and often appears grumpy when he's over ruled by the likes of Heather Simpson.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Green's illegal pamphlet...?


...I believe the address they've given isn't that of their party's financial officer therefore the pamphlet is illegal under the terms of the Electoral Finance Act.  An Act they voted for. 

Okay, besides that hypocritical breach the pamphlet draws attention to topical environmental issues, which is good. 

What is not so good is their rationale.  On biofuels:

In particular, they must be substantially reduce carbon emissions compared with fossil fuels, they must not be made from food crops or by taking up food producing land, and they must not lead to destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems.


Edit:  I've since spotted the authorization statement.

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Editorial: Neglect may cost Labour:

A broader Green Party would build some conservation projects on private property rights and recognise the power of market forces to ensure resources are used sustainably. A party of that stamp would draw support from across the spectrum and could contemplate dealings with any government.

The Green Party needs to move out of left field and become a central player.

If I were to start my own political party, it would be a right-leaning environmental party.  It would encourage ethical buying i.e. the purchase of products which have an ethical objective e.g. carbon neutral, free range eggs, or made in NZed.  Either way it gives the individual the power to decide through the market.

It would give incentives for private individuals to restore environments with native flora using sound ecological principles.  I.e. Kahikatea corridor to allow for movement of native species.  Wetland restoration to purify water etc. 

It would rather put a billion dollars towards cleaning up our environment and helping to save the kiwi than give it to Russia through an emissions trading scheme. 

It would trust NZers to contribute their own money toward environmental causes therefore would advocate the lowest possible tax. 

It would promote and incentivise clean technology which includes nuclear.  It would develop a strategy for introduction of hydrogen cars - nuclear energy is the only efficient way to extract hydrogen from water (electrolysis).  Damming a river to power our cars would be ridiculous.

Just a few ideas Tongue out.