Climate scientist James Hansen and Solid Energy chief executive Don Elder debate how to secure the future of coal, New Zealand, and the world

Dr Hansen wants coal left in the ground, to save the world, for future generations. However, it is Dr Elder's job to dig it up, to grow the cake: most of the world, he says, which is poor, has a right to a share of our wealth (and we can get richer, too).

Putting Solid Energy’s own definition of sustainable business practice to the test, on the ground in Southland

Last month CEO Dr Don Elder told a select committee all about Solid Energy’s definition of sustainable business practice:

In which Solid Energy defends its lignite proposals before a Parliamentary select committee, defines sustainability loosely, and fails to define some other things at all, except the megabucks

I sat in on Parliament's financial review of Solid Energy yesterday, and heard CEO Dr Don Elder tell the committee that his company — whoops, our company — meets New

In which expert advisory work from the PCE illustrates why the ETS in its present form risks a massive lignite subsidy, and Tim Groser — quite rightly — observes that this would be “ridiculous” and “incoherent”

December brought more proof the emissions trading scheme is broken, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; also, some interesting remarks from Climate Change Negotiations Minister Tim Groser who, presumably unintentionally, expressed the same view.

When global crude oil sources are ranked and graphed by size and production cost, lignite coal is among the biggest, the most expensive, and the last one on the list. Lignite and Solid Energy need peak oil; it’s a lifeline for them, not a threat

Solid Energy and the mining industry would like you to believe lignite will “cushion” ordinary New Zealanders against oil price shocks. There’s heady talk, of diesel fuel self-sufficiency, and a bit of mildly misleading talk, about “keeping prices at today’s level”.