Paul argues that New Zealanders have earned their prosperity by exploiting their environment. Not only does this bust the myth that we are clean and green, Paul points out that we are poorer for it: in fact, this strategy has seen our GDP plummet to the bottom of the OECD ranking. This approach to paying our way in the world is neither economically nor environmentally sustainable.
Particularly telling is the slide at 8 minutes, which shows how we earn our living in New Zealand. Ever wondered why our productivity is so low? Paul suggests that it is because we choose work in low productivity industries, such as tourism and the wine industry.
At 13 minutes, regular readers of this blog will be wondering whether the TIN100 revenue distribution is described by a power law:
Yes, it seems so, at least in the tail (the plot shows the cumulative distribution of the TIN100 revenue in 2007, x, in millions of dollars). The exponent is close to 2, similar to what we found for the distribution of patents amongst applicants. I will be posting on this in a few weeks.
If you are in Wellington on Thursday, 19 May, Paul will be giving a version of this talk at 6pm at Soundings Theatre at Te Papa Museum. Tickets, available from the Royal Society, are free.