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Sample SEF Postings 2008-9
The Sustainable Energy Forum is a nationwide forum of New Zealanders concerned with making our country a model of sustainability for the world. Many of its members are engineers and/or have experience with or teach abut the Bulk-generated electricity and fossil fuel sectors.
This frames their world view and thus their misplaced belief that there exists a substance called "sustainable energy" and that humans can "sustain energy".
Framework for submission to Emissions Trading Strategy Review?.
Our very own GOON Show -reflections on NZ Electricity Industry Reforms
Carbon, climate, mineral oil prices, metering
Prediction Time; The psychosis and psychopathy driving current uses of our electrical, solar and carbon potentials.
Sustainable Energy Forum -Our Own Goon Show
Several weeks ago
the question was posed “ What does John Key and the National Party
mean when they talk of investing in “infrastructure”.
At the time I
submitted to the Sustainable Energy Forum
“As a general rule in NZ the
“infrastructure” symbol is now used to describe technology that
directly supports the lifestyles of the rich.
The rich like to drive cars and
profit from motorway construction so it is considered infrastructure.
The rich receive the bulk of the
benefits from investments in Bulk-gen electricity systems (Comalco et
al) and so it is considered infrastructure. The rich receive relatively
few benefits from intelligent Dwelling-gen electricity systems and so
these are not considered infrastructure.
The rich were happy to let “The
Market” demolish rail until large export corporations (coal, timber,
milk) suddenly decided it affected their profits and so suddenly it
became “infrastructure” again.
Similarly the Government fell
over itself to pour billions into air travel infrastructure because this
is infrastructure that is vital to the lives of the rich.
Housing is not symbolised as infrastructure because if
it were then this would result in investment in maximizing the use of
each dwelling’s solar and electrical potential and greater
consideration of the more efficient situation of dwellings and mass
transit infrastructure. This of course transfers investment away from
the rich to lower income people.”
I probably could
have added that “infrastructure” also means that large corporations
like Telecom will be given huge subsidies so they can further control
and gut our broadband/knowledge potential.
posting I have analysed John Key’s statements and detect no vision
whatsoever as to how he will transition New Zealand from the Cheap
Mineral Oil/Gas Age to the Great Solar Electric Age. At least Helen
Clark evidenced faint glimmerings of an awareness that mineral oil/gas
is a finite resource though her last acts were to enact the ETS
legislation and commit more money to motor ways.
However John is
oblivious to the fact our credit systems are based on a vast
undervaluation of the mineral oil/gas and so must collapse with
consequent societal breakdown -as we are currently witnessing with the
ever deepening economic recessions in some economies now that mineral
oil is priced nearer half a cent per man-hour labour of its energy
equivalent. (That price seems bizarrely cheap until you realise we
priced it at .05 cents per man hour in 1999 when the Glass Steagal acts
were repealed and the derivatives traders were let loose on scale.)
John is going to
find it enormously difficult when confronted with the stress and
conflict of economic collapse not to relapse and revert to the
psychopathic world of the money traders where humans are mere tradable
Sadly John seems
hardwired into the money trading debt engineering ethos still and this
makes it inevitable that he will restructure community assets so the
bankers can further lever off them as they have taken over and levered
off what were our community trust banks and electrical grids. He’s
wired to debt creation.
He will also
instinctively work to sustain the money trading system and so we can
expect him to use KiwiSaver, the ETS and the SOEs as mechanisms to
siphon wealth out of our communities to bolster the money traders’
structures from imploding. Ultimately it’s a futile exercise and only
leads to more debt, more war and more misery and the failure of our
education and health systems but such is John’s mindset.
morning, a few hours after he was elected Prime Minister, I read in the
Sunday Star Times an article about the report by Craig Stobo, “a
professional director, investment banker and financial consultant”. It
seems Craig has been circulating Government officials, including
National, with this report. It suggests the establishment of a New
Zealand Asset Liability Office “at arms length to parliament”.
“SOEs carry with them lots of business risks, including the
requirement for more capital and should the government be putting more
capital into those businesses which might be better used in the health
system or education…what are the priorities of government, is it to
increase the education of our kids or is it to put more capital into a
overwheming compassion here. You get the picture? Of course this is all
extremely familiar to those who recall the campaigns of the 1980s/90s.
whispering campaign: this community asset is starving our children.. it
is a liability to our society…listen to this example of its stupid
managers…I hear tell that people wait a year for a phone now… did
you hear the one about the wagon that got lost in the rail yards..
communities don’t know how to run businesses ..we cannot afford
to keep it.. it is unrealised capital.. we should put it in the hands of
business people who know how to lever off it (use it to generate debt,
whoops I mean wealth..)
wider public that the asset (telecom, Government Print, NZ Rail,
Forests, Dams, local electrical grid, you name it) is a dog and show the
local politicians that their books will look better short term if they
“realise the asset”. Undervalue all social and civil defence
positives of the asset.
commitment of sale of community asset. Begin sacking workers and
stalling on investment in infrastructure maintenance so as to make the
books look good for a sale.
Pretend to have
competitive tenders and/or float private shares (commonly known as
public shares even though they are held by individuals).
If former deal then sign mate’s rate deal and start gutting of asset. If latter deal then run high profile national campaign raving about the wonderful value of this asset. Preferrably get Government or Local Body to fund this advertising. Get whole group of mum and dad investors to purchase shares at high price. Maintain shares for a few years at reasonable price until asset is gutted, sell out majority share lot and leave nation with debt loaded and barely functioning structure and individual shareholders holding worthless bits of paper.
So it is Sunday
morning after the election and it is clear the vultures are circling,
ready to pick what remains of wealth off the debt-addled NZ economy. I
ask myself, when and who will start the “whispering programme” as
per Step One.
starts. At 4.17pm or so.
Sure enough the rich assets we have in Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy
and Mighty River Power are being ridiculed on scale. I had figured they
will be the first to be “realised”. I am sure if merchant bankers
like Craig Stobo are
listening they are dumbstruck, unable to believe their incredible luck
as the SOEs are trashed with a precision and effectiveness that no high
charging PR consultancy could provide.
The service is provided completely for free and with all the
prestige of our National Public Radio and with all the combined mana of
one of our top comedians, one of our top public broadcasters and, wait
for it, one of our top “independent” community advocates and
I have posted
below a rough, very approximate, transcript below for SEF’s records.
I will just make
a couple of points.
My comments are
directed at the human state in general and no individual.
I am great Goon
Show fan, in fact when I was younger people told me they could not think
of me without thinking of the Goon Show. Somewhere I still retain about
50 tapes of the show, I still retain Spike Milligan’s books and I used
to be able to quote many whole Goon Shows word and sound effect perfect.
I still vividly recall the electric shocks I used to get as kid as I
gripped the aerial wire to my homemade one value radio in my teeth as I
tried to maximise radio reception and catch every precious moment of the
Goon Show each week as it waxed and waned on the ether for a half an
hour of sanity each week.
I was born in the
shadow of the second world war. I experienced the effects on my father
and remain haunted by the wretched silence of those who lost relatives.
I also sat on my grandfather’s knee and heard of the horrors of being
gassed in the trenches in the first world war, as he was. War for me is
horrible. It is insane. It is misery. It is needless and to be avoided
at all costs. I wish more people around me understood that and would
stop driving cars and flying in jets.
I was vastly
affected by Spike Milligan, as he conveyed the horrors of war and bazaar
elements of human behaviour that enable that horror to persist on epic
scale. Somehow I gained strength in learning from him how to find humour
amidst that bazaar behaviour and to generate compassion and humanity
transcript below and tell me who or what is truly bizarre.
Are the Genesis
Energy’s managers really bizarre or are they simply normal human
beings doing exactly what the dominant ethos of our country prescribes
is sane behaviour?
All the history
of human kind and the hardest lessons we ever learned if we survived
them is that the Principle of the Conservation of Energy holds. It is
the nearest thing we have to a natural law. It is repository of great
Is not it really
bizarre then every member in the National Radio discussion dishes
Genesis Energy as bazaar and yet every member totally denies the
Conservation Principle and says energy and power are Bulk-generated
electricity. Can you get more bizarre than that?
Surely this is
bizarre as the notion that the Sustainable Energy Forum promotes, which
is that there is stuff called “sustainable energy”. Any sane person
knows energy is sustained and one is a fool or an idiot to confuse
energy with any of the forms it can take.
Is it not bizarre
that energy is manifest in myriad forms and power in myriad measures and
the universe has this vast potential and yet, wait for it folks, some of
our most influential human beings think energy and power are just one
tiny miserable aspect of all this vast range of options? In this case,
incredibly, they believe energy and/or power are Bulk-generated
Is it not bizarre
that all those on the Nat Radio panel find the Genesis Energy promotion
meaningless and bizarre and yet they employ all the uses of the energy
and power symbols that are promoted by the Spin doctors of this
“energy/power company” that “supplies power and energy”, which
is called Genesis Energy? Who is screwing who here? If I were a Genesis
Energy Spin doctor I would be laughing so much that I would have to be
stitched up again.
And what is so
bizarre about the management of Genesis Energy attempting to increase
their asset value? They are just doing exactly what the national
legislation of this country prescribes that they do. If you want sanity,
peace and prosperity then the Electricity Industry Reform legislation is
the last thing you would inflict on a country but the fact is we have
adopted it as our national way of life, bizarre as that is.
Not once did I
hear a member of the panel observe this most truly bizarre fact. These
guys at Contact Energy/Origin Energy, Trustpower, Meridian Energy,
Genesis Energy and Mighty River Power are just doing exactly what our
laws say they must do.
those symbols such a bizarre lot when you string them together like that
–they speak bizarre volumes about our nation and its lack of science.)
I tell you,
folks, you cannot get anything much more bizarre than the Electricity
Industry Reforms. Like where else in the universe can you lose your
democratic rights of association (MEDs, Power Boards etc) and ownership
over personal knowledge and, bizarre as it may seem, you end up
“deregulated” with regulations that give you “complete freedom of
choice” of six psychopathic corporations.
There’s a whole series of Goon Shows here. I can hear
Colonial Bloodnok “ Roll up, roll up, folks just step this way, folks,
just step into this jail for a moment and experience that wonderful
feeling of freedom … just leave your wallets out here with me for
safety… there you go Clang oohoohohhuahha …lets all do the jail
house rock .. this is your lucky day folks – we have a special deal on
to celebrate the advent of Spong and you can stay in there till niddle
noddle noo – whoosh (sound of Bloodnok departing for horizon with
And what is so
bizarre about the management of Genesis Energy attempting to promote a
little bit of carbon trading and a spot of carbon offsetting?
If its alright for our Prime Minister to tell the world New
Zealand is going to be “carbon neutral”, what’s wrong the Genesis
Energy guys encouraging us to be a bit delusional too. Especially if it
makes us feel better about burning fossil fuels and trashing the
atmospheric balances that sustain us.
Of course it is
pretty bizarre that human beings, which are creatures with carbon
constantly flowing through us, can even entertain such a daft notion as
carbon neutrality. But enough of us do to make the daft notion our
national policy and an essential part of our 100% Pure Clean Green Lie
whoops I mean Image.
And of course the
Genesis Energy managers are simply operating within the spirit of the
legislated Carbon Trading Scheme - which only the ACT party in our
parliament opposes. How much more bizarre can you get than that!
If it was OK for
Ned Seagoon to dream of getting out of the army by pretending insanity
and proposing that the Army buy a full scale cardboard replica of
Britain, tow it to the coast of Germany and wait till the Germans invade
it and then tow it out to sea and pull the plug on it and if it was OK
for Major Bloodnok to promptly give the order to purchase a full scale
cardboard replica of Britain then its seems to me that it is perfectly
sane and OK that the Genesis Energy management and its customers should
be able to order up a complete arcane and artificial construct called
The Carbon Market, load all their qualms and concerns about their carbon
emissions on it, send it out to sea and pull the plug on it too and live
happily ever after. You can order one free now at your local Government
Department or National Public Radio station or Te Papa you know...
described me as an “energy expert”. I have never felt so bizarre in
my life. I hastily assured those present that I really am a mere mortal
human. It is possible I may be something of an expert about the capacity
of humans for denial of the Conservation Principle and the bizarre
notions people have about the nature of energy. The idea that I, or any
other human, could be described as an “energy expert” is however
just so bizarre and demeaning of the potential of the universe(s).
I give Molly full
credit for her expertise on load management in Bulk-gen electricity
systems but to suggest that this knowledge makes her an “energy
consultant” is hilarious.
It is also bloody
tragic, for it is the stuff of war. The problem is, knowledge is
physical and so all this energy gobbledygook that is spun by the fossil
fuel and Bulk-gen electricity bankers is blinding us to sustainable ways
of living. It is equally lethal as land mines and bullets.
And be careful to
check out Contact Energy and TrustPower too, they are even more bizarre
than the SOEs. Remember Major Bloodnok is always trying to get you to
look the other way and feel very clever so he can distract you and
“relieve you of this very heavy weight called a wallet before it
crushes you, poor fellow”.
Too few people
look at constructs of The Market such as Stock Exchange, Kiwi Saver, the
ETS and the Electricity Reforms and see them for what they are – truly
and totally bizarre. Most people are either just try and see the sanity
in them and wonder why they feel totally perplexed or they see the
behaviour of people acting within the constructs and see them as
hilarious and bizarre when in actual fact the people with them are
simply acting in perfectly sane ways within bizarre constructs.
understand how bizarre they are then you will be as lost as Ned was with
Bluebottle? in India – “For days (puff gasp) we fought our way
(puff, grunt) through the dense tropical jungle (puff heave) that ran
along side the main arterial road.”
That’s the end
of my introduction to this week’s show and keep mindful of the power
of community. Remember what then happened as Ned and Bluebottle found
themselves surrounded by cannon fire and ten thousands Indians all set
to destroy them? They did the only thing that two people can do when in
such a terrible situation.
(Sound effects of
waltz music and relaxed cabaret ambience.)
Ned, Do you come
in the mating season.
So keep dancing
folks and remember also what is inscribed on the stone that marks the
spot of their last stand. It reads:
Ten Miles to
following Kiwi Goon Show. Written in hurry – not speil chucked.
The Sustainability Principle
“When a symbol use works
to deny change it will materially alter the potential of the universe
(energy) in a way that results in a reduction in the capacity of the
symbol user to mirror reality. When a symbol use works for the
acceptance of change it will increase the capacity of the symbol user to
With Wena Harawira and Gary McCormick. (duration:
Jim Let us attempt to explain this next story – Genesis Energy has found a whole new way to reward its customers.. brownie points are its way the company says are its way of thanking you for being with us..thank you Brian Mackie at the Gog? or God? Blog.org for picking up on this…
…Spend just 255 thousand dollars with Genesis
Energy and you get a free patio heater
Garry If I spend twice
as much…that $600,000 .. and I get two?
Jim It appears Genesis Energy has a new brownie points programme for its customer that rewards you … the more power you use in the home the more points you earn but the better your habits the more you earn …at the risk of being unfair to Genesis
… maybe Molly Melhuish will have a different construction on all this.. perhaps I am
Maybe I misunderstand the complexity of all
this..it seems bizarre..,
Wena“ It was incredible .. they want us to use
all that energy to earn these brownie points and at the same time they
are telling you that you are earning one carbon credit.
Jim Yes they will give a large house carbon offset that you can get for 51000 points or you can offset your car use this way .. the more power you use the more points you earn.
And the God? Blog says there are echoes of the Goon
Show here ..Remember why Eccles joined the army… “Why? I needed the
money to buy my way out of the army”.
We asked “Independent energy consultant” Molly
Melhuish to run a ruler over the brownie points …
Melhuish “It’s a bizarre scream isn’t it”.Yes I thought it
bizarre… for Gods sake you would have to use electricity for Africa to
get a prize … you don’t even get a choice of the prize.. it was
intentionally ridiculous.. there was no evident meaning..
Jim you would have to spend 446 000 dollars to
qualify for Masport Mower
Molly .. there has to be another reason.
Jim Q What is it trying to achieve?…is it trying
to sell more electricity?
Molly “ The rational reason would be to sell electricity. No I think the reason was simply to waste money
Let me add some information from my research…The
retail margin.. that the power companies like
Meridian, Genesis Contact and every one else make $170 per year
off each consumer… the retail margin in Victoria Australia is $70….
So already the power companies earning a total unreasonable margin..
that is from our power bills are $100 to high by that measure.. and to
justify that they have to spend a lot of money retailing.. brownie
points is a way of throwing away an enormous amount of money
Jim But they don’t have to give any of it out
until they (Genesis Energy customers) have spent 445000 dollars..
MollyIt’s a scheme which is designed not to
actually give anything out …and if it does get to give anything out it
does at their discretion and they get to use your name in their
Wena Is it a prank?
Garry McK ..
I would like to say this Molly here and and now, I would like to put in
on the record I really admire what you have done over the years You are
one of the people who have done the research.. I read everything you say
– I know we are being ripped in NZ by the power companies ..good on
you …keep up the good work. This sums up the whole situation its $70
in Australia… $170 profit here…
Molly And that is for a purpose Jim Justifying
price hikes to increase their asset value … the underlying reason is
to increase their asset value
Jim Well the other seemingly praiseworthy aspect of
this Molly Melhuish, before you go is the minimisation of carbon
footprints.. I couldn’t really get my head around what they are in
Molly No NO they Offering to increase your carbon foot prints to get brownie points….
Garry… Get a masport motor mower.. good stuff
Wena Harawira …And the patio heater…
Molly– …its bizarre – sheer waste of money – if National Party wants to get rid of bureaucrats they REALLY have to get rid of these bizarre people in the SOE companies who are wasting your money and my money for the purpose of increasing their asset value.
Sorry about it but that’s it
Thank you Molly Melhuish and the Gog? blog , just to give them the last words– “down at Genesis Energy headquarters the lights are on but they are very dim
The flash harrys and harriets have overlooked the
only real winning offer. Just cut the real price of energy…
Jim Oh well..It gave us a chuckle
Garry I’m in pain actually..chuckling through
Jim….just chuckling through the tears
Return to Blog 18 Nov 2008
Carbon, climate, mineral oil prices, metering
Re Carbon use
question of what is biomass waste that can be used for vehicle fuel and
heating plant takes on a new significance with this study.
The Earth's temperature may stay roughly the
same for a decade, as natural climate cycles enter a cooling phase,
scientists have predicted.
A new computer
model developed by German researchers, reported in the journal Nature,
suggests the cooling will counter greenhouse warming…
..The key to the
new prediction is the natural cycle of ocean temperatures called the
Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which is closely related to the
warm currents that bring heat from the tropics to the shores of Europe.
The cause of the
oscillation is not well understood, but the cycle appears to come round
about every 60 to 70 years.
Note BBC article rates as “very
unsustainable” according to Climate Change Communication Evaluator
Mark Serreze is the senior research scientist from the National Snow and Ice
Data Centre in Colorado. (duration:
models seem accurate in predictions of the melting of Arctic ice. If
anything they underestimate the rate of meltdown. Article contains
valuable information. Some SEF readers may recall that some years ago I
posted links to US Foreign Relations documents discussing how to
capitalise on a relatively ice free Arctic even as the US Administration
was denying the such a phenomenon was possible.
Note RadioNZ article rates as “very unsustainable”
according to Climate Change Communication Evaluator.
Re communication of carbon care.
Comment. At present the market price of mineral oil is
dropping and some use this fact to argue “The Market is working” and
“the energy crisis is easing”. It is helpful to be clear that
the market price has no relationship to the value of mineral oil and
that once it is burned this extremely valuable resource is destroyed.
It is more helpful to understand price fluctuations in terms of
psychology than economics. For instance check out the price history
graphs in this wiki article. As I quoted in my latest blog:
retreating for several months in late 2004 and early 2005,
crude oil prices rose to new highs in March 2005.”
The Principle of the Conservation of Energy still holds and the
resource is still being destroyed at a rate of over 80 million barrels a
day. Until a low market price reflects a high individual valuation of
the resource then any lowering of the market price only hastens the
global economic collapse. The market price has more to do with election
cycles and the maintenance of addictive behaviour.
Re Metering, “feed-in tariffs”
Meters not being misread: Contact
By DYLAN THORNE - The Southland Times | Wednesday,
30 July 2008
Contact Energy yesterday
maintained it had not been been misreading meters despite growing
consumer complaints about massive power bills.
A report about Garston Gig
Cafe owner Tony Corbett's whopping $1100 power bill in The Southland
Times on Saturday sparked reports of similar horrendous power bills,
including one that jumped from an average $170 to $970.
The increases could be
attributed to a cold winter and changes in energy use, such as heat
pumps, and the fact actual readings, rather than estimates, occurred
every two months in residential areas and every three months in rural
areas, he said…”
the benefit of new SEF members and other readers:
in the 1980s the Christchurch MED debated whether to post or field
deliver bills. It found that they received payments 3.5 days earlier on
bills delivered by us meter readers than those posted. The interest
earned on that money in the bank paid for most of the meter reading
costs. Thus some of us noticed that after customer intelligence was
privatised in the Electricity Reforms of the 1990s there was a distinct
tendency for the algorithms used by the new Bulk-gen electricity
corporations to estimate consumption to be inaccurate and overestimate
by the equivalent of several days of consumption. Which is what you
would expect of “profit driven” corporations.
early 1990s we meter readers at Wellington MED were told our jobs would
be gone by 2000. From memory the example given was a Florida utility
that had recently begun reading the meters of 2 million customers by
remote means. Even as I acknowledged the probable loss of my meter
reading job I also was aware that the new technology would enable
communities to make far more sustainable uses of their local electrical
potential. The possibilities were truly exciting!
Electricity Industry Reform legislation 1993 effectively forced a profit
motive (as against a service motive) on communities and the new
companies formed suddenly had little interest in replacing the metering
system and maintaining the ripple control system. The implementation of
the “smart” technology was further postponed in 1998 when that
Electricity Reform legislation banned communities from making
intelligent uses of their local electrical potential. The new owners of
most of our meters and ripple receivers) (TransAlta, NGC et al) had no
interest in providing intelligent uses of smart meters because
corporations like them make their best profits when the electrical grid
system is stressed to the max.
companies inherited a national meter system that was largely freehold in
the 1970s and I have seen estimates that over a million (i.e. over half)
of our meters are over 30 years old. I understand rentals average $50
per aged meter per year. This has been a pure cash flow of over half a
billion dollars to often fly-by-night companies of– money that could
have paid for intelligent and resilient community grid systems.
timely to remember that Labour made much capital in 1999 of what it
called Mad Max’s Electricity Shambles (Hon Max Bradford) and promised
to clean up “the mess” caused by the 1998 legislation. Hon
David Parker, current Minister of Energy, came into Parliament on such a
resulting Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry in March 2000 I argued
that the Reform legislation had stripped away the democratic rights of
New Zealand citizens and put many of us at excessive risk. In particular
I warned that in the context the new anti-community systems and ethos
the advent of “smart metering” was dangerous. This has proven
prophetic. If I knew then what I know now I would have suggested to the
Commission that the legislation puts us a major risk of becoming a
Chair of the Commission (now head of the Electricity Commission) David
Caygill, asked me where the money for the new smart metering might come
from. I replied to the effect “ I don’t know now. However the
special $NZ350 million profit that TransAlta’s Calgary website is
boasting about from its recent sale of its NZ assets would have gone a
long way towards funding the technology”. I recall well how David’s
two fellow Commissioners looked shocked then sick as the truth of my
then asked me how soon we could expect the “smart metering” to be
implemented. Unfortunately I am not very articulate and my response was
also qualified by my very mistaken belief that the new Labour
Administration was going to repeal the Electricity Reform legislation as
promised. I knew it would require a couple of years for communities to
recover from the immense damage they had sustained in the Reforms. So I
mumbled something like “ The advent of new technology is always slower
than we imagine it will be but when it does arrive its impact is far
greater than we could have imagined.”
statement has also been proven very true but not as I dreamed.
time I assumed the Commission would recommend that NZ citizens would be
re-enfranchised and communities re-enabled to participate in the
Electricity Market. With that I expected an explosion in the use of
dwelling scale generators, dwelling insulation, the intelligent use of
“smart” appliances and resurgence in quality education programmes. I
also expected to see the implosion of unsustainable structures like
Contact Energy, TransAlta-NGC-On Energy, Trustpower et al.
records David Caygill and the Labour Administration opted for retaining
the Electricity Reforms. However the impact of the new technology is
still proving greater than I could have imagined.
the last 8 years I have witnessed the escalating destruction of the
science underpinning our education system, from our top professors to
our five year olds, as the Electricity Reforms have reframed vital
elements of our curriculum. The main mechanisms for this destruction are
“environmental education programmes” and the mass-media programmes
of the Bulk-gen electricity corporations.
Electricity Reforms have been deeply embedded into our technology also
and as corporations such as Meridian Energy install the “smart”
technology we are witnessing the probable loss of civic rights on an
exponential scale few people can imagine. The loss of rights include the
loss of control over the data generated by the “smart appliances” in
their dwellings, the loss of capacity of individuals to develop the
intelligence potential (solar, electrical, carbon etc) of their
dwellings and their local community plus the loss of their rights to
select broadband sources of information and entertainment.
Note The Southland Times
article rates as “very unsustainable” according to
Climate Change Communication Evaluator.
Know and value
democracy and your community.
Posting 12 December 2008
Framework for submission to Emissions Trading Strategy Review?.
I was intrigued
by the lack of response on SEF to the British Government’s
announcement that it was raising the price of air travel from Britain.
Personally I thought the removal of $200 off the vast subsidies our rich
elite of air travellers receive was a rare and sane move towards more
sustainable use of our carbon potential – especially if the funds were
released to retrofit Britain’s housing stock with insulation, install
solar systems etc. I figured the removal of this subsidy provided an
acid test of the sincerity of New Zealand’s (including SEF’s)
commitment to sustainable practices. The response of our media, business
leaders and our politicians indicates a significant lack of sincerity.
The silence of SEF gives considerable cause for concern. This was an
ideal opportunity to expose our hypocrisy and to applaud the enhancement
of stewardship in the greater world.
I figure the
review of the ETS is another acid test of SEF and I would like to thank
Allan T for providing a thoughtful basis for the subsequent discussion
that followed on SEF.
Allan T wrote (1
“I find it interesting
the term "carbon tax" has appeared again in the upcoming ETS
review driven by Rodney Hide. I'm not sure if this represents an
opportunity to get it right this time, given the context of a right wing
government, but for what it's worth, this would be my ideal GHG control
Here are a few
thoughts that SEF might like to consider for a framework if it makes a
(a) We are
“Peak oil” activists make uses of the “zero carbon”, “low
carbon” and “post carbon” symbols that obscure the fact that
carbon is a major element of all biomass, including the human body, and
carbon is an inextricable part of our future. For instance today I read on
YORK (Reuters) - Scientists at Harvard University and IBM are hoping to
harness the power of a million idle computers to develop a new, cheaper
form of solar power that could revolutionize the green energy world.
launched the project using IBM's World Community Grid, which taps into
volunteers' computers across the globe to run calculations on a myriad
of compounds -- potentially shortening a project that could take 22
years to just two years.
scientists are hoping the project will allow it to discover a
combination of organic materials that can be used to manufacture plastic
solar cells that are cheaper and more flexible than the silicon-based
ones typically used to turn sunlight into electricity.
Similarly we can
make far greater use of carbon by employing more intelligent design of
food, insulation, building cladding, data storage and other systems.
“Climate change activists/experts” have little credibility.
The lack of
science underpinning the lifestyles and the communication of climate
processes of these people suggests factors such as ego, career, family,
monetary, religious and other pressures are biasing their objectivity.
They may well have some expertise of climate processes but their
aggregate performance generates much reason not to trust their
information. The net impact is that they model non-science.
Their persistent confusion of thermodynamics indicates they experience a
massive denial of change/stewardship in climate change. For instance
their constant equation of warming with warming up reveals a profound
ignorance of the thermal flux of the universe(s). All objects are
subject to constant warming, enabling their existence at a constant
temperature. When warming up of the object occurs we have a change of
state – there is a temperature change.
Their constant use and evocation of the “greenhouse” symbol of
Earth’s system reflects a profound belief system or religion in which
humans can engineer the planet’s ecosystem at will. Humans are seen as
above and beyond the laws of thermodynamics governing the universe. The
characteristics of this particular belief system emerged simultaneously
with the Industrial Revolution – a revolution in which humans
(especially Europeans) were seen as being deigned by God to have
dominion over all creatures and the Earth in general. The
“greenhouse” symbol is an evocation similar to religious symbols
such as the crucifix, the yin yang and the swastika ("that
which is associated with well-being,").
It is hard to believe someone who flies in jets and drives cars around
the world urging other people to refrain from using such technology. We
are finely tuned to detect such dissonance at a primal level as we
process the information of our mirror neurons.
As Brent E
stated, it is all about risk evaluation and management. Little is known
about the impact of solar, ozone and water vapour fluctuations. There
are indications that human activities can affect climate balances in
significant ways. For instance Earth entered a cooling down cycle
11,000(?) years ago. This cooling down process has been interrupted by
some medium term event. A candidate is the global expansion of human
activities developing extensive rice paddies, de-afforestation and the
use of fire in agriculture over the last several thousand years.
position is that all human activities impact on climate balances to some
degree and the distinct probability exists that we could have a
significant negative impact on the climate balances that sustain us. It
is highly probable that burning all existing fossil fuel reserves in a
generation or so, as we are quite capable of, has this potential.
that risk we need take a holistic account of our use of carbon. SEF
should remind the Parliamentary Review panel of the unhelpful nature of
the limitations of its framework and make it clear that intelligent
discussion and effective risk analysis can only occur within a full
consideration of our carbon potential. The ETS disables nations from
performing such holistic calculations.
SEF could provide
practical examples of holistic calculations e.g. investment in correctly
installed polyester (carbon based) insulation in dwellings provides a
longer term return, reduces health costs by x amount, reduces the costs
generated by peak demand for Bulk-generated electricity by y amount,
reduces the risk to householders from tectonic, weather and solar events
as the dwellings are more self-sustaining, reduces the costs associated
with importing fuels etc.
There is no inherent link between stewardship of atmospheric balances and the ETS.
It is common
practice for ETS proponents to condemn its opponents as “deniers” of
humans’ capacity to destroy climate balances critical to our survival.
ETS proponents dismiss its opponents as “ignorant” and
There is no
systematic research supporting this thesis. Indeed the anecdotal
evidence provided by informal surveys of the lifestyles of prominent ETS
proponents suggests their activities, on average, make significantly
more high-risk uses of our carbon potential than the norm. For instance
it is highly probable that ETS activists and media proponents destroy at
least 30 barrels of mineral oil per 1000 activists/proponents compared
to the global average of 3-4 barrels per 1000 people and their
lifestyles require very large subsidies from lower income groups.
evidence that the ETS will fail to promote stewardship includes:
It is based on
the same trading system that gives us:
loans derivatives market
Evidence: As we
are now witnessing, 100s of trillions of dollars of trades this last two
decades have resulted in the massive destruction of wealth in those
countries most involved in the trades. Some have calculated this loss of
wealth to be in the order of $US0.5 trillion per annum in the USA alone
this last decade.
fossil fuels market:
market has provided an average valuation of mineral oil at under 0.5
cents per man-hour of labour energy equivalent since 1980 during which
time over half of the cheaply extracted resource has been depleted. Even
at this extremely low valuation price swings of over 100% occur within
very short periods, making planning impossible and generating social
disorder. The social systems and institutions based on this very low
valuation now form trillion dollar liabilities for the next generation.
New Zealand Electricity Market (1993 on)
period has been characterised by historic high spill-overs of hydrodams
while fossil fuel combustion plant have been burning fuel reserves at
maximal rates. While global technological innovation of Distributed
Generation has advanced considerably the current Electricity Market has
actively prevented New Zealanders from enjoying the benefit of it. Also
lower income households have experienced a doubling in prices in the
last decade with a general loss of service, options and democracy.
Evidence: It is
probable that the ETS originated in Enron. Enron and US Government
documents detail how Enron worked directly with Gore and Clinton to
shape “climate policy, especially prior to Kyoto.E.g.
Enron Said The Final Gore
Global Warming Treaty Was "Another Victory For Us." An
internal Enron memo about the Kyoto Protocol said, '"[i]f
implemented, this agreement will do more to promote Enron's business
than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of
restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the
United States. . . This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!'
Drafted by Enron's Kyoto emissary immediately upon his return from
Japan, it praises individual Kyoto features with 'we won,' 'another
victory for us,' and 'exactly what I have been lobbying for.'"
What is certain is that Enron provided the first detailed
working model for the ETS and its trades of other commodities using its
global trading systems (Enron Online) were exemplars of how carbon
trading would work. In this system the fundamental notion underpinning
carbon trading is that it does not matter what is traded or why it is
traded or what impact the trade has. The prime driver of the activity is
maximising the number and quantity of trades.
The psychology of the ETS.
objective of the ETS is to promote behavioural change that will result
in net few emissions of the small group of trace gases with a very high
thermal capacity (the Warmer Trace Gases). Note: The inability of many
people, especially our media and educators, to accept the reality of
these gases results in the perverse behaviour where these gases are
commonly symbolised as “greenhouse gases.”
The dominant of
these gases is water vapour. Because it is relatively volatile and is
affected by very complex feedback systems with the other Warmer Trace
Gases relatively little is known about how human activities affect water
vapour concentrations and reactions. More is known of how human
activities affect the balances and flows of trace gases such as carbon
dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Thus the ETS framework does not
include water vapour with “climate carers/ETS proponents” dismissing
it as a secondary effect, even though it is by far the dominant Warmer
Trace Gas. Hence the focus on “carbon emissions” is a very arbitrary
decision and we find lists of the Warmer Trace Gases often omit
reference to the existence of water vapour.
human activity involves “carbon emissions” of some sort. Hence the
proposed ETS affects every aspect of our lives – where we live, what
we eat, how we keep warm/cool, what shelter we have, how we move, how we
learn, how we socialise…
In other words
the ETS involves profound issues of equity, stewardship and sovereignty
– issues we already struggle with. Indeed there is growing evidence
that our inability to resolve these issues has brought the human species
to the point of catastrophic collapse.
members saw The
Times’ article reprinted in the Sunday Star Times this week:
The fool’s gold of carbon
A huge new market designed to solve global warming seems
doomed to failure
are witnessing the birth of the greatest and most complex commodity
market the world has seen…
incongruity of proposing that a brand new financial market might be able
to save the world – when faith in every other kind of financial market
is tumbling – needs no underlining. But there are plenty of other
reasons for scepticism, too.
Hansen, director of the Nasa God-dard space centre and a renowned critic
of global measures to combat climate change, believes carbon trading is
a “terrible” approach. “Carbon trading does not solve the emission
problem at all,” he says. “In fact it gives industries a way to
avoid reducing their emissions. The rules are too complex and it creates
an entirely new class of lobbyists and fat cats.”…
observations are supported by the insights of millennia of research into
our psychology. A
significant body of evidence suggests humans have a vast capacity for
creating very sophisticated rationales to deny their roles as stewards
amidst change. The ETS shows all the hallmarks of such a rationale.
Fundamentally the psychological process involves individuals,
communities and nations ceding their sovereignty, decisions about equity
and their roles as stewards to an abstruse, faceless authority called
the Carbon Market.
The origins of
this construct lie deep in our psychology.
Every human being is constituted of both compassion and
psychopathy or a lack of compassion. Every human being goes through
developmental stages where first a sense of right/wrong occurs, then
actions are driven by considerations of how society rewards/punishes
ones actions. In the mature human being external mores and values are
internalised so that actions are driven by an inner sense of stewardship
The ETS is a
projection or reflection of our psychopathic elements. Those that
endorse the ETS and relegate their stewardship to the Carbon Market show
evidence of being arrested at the intermediate immature stage and are
driven by external reward/punishment systems.
suggest that similar processes can be identified in communities and
To give concrete
construct called “The Market” prices a Wellington-Auckland journey
at $69 for a Air NZ fare and at $144 for a Toll rail fare. “The
Market” driven person travels by Air NZ in one hour. The person driven
by an inner sense of stewardship of our carbon potential travels by rail
in the knowledge the train is mainly electrically driven and the journey
will take 12 hours.
trading ethos has been driving NZ policy for nearly two decades now.
During that time forest planting has decreased, the first decline in
nearly a century. Most of this decline was a direct response of
corporations to the carbon trading ethos. Forests have no intrinsic
values to them and they respond only to exterior reward/punishment
signals – real or anticipated.
Note: When CIA
standard evaluations of psychopathy are applied to modern corporations
they rate very highly as psychopathic institutions - Source http://www.thecorporation.com/
By contrast many
NZ communities and individuals have continued to embrace their roles as
stewards of our carbon potential. They place a high value on forests and
they have continued planting and conserving them, quite independent of
The Market signals – real or anticipated.
examples provide evidence of radically different belief systems
generating radically different behaviours with radically different
psychology is providing other important insights that suggest other
inherent fatal flaws in the ETS. FMRI scans have identified the
existence of major latticework of “mirror neurons” throughout our
brains. These respond to all forms of symbols and play a profound role
in enabling us to communicate. In brief, it seems highly probable that
we respond at primal level to the activities of others. It means we are
very sensitive to dissonance between another person’s deeds and their
words. It also means any dissonance between our own deeds and words is
revealed in our choice of symbol uses and is subliminally reflected in
An example of
this is “An Inconvenient Truth” in which Al Gore modelled flying in
jets and driving large cars and attempted to resolve the dissonance by
“offsetting” his activities with “carbon trades”. While this
behaviour does not alter the behaviour of those who believe it is their
God-given right to fly and drive cars on scale it does affect the
critical portion of society (15-20%?) who are contemplating changes of
behaviour because they identify with Al Gore as a symbol of climate
stewardship. We now see his behaviour reflected in the actions of the NZ
Green Party caucus, NZ Greenpeace, Government officials and other
similar groups – all have now endorsed the ETS. We also saw, as was
predicted, car purchases and jet travel, increased in NZ in the
aftermath of the movie – despite rising mineral oil prices.
ETS and our education system.
The insights of
neural psychology are being supported by education research. In
particular educators are now becoming aware of the enhanced potency of
experiential learning activities and of the “hidden curriculum”
(those activities that are inherent in the school structures and
communities eg the local transport serving the school, its building
design and use, etc)
implementation of the ETS will generate a learning environment in which
the fundamental message is that a student need not be concerned about
issues of sovereignty, equity and stewardship for these considerations
are decided by “The Carbon Market”. This abstract social entity will
care for both them and the climate balances that sustains them as long
as they respond to the price signals provided by the market trades.
In brief, the ETS
ethos works directly against the explicit goals of the recently adopted
National Education Curriculum.
Ken P wrote:
“..Having argued for the
tax option over the last fifteen years, I now accept that within the
OECD cohort that particular train has left the station. The task for NZ
will be not to divorce itself from the direction chosen by our major
Finally, is there anything wrong with the concept of a Trans-Tasman ETS?
particular train has left the station, but no thanks, I’m giving it a
miss. My observation is that a mixture of psychopaths and psychotics
mans it and the train line goes around the corner straight into
oblivion. This statement may seem extreme if you are not mindful that it
is an insane act to confuse energy with one of the myriad forms it can
take (mineral oil/gas in this case) and you persist in deluding yourself
that you and several billion people can use it as though it has a value
of only half a cent per man-hour of labour equivalent. This behaviour is
an almost certain recipe for catastrophic warfare.
And a person has
to be either extremely uninformed or in blind denial to see that the
current activities of “OECD cohort” must result in such catastrophic
warfare in the near future – probably by 2013. The war will most
likely be triggered by traditional cause –middleclass people lashing
out when they suddenly find their wealth has evaporated and the rich
consider them mere cheap labour, in this case, to replace the loss of
the cheap labour until recently provided by mineral oil.
The ETS and the
wild fluctuations in mineral oil/gas prices only exacerbate the wealth
concentration processes of the most powerful traders and enhance the
risk of war as the unsustainable status quo is maintained, destroying
remaining options in the process.
“middle ground” can be viewed as simply the consensus of the elite
–high-consumer grouping typified by our media, universities and policy
makers. The corporatisation of these institutions means they are more
the source of our problems than our solutions now. It is helpful to be
mindful that Simon was part of a Government that imposed the Electricity
Industry Reforms on NZ, transferred control of much of our electrical,
rail and banking systems to Australian merchant bankers and promoted
SUVs, jumbo housing etc on scale. This has cost us dearly in direct
dollar terms and in terms of our capacity to make sustainable uses of
our electrical, solar and carbon potentials. Watch household debt and
unemployment levels rocket in the New Year as the liabilities generated
by the Administration he was part of begin to have a fuller impact now
mineral oil is retailing over $US25 a barrel.
Simon’s idea of
the middle ground at Kyoto was to negotiate between the implementation
of the ETS and the Clinton/Gore’s threats to walk out if they did not
get it. He agitated against the majority view of humanity that carbon
taxation systems are the sustainable way to go. In this context his
position is extreme and probably untenable – as the current implosion
of derivatives trading systems (loans, commodities, currencies etc)
I predict history
will conclude SEF’s submission on the National Energy Strategy was
unhelpful because we allowed ourselves to operate in and endorse a
fundamentally flawed framework. Thus SEF failed to identify critical
problems and offer solutions to them. It is essential we do not permit
this to occur this time if SEF does make a formal submission on the ETS.
communicated to me valuable information over the years about the
failures of the ETS.
For example, the
massive transfer of wealth (5 billion euros?) in a very short period
from European consumers to the bankers of the Bulk-gen electricity
For example the
secret Meridian-Comalco deal here in New Zealand shows both the lack of
transparency in carbon trading and the hypocrisy of “Climate
Ministers”. Arguably this deal alone shows there are such flaws in the
system that it should be scrapped. It exposes the real objective of the
ETS, which is the transfer of wealth out of communities into the pockets
of the traders.
transfer objective was underlined in the recent Treasury Report to the
new Government. If I heard correctly it proposed lowering taxes for the
wealthy, increasing GST (which affect this group the least) and it gave
the ETS high marks.
perhaps we could put it to the Review committee that there are two
completely different issues involved here:
Zealanders be concerned about the impact of our activities on climate
Zealand cede much of its sovereignty to carbon traders? Are we in a
position to out bet the dominant traders in the ETS?
Above all we must
promote a clear vision of our roles as Carbon Beings and the capacity of
carbon taxes to make intelligent strategic decisions. And the psychology
of the ETS is that it is fundamentally a system for those who would not
care about the conservation of carbon balances. We should give credit to
those who say they do not care and are out for the quick buck, for at
least they are honest. The bigger danger lies in those who pretend to a
care they do not have.
Upton article Dominion Post
–Gore – ETS links
Various Media Outlets
Found in Research and Referenced | 22 August 2002 | Freeper Research
on Friday, 23 August 2002 9:05:15 a.m.
Prediction Time; The psychosis and psychopathy driving current uses of our electrical, solar and carbon potentials.
monitor the oil price that is reported in Energy and Environment
Yes, things seem
to be following the predicable and destructive paths that one expects of
addictive behaviour. On the
surface the consumption and marketing of the substance seems erratic but
there is an underlying unsustainable order. The key thing to note is the
addict is unable to confront the reality of their condition and thus is
unable to place a meaningful value on the substance or face the
consequences of its abuse.
hear politicians of nearly all the parties, journalists and economists
saying that no one could have predicted the depth of the current
economic malaise. SEF members know this is untrue. Some of us have long
made clear and informed predictions of the economic implosion. We are
now confronted with the reality that our policy makers are in major
denial of their disorder and we are faced with the questions of how best
to respond to the situation.
behaviour is a very complex process and in this case it is vital that
addicts can see there are ordinary people who live fulfilling lives
without the need to own cars, fly in jets, have children, dwell in large
houses, eat meat and who are able to better conserve our carbon
potential. I suggest we can play an important role by acting as models
of relative sanity that they may reflect and draw sustenance from if and
when they “hit the wall”.
behaviour is accompanied by delusions and we all experience them to some
degree. One measure of the extent of the delusions is to check out how
they affect the capacity to predict the consequences of behaviour. For
instance, what will be the consequences if everyone decides to drive
cars? To fly jets? To beget children? (as against perhaps sharing a
I have just
posted a blog detailing a list of predictions
I have made this last
decade or so. It is a biased list for I seem better able to remember the
accurate predictions I have made.
The list includes
the public predictions I made in 2004 that mineral oil would be close to
$US80 in 2008 and economic systems based on US$25 would implode. This
prediction was based on very simple calculations that a child of twelve
can understand. If you have 25000 servants and their wages rise from 0.1
cents an hour to 0.2 cents an hour then your wealth is effectively
halved. Such is the story of a barrel of mineral oil that does so much
of our lifting, pushing and pulling for us.
Last week at my
submission to the Greater Wellington Transport Plan the Chair, Fran
Wilde, confirmed to the committee that I predicted to the council last
year that mineral oil, then $US100, would go to $US150 and then plummet
by Christmas before beginning rising about April - May this year.
(Simple psychology = it was US election year.)
I am very aware
that the actual price can be misleading and it is the capacity of an
individual to actually be able to afford to purchase the resource that
counts. It will be especially misleading now Governments are printing
money at a frenetic, if not criminal, rate.
While I did not
spell out this caveat I repeated my prediction to Greater Wellington
that the price would reach $US80 again this year and this would result
in credit collapses of even greater magnitude than that experienced last
year. I am predicting a renewed surge in wealth destruction, renewed
demands from the bankers for additional “stimuli”/subsidy packages
soon, and growing civil breakdown in countries that make addictive uses
of mineral oil/gas. The breakdown will extend to their currencies.
nature of our use of our carbon potential will be compounded if carbon
trading is adopted universally later this year and catastrophic war by
about 2013 will become almost inevitable.
I remain hopeful
that enough people have learned from the clear failure of systems like
the current Electricity Reform structures and derivatives trades
generally to reject the insanity of Carbon Trading. This said my
confidence was shaken last Friday when I attended a Greenpeace “sign
on” campaign meeting.
I see the wisdom
in signing up to get our leaders to commit to carbon dioxide levels of
say 350 ppm but if this is used as a lever to implement a global carbon
trading then I think humanity is at far worse risk than if no cap is set
clearly oblivious to the risks, as is illustrated in this quote scorning
NZ inaction: “A carbon trader in Wellington was saying the other day
that if New Zealand does not sign up then we will become the Cuba of the
reveals the ignorance and moral bankruptcy of both the Carbon Trader and
Greenpeace. In question time afterwards I suggested all evidence this
far was that Greenpeace would prove counterproductive and pointed out
that Cuba with its initiatives in health, local food production and
micro-generation of electrical products etc provides a very valuable
model of a transition economy from the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas era.
that it is not enough to change ones own behaviour. We need change our
laws. I agree entirely and as members of the forum well know I have long
argued that we need repeal the Fascist Electricity Industry Reform laws
in New Zealand. New Zealand can never provide the world a model of
anything but misery while these remain in place as the intelligent use
of our solar, carbon and electrical potentials are all dependent on the
legal framework controlling community uses of these potentials.
Transition is impossible under the current regime.
not offer a single useful example of what laws need to be reformed and
Clean Energy, along with other activist groups such as Consumer
Environmental Educators and our Universities are the prime proponents of
the Electricity Industry Reform legislation.
Last week I
posted links to an inventory of symbol uses that I have assembled.
The inventory is an illustration of the practical application of the Sustainability Principle of Energy. Those who have taken the time to check it out will know it provides a unique way of measuring of the degree of science that the symbol user enjoys.
What may have
been less apparent is that it is also a measure of the degree of
psychosis of the symbol user. As mentioned, we all experience elements
of psychosis to some degree. Aggregation of the symbol uses in denial of
change/stewardship offers an indication of the scale of the psychosis*.
Psychosis (from the Greek ψυχή "psuche", for mind or soul, and -ωσις "-osis", for abnormal condition), with adjective psychotic, literally means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". People suffering from psychosis are said to be psychotic.
I don’t really
know what drives me and it seems possible my use of the “reality”
symbol is driven by my awareness of the Conservation and Uncertainty
Principles of Energy. In brief, energy is bounteous; all is
change/transformation; any form is a trace and integral element of all
and that includes humans, whether we like it or not.
inventory makes clear is that high IQ and academic qualifications do not
make one immune to profound psychosis. Indeed my analysis indicates that
it is our educated elite that evidences the greatest vulnerability.
examination of the language of our climate experts and “energy
experts” reveals profound denial on a scale matched only by that of
our merchant bankers. While they might not directly destroy our carbon
potential on the scale of the bankers they are still rank in the elite
of destroyers. The dissonance generated by their greater knowledge of
the impacts of their behaviour is manifest in their language exhibiting
similar levels of denial.
runs deep in our media, which of course is entirely controlled by the
merchant bankers. Our media is almost entirely divorced from reality.
Reflect on these samples of our top journalists.
Transition Towns are spreading around New Zealand
as communities roll up their sleeves to become more self-relient
introduces the programme thus, "If ever an idea has whose time has come
it is that of the transition town. All over the world local communities
are realising that if they don’t take greater charge of their
production and consumption then we are all in for a rough time... “
but the programme that follows is framed in denial and completely fails
to address the most fundamental question “Can transition towns really
exist in New Zealand?” Even
a superficial exploration of this question would have revealed the
discussion is entirely academic. Transition towns cannot exist in New
Zealand –and probably not in the UK either.
Longer term SEF
members may recall that I articulated several years ago that we are in a
state of transition and I suggested humanity is in transition from the
short Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas era to the Great Solar/Electrical Era, this
involving a radical shift in how we use our carbon potential. Critical
to the success of this transition is the ability and capacity of
communities to optimise how they use their electrical, solar and carbon
I have pointed
out ad nauseum that the 1993 and 1998 Electricity Industry Reform
legislation is expressly designed to destroy this capacity. It has been
100% effective and now not one single NZ community owns the intelligence
of their local electrical networks. Pre the Reforms 100% of communities
owned their local intelligence plus their 230-volt electrical grid.
community of the Capital City of New Zealand no longer owns any
electrical grids with the exception of Wellington Cable Car
is the nominal owner the trolley bus grid (The company was formed after
1991 legislation stopped local authorities running passenger transport
services.) The trolley bus grid is close to collapse also and the
community retains little capacity to make intelligent use of it.
As a result our
Capital City is a powerful model of a community unable to be a
transition town. The particular tragedy is that the community had one of
the finest potentials in the world in the 1970-80s and was a global
leader in pioneering models of transition in the aftermath of the
1970’s “Oil Shocks”.
I have also
pointed out ad nauseum that the Electricity Industry Reform legislation
is working exactly as it was designed to.
It has enabled the transfer of billions of dollars of wealth from
freehold communities to a few bankers and enabled very wasteful uses of
fossil fuels, which again makes very large short-term income flows for
these bankers as they are able to profit from stressing electrical grids
to breaking point.
Examine this conversation of National Radio on Tuesday
With Linda Clark and Linley Boniface with Jim Mora
These are the elite of our journalists and as the programme shows
clearly they are capable of speaking in most erudite way on a wide range
of subjects. However there is a notable exception. Jim asks what we
should make of the despondency surrounding the fall in profits of
Contact Energy because we have an improved Hydro capacity this year? Not
one member of the panel has an intelligent insight to offer and all
confess to being baffled by the Electricity Industry. One can sense them
passing the topic around the studio like it is a steaming dog turd.
Linda says she has looked in depth at this subject before and it is
fiendishly difficult to comprehend.
Her response is interesting because it is very typical of the denial of
our journalists/educators/academics. Even if the reality is actually
simple and is presented to them they are still unable to see it, such is
the degree of their psychosis. In this case the current operations of
the Electricity Industry make great sense if one is capable of accepting
the possibility of the simple notion that industry is now working
exactly as the Reforms designed it to. Six years after this 2003 letter
to Linda her condition remains unchanged.
Linda is no different to every other prominent journalist/ presenter
and commentator in our media who has had reality revealed to them and
continues to reject it. Their general behaviour patterns are in too much
dissonance with reality. Fortunately there is a large residue in sanity
in the wider population, without which our society would have imploded
in self-destructive ways a decade ago.
And there are signs that some journalists are catching glimpses of
reality. On the same radio programme last week Richard Griffin spoke of
finally getting around to watching the movie “Enron, the Smartest Guys
in the Room”. He expressed his deep shock at what he witnessed and
clearly now has the potential to accept the psychopathic nature of the
reality, which is the US Electricity Industry.
I find it difficult to predict whether this will mean our journalists
are capable of accepting the high probability that such psychopathy is
the essence of the reformed New Zealand Electricity Industry. I
experienced the universal stunned silence of the packed audience after
the premier of the movie in Wellington. The audience sat unmoving for
some minutes, clearly in a state of shock.
By comparison I was elated for at last I was at long last experiencing
a profound affirmation of my experiences of the NZ Electricity Industry
Reforms. My elation was short lived. As I chatted with folk afterwards I
ventured the idea that the same happens in New Zealand and the impacts
were far worse on some of those effected than the movie portrays. Every
one moved away from me as though I had swine flu… I realised I had
suddenly become a most inconvenient presence. They were not ready to
part with their delusion about “civil, peace-loving democratic New
Linda, Linley and Jim did not discuss the possibility of a larger
reality: Contact Energy (AKA Contact Positive Energy) is part of a wider psychopathic condition. It
(like all the private corporations such as Telecom, Tranz Rail, BP,
Microsoft, McDonalds, Merck, JP Morgan Chase, most of our SOEs et
al) profits most from stressed inefficient systems and unhealthy
populations. By contrast communities profit most from efficient systems
and healthy members. The psychology of why the private corporations are
fundamentally misery mongers is explained well in the movie “The
Corporation”. It identifies their psychopathy and traces its origins.
Thus Contact Energy’s profits tumble because our hydro-electrical
systems are running more efficiently. They would tumble even further if
New Zealand became a democracy again.
John Irving recently posted this comment
‘Subject [SEFnews] Intelligent Distribution & Smart
is a technology laggard compared to the rest of the world (see also this
weeks Economist: http://www.economist.com/science/tq/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13725843
To which Alastair Barnet replied:
Your view smacks of the fashionable cultural cringe – all overseas
technology is automatically better than anything we can do here. This
becomes self-fulfilling, as our media trumpet the latest from overseas
while downplaying our achievements – what coverage has there been of
our success in licensing the latest network demand simulation technology
to a world-leading Canadian company? (see www.auloshydraulics.com
believe that John reflects reality. You can have the most sophisticated
technology and systems in the world but that is not sufficient for a
sustainable society. The critical test is whether communities can employ
them in intelligent ways. In the New Zealand context such technology can
now only be used in ways that compound the current incoherence of our
reality is New Zealand does not have the democratic basis to use the
technology in intelligent ways. That is limited to nations where
communities are permitted to own their local electrical grids AND its
intelligence. Even nations that permit households to use reversible
meters (a 19th Century invention) are far in advance of us.
write of our collective psychosis and psychopathy in kindness and with
the knowledge that I share unknown elements of these states.
And often my research, such as the application of the
Sustainability Principle, confronts me with realities that I find damn,
damn inconvenient, to say the least. According to these calculations if
we do not snap out of this psychotic state, as is possible, then
catastrophic warfare is inevitable within 5 years. I give weight to this
prognosis because I am aware of the capacity of the states of psychosis,
psychopathy and addictive behaviour in general to utterly destroy
individuals and communities.
I remain mindful that people only heal their addictive behaviour when
they are ready too. I believe one of the requisites for healing now
exists. Many people are experiencing a strong sense that their current
behaviour is destructive and for instance, now feel trapped, not
liberated, by our car/jet culture. This is a most healthy sign, as is
the drop off in car purchases. Many are now acknowledging that a
valuation of mineral oil at 0.1 cents a man-hour of its energy
equivalent is insane, especially as crop yields in current agricultural
systems would plummet up to 80% in the absence of mineral oil.
are few signs that the bankers (Carbon Traders) realise the
self-destructive course of their behaviour. It is almost certainly means
hell for their children, who may be the only people left capable of
communicating reality to them. Bloomberg reports this week:
“June 3 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second- largest U.S. bank by deposits, hired a newly built supertanker to store heating oil off Malta, shipbrokers reported, in the company’s first such booking in at least five years…
which has never hired an oil tanker based on data compiled by Bloomberg
going back five years, follows companies including Citigroup Inc.’s
Phibro LLC unit and BP Plc in hiring ships to store crude or oil
products at sea. The firms are seeking to take advantage of higher
prices later in the year….”
is not easy reflecting on our schools and health services being starved
of funds so trillions of “stimuli packages” can be poured into
activities like this. Has anyone else had a strong sense of déjà vu
with current US Administration and its charismatic and multi-talented
leader? I find close parallels between Barack Obama (the great
communicator, wit and liberal) and his chief policy drivers (Timothy
Geithner, Larry Summers et al) and David Lange (the great communicator,
wit and liberal) and his chief policy drivers (Roger Douglas, Dave
Caygill, Richard Prebble et al). Theirs was to be a policy that
few people imagined and it now forms a legacy of enormous
destruction of our prime potentials with massive wastage of fossil fuels
and gross pollution.
Theirs was to be a policy that few people imagined and it now forms a legacy of enormous destruction of our prime potentials with massive wastage of fossil fuels and gross pollution. The wiki on the 1984 Labour Administration fails to tell how, for instance, they created huge subsidies to flood the New Zealand landscape with cheap, polluting second hand cars and trucks and to double, even triple, the number of planes in our skies.
It is not easy either contemplating what happens if we fail to make the transition to the Great Electrical/Solar Age I wrote of. I guess I draw much inspiration from the Sustainability Principle of Energy. While it provides us with an inventory of our psychosis it also provides us with wonderful insights into the majesty of reality.
I will pile this onto my
website so people can follow links more easily.
Warning -All material needs editing and reviewing. My apologies for sudden changes in font.