" What is Energy?"

Welcome to an exploration of this most marvellous of questions. 

The Bonus Joules website is devoted to revealing the essence of energy so humanity may thrive and our daily lives be filled with wonderment and awe. It is an exploration of the nature of energy, power, electricity, global warming, climate change, "smart" meters and grids, science, education, sustainability, energy efficiency and much more.


 The Update Page
Overview of recent additions -
the Blog ,
Articles  etc


 Bonus Joules and the Knowledge Economy
Join the cartoon journey through the Energy Gobbledygook of our age in search of reality:


Thinking Electrical -creating intelligent grids


Teaching and communicating Climate Change & Best Uses of Air


From the Sustainability Principle we get:


"The more we accept change the greater the harmony we know. The more we deny change the greater the misery we know."



“To the extent we are Mirror Beings (our brains are laced with mirror neuron systems) and we have an ability to mirror the world around us, we are stewards of our actions – whether we like it or not."    


“Actions speak louder than words because they form symbols that reveal and evoke the vast wordless world within in each of us.”



“Symbols are crystallised information and without them there is no civilisation.”



“ If we have no symbol for a form of energy then its potential cannot be manifest."




August 2010. 

This website has been superceded. The insights gained from this decade-long exploration of the nature of energy have been summarised in a new, much simpler website. I recommend you check it out at

The Sustainability Principle of Energy.




Page last updated April 2010

Dear Reader,

Thank you for a moment of your time and I take this opportunity to assure that you have arrived at a remarkable place, no matter your vocation, your education or your background in general. This is a place for any person with an of open spirit and an exploring mind. Welcome.

I know you are extremely familiar with energy. I am certain you feel it is the essence of your experience of existence, as it is with all human beings and indeed, as it is with all sentient beings. I am equally certain that you cannot describe what energy is. You may try to symbolise the nature of energy in words, in music, in dance, in paintings and drawings, in mathematical equations or in religious ritual but always something in you recognises that all these symbols, even if combined in concert, fail to communicate a fulsome answer to the question “What is energy?”.  
Read full
May 30 2009 introductory letter here.

Here are some of the perhaps radical insights I enjoy and can share from my own journey in wonder exploring the nature of energy:

The Nature of Energy
            (Conserving the potential of our energy symbol)  

Energy is the potential of the universe(s). Contemporary definitions of energy are fundamentally driven and limited by greed, fear and denial of the bounteous nature of energy. Read the 2010 essay Enjoying the Bliss, which is Energy. How to transcend the elements of our ego that deny the bliss.

The Conservation Principle of Energy
         (Conserving the knowledge that energy is conserved)      

The Conservation Principle of Energy. This is perhaps the greatest symbol generated by human beings. It is an extraordinary guide to the nature of energy and its wisdom is rarely unpacked by our teachers. This includes the notion that energy is so bounteous it can be considered a constant and continually transforms.

The Sustainability Principle of Energy
                 (Conserving the potential of our prime symbols)                  

Human beings have a grand capacity for both denial and acceptance of change/stewardship. Our egos can generate incredibly sophisticated systems of denial. The Sustainability Principle of Energy, born of the great Conservation and Uncertainty Principles of Energy, enables us to transcend the demands and limitations of our ego and enjoy a more sustaining existence. More here

Sustaining Uses of Symbols
             (Conserving our potential in practical language)                 

Symbols are shared crystallized quanta of meaning. They enable all life forms to survive and propagate. The Sustainability Principle provides us with a practical guide to conserving the potential of our prime symbols. An inventory of its practical application in can be viewed here

The Compassionate Curriculum
Conserving the potential of the science symbol  with compassion

Contemporary education curriculum frames science as a way of thinking on a parallel with art, language and civics. (Basis: I think, therefore I am) The Compassionate Curriculum suggests science is a state of being founded in compassion that enables the existence of art language civics and all that we know as civilisation. (Basis: I act, therefore I am.) More here.

Bonus Joules-Junk Joules
               Conserving resources with the yin yang                    

Contemporary uses of the energy efficiency symbol associate it with deprivation and using less energy. Such notions are driven by the elements of fear and greed that reside in us all. The Bonus Joules-Junk Joules notion acknowledge that wise and unwise uses of resources are  complementary perceptions that continually evolve through each other with time. Energy efficiency is not a matter of using less or more energy. It is about using resources so we enjoy harmony with the flows and balances that sustain us. More here

    Intelligent Networks
                             Conserving our electrical potential                                

There is much talk these days of "smart" grids, "smart" metering, "smart appliances and how this can enable us to live "smart lives". Without democracy this confluence of technology tends to generate systems reflecting the psychopathic elements that reside in us all and imperil humanity. Without democracy a system lacks intelligence. Systems, including your local electrical grids, can be rated on an intelligence-incoherence continuum. See prototype rating system here

Become a Conservator of our greatest Potentials 
Join the movement reviewing our use of our prime symbols.

These symbols have fantastic potential: atmosphere, carbon, climate change, conserve, conservation principle of energy, cooling, electricity, energy, energy efficiency, exponential, greenhouse, information, power, science, trace and warming.
Become an active conservator of them. Welcome to the fun here


Read the 2009 ESSAY 
introducing the Sustainability Principle of Energy

(An easy-to-read illustrated introduction)

VIDEO - The Sustainability Principle of Energy
10 minute Youtube video featuring the great ideas underpinning the principle



The Update Page 2005-2009 

reveals in articles and blogs the more recent development and refinement of the Sustainability Principle of Energy and its application.



The Compassionate Curriculum 
(including the rationale for the framework)

The Buddha is reported to have said, "It is possible to travel the whole world in search of one who is more worthy of compassion than oneself. No such person can be found."

Fundamental Vision: 
Inherent in compassion are all the requisites for the state of science to exist - inclusiveness, collegiallity and sharing, inquiry, generosity of time and reflection, honesty and trust. The state of science born of compassion enables the arts, language, civics and all we know as civilisation to exist.


Visions (includes links to a five step analysis of the sustainability of an education resource. Example use is the proposed Wellington Marine Education Centre.

CONTACT : davemcarthur1@gmail.com

The Cartoon exploration of the nature of energy Bonus Joules and the Knowledge Economy is copyright 2001 and, as with all other material on this website, you are free to use it with care.

Warning -All material needs editing and reviewing. My apologies for sudden changes in font