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Chapter two -My first Adventure- A Thought Experiment about Nothing

Bonus Joules and the Knowledge Economy: All images on this site are copyright. 2001

Blog 28 May 2005

Chapter 2 No 5:  EECA Faces Oblivion?

Nightmare No 1: The sky is crashing on you. The earth is breaking open. Your house is chasing you down the street. Nightmare No 1: You are trapped in a metal coffin with windows hurling through a foreign land. A massive truck looms at you….These are more than the stuff of mere bedtime nightmares this week in NZ. This was Reality News last week.

Needless reality? Who knows and can we know? Are these two events linked? Are they stuff of the same nightmare? And if we could know, would we allow ourselves to believe the truth we might have to confront? The unpalatable truth might be that these nightmare events are linked and were caused by our needless and high-risk activities. Perhaps they are part of a nightmare that is the end of civilisation, as we know it?

Chances are we prefer not to know. A part of us refuses to believe there is a reality where the risk of such nightmare events is much reduced. That denial element within us raises fantastic and complicated rationales to ensure we do not confront the possibility that these nightmares are largely of our own creation and are needless.

A quick aside for readers unaware of the details of the two incidents: the New Zealand city of Tauranga suffered major damage because of heavy rain. Matata, a small town, was half demolished this week when it was hit by what is described as a “water-bomb rainfall event” and Tauranga suffered major damage. Quote Stuff Stuff re. Matata:

“…He blamed the incredible force produced by massive rainfall over a short period for the damage. Three streams flowed into the town from the south and each had blasted their way through the town like "cannon". Streams that had been a few metres wide at the start of the week are now 200 metres wide.

Rainfall figures provided by Environment Bay of Plenty and farmers indicate a deluge of probably unprecedented proportions struck the area.

Environment BOP recorded 300mm of rain in the area in the 24 hours to midnight on Wednesday, 94.5mm occurring between 4.30pm and 5.30pm.

…St John Ambulance area manager Pat Wynne said a family of five was inside their house while it was swept more than 700 metres.

In the other incident 8 tourists from India, Thailand, US and France died with their New Zealand driver in a tragic misuse of energy when their van with collided with a logging truck.

 In my last blog (18 May) I discussed how these complicated rationales for denial of the possibility of a better life (addiction to misery) even involve the creation of large industries devoted to the re-engineering the great principles of science and our understanding of the nature of energy. I pointed out how EECA teaches us that energy forms are energy and so we use valuable energy forms as though they are as bounteous as energy and we end up living in state of deprivation. We experience “energy crises” rather than “energy use crises”.

I also alluded to the inefficient and arguably corrupt nature of our telecommunications and electricity grids. An act can remain within the law and still be corrupt. The revelations last week of the effective and secret sale by TransPower of the South Island main transmission grid to “US investors” is the most recent evidence of this. Such activities do not occur in democracies without public debate. The deal was one of the last before the practice was banned in the US.

 In my last blog Bonus Joules was attempting to make sense of EECA. I pictured EECA shaking with suppressed fury and irritation at the questions. This cartoon is drawn from experience. I often attempt to see the world through the eyes of a ten year old. In that rare state I am refreshed by the innocence and curiosity I knew at that age. I am more able to ask revealing questions of how everything works, of the nature of energy.

 I put simple questions to officials and other “energy experts” and find they are quite unable to explain how their use of energy symbols is consistent with the great principles of science. Some become quite agitated. More expressive individuals dismiss me through gritted teeth with responses such “ Huh, you are just being a bloody pedant. They are ‘just words’ and everyone knows what they mean.”

“Just words”?  “Mere phrases”? “Only a metaphor”? Even as their choice of symbols dismiss them as unimportant, these same individuals may be physically shaking and become angry red or irritable pinched white or even shocked grey as they grapple with the questions. Such is the power of “just words”.

Something deep is going on. I suspect my simple queries are challenging people’s “world vision” at a primal level. The questions are forcing an acknowledgement of the discrepancy between a person’s stated beliefs and their activities. No more so than in the person, for instance, who makes a lifestyle rushing around the globe attempting to communicate their concern about impact of human activities on the climate or the use of limited supplies of oil and Gas on our children.  If their inner being is at odds with their knowledge, then they surely face an irreconcilable dilemma every time they reach to start their car or book an airline ticket. If being asked the questions is so traumatic, truly confronting the answers would be paralysing.

What’s going on? After all, as EECA and others say, it is just a matter of semantics. Who wants to waste their lives dancing on pinhead? What’s the point?

Perhaps that is an insufficient question. Perhaps we need to also ask, “Where’s the point?”  “When’s the point?” “Why’s the point?” as well. Maybe we will find “the point” is that point is I wrote of last week: the point we represent with the symbol The Big Bang. If we believe EECA, the PR industry and all those who can’t see the point we miss the point. We miss out on life and a whole lot of fun. That’s the point.

All this may seem pretty abstract, except… perhaps…

if you are an Iraqi standing in the way of an oil-seeking bomb;

a villager being evicted from your land as its forest is felled to farm cattle, grow soya, produce ethanol for car use or make a backyard BBQ deck;

a small town being wiped out by a “water-bomb rain event”;

or you are about to experience a 200 kph collision with a logging truck.

It will seem particularly irrelevant to you if energy = Gas prices, barrels of oil, electricity spot markets and the other few activities our media and “energy experts” define as energy.

If you are of the latter school, hang in or you might miss out on rather a lot of fun. There are some amazing visions of energy. Quantum physics and the ancient Buddhist-Zen masters indicate we have powers that stretch the imagination. The latter discovered them thousands of years ago by sitting under a tree or in a cave researching their breath. Last century scientists confirmed their insights using massive computers and giant particle accelerators. Imagine if these visions are onto something amazing?

Enjoy this image if you can. Electrons that form the shells of our atoms are simply ‘potential’ or just a statistical probability until your awareness transforms them, for the briefest of moments into existence. I don’t phrase that well but what it suggests is we each form the world even as we are formed by it. 

Modern science has barely begun to face the implications of the great ideas implicit in Heisenberg’s great Uncertainty Principle. Few Scientists seem able to live the principle though many laypeople who have never heard of it are able to.

Enjoy these images. A flock of birds fly over and as of one accord they instantly sweep and swerve in their course. An orchestra making music. People going to war/People returning to peace. A school of reef fish darting and weaving in unison or David Lange’s proverbial money trader “reef fish” hitting the buy and sell keys. A gust of wind. Engineers might enjoy imagining the computer screen dance of electricity demand as a million people simultaneously reach to turn a switch on, or off. Or the ebb and flow as a hundred thousand cars simultaneously cram onto a motorway in a 3 kph oil-burning frenzy for some reason.

Especially enjoy this image from the May New Scientist

Human behaviour follows laws of physics

FADS, fashions and dramatic shifts in public opinion all appear to follow a physical law: one of the laws of magnetism.

Researchers, were trying to explain three social trends: plummeting European birth rates in the late 20th century, the rapid adoption of cellphones in Europe in the 1990s and the way people clapping at a concert suddenly stop doing so. In each case, they theorised, individuals not only have their own preferences, but also tend to imitate others.

"Imitation is deeply rooted in biology as a survival strategy," says Bouchaud. In particular, people frequently copy others who they think know something they don't.


To model the consequences of imitation, the researchers turned to the physics of magnets. An applied magnetic field will coerce the spins of atoms in a magnetic material to point in a certain direction. And often an atom's spin direction pushes the spins of neighbouring atoms to point in a similar direction. And even if an applied field changes direction slowly, the spins sometimes flip all together and quite abruptly.

The physicists modified the model such that the atoms represented people and the direction of the spin indicated a person's behaviour, and used it to predict shifts in public opinion.


More specifically, the model suggests that the rate of opinion change accelerates in a mathematically predictable way, with ever greater numbers of people changing their minds as the population nears the point of maximum change. Michard and Bouchaud checked this prediction against their model and found that the trends in birth rates and cellphone usage in European nations conformed quite accurately to this pattern. The same was true of the rate at which clapping died away in concerts.

From issue 2498 of New Scientist magazine, 06 May 2005, page 15”

 I discovered this via the valuable Christchurch resource Sustainable Cities. Org  
 A linked May 3 New Scientist article in the same news bulletin is:

 Babies inherit stress from mothers

Mothers who experienced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during pregnancy as a result of witnessing the attacks have been found to have children with abnormally low levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with increased stress. This could mean that these children were "programmed" in the womb as a result of their mother's trauma….”


 This links to the excellent BBC Discovery series being broadcast on New Zealand national radio at moment on the nature of memory:

“How do you know who you are? And will you still be the same person tomorrow or in 20 years time?

From birth through to death our brains will file away huge amounts of information – facts, names, faces, sounds, smells and events and the emotions that are inevitably tied to them.

It’s hard to imagine a life without memory.

In a new series on Discovery Pam Rutherford explores the science of memory, its extraordinary capabilities, how and why it can go wrong - from the vivid intrusions of memory in post traumatic stress disorder to our uncanny ability to adopt memories that aren’t even our own.

We’ll find out how and why memory fails and what we can do to improve it.

In the first programme of the series Pam Rutherford explores how initial sparks of activity in the brain turn into memory and why, despite the constant chemical turnover of our brains our memories persist during the course of our lives.

She’ll find out what memory is and why it starts before we’re even born.”

And what’s all this got to do with energy? I am suggesting the symbols we use to portray energy have a powerful impact on our experience of the nature of energy. Hence we need to create with great care if we are not to promote a world of misery. Cruel as it may sound to some, that is the implications of knowing the nature of energy.

Engineers and Scientists often have difficulty with this mind-energy association. Many dismiss it as New Age Speak. That is because they see energy is something out there that you can stand apart from and measure energy input- energy output. They experience it as the dissociated observer of a system e.g. a steam engine, an electricity network, a weather system, a solar system or a computer system. Thus, for instance, climatologists use the symbol “greenhouse” to express their vision of how Earth’s surface energy system works. This dissociation then enables them to use jet planes to transport them around the globe in their endeavours to alert us to the dangers of trashing the stratosphere. Their real message, of course, is in the choice of communication media: Use jets.

I have spent three years searching and can find little evidence of a science in the communication of the nature of energy. I can detect none in the communication of climate issues. All I detect is an astonishing ignorance among Scientists of the power of the symbols they use. Our so-called experts do not have a clue what they are saying! I will not detract from my flow to detail my hilarious attempts to communicate some of these issues to our Government in New Zealand. I will give an example in a footnote* and beware – you will need that dose of Calvin and Hobbs humour I provided last week.

First, lets have a bit of fun, indulge in some risky dissociation and explore an energy system – my brain. It contains about 10 billion nerve cells or neurons transmitting electro-chemical signals at about 200 kph. My neurons vary from parts of a fraction of a millimetre to meters in length and each neuron is connected by links called dendrites to about 10,000 other neurons creating a 160,000 km network. That makes for a 100 trillion interconnections giving me the storage capacity of an estimated 1000 Cray 2 supercomputers.

As a babe in the womb I was generating those neurons at about 25,000 a minute and the patterns of energy flows through them were being formed by my mother, the world beyond and my response to it. 58 years later my brain structure is still transforming with my interests and activities and responses to the world. Read about my “neuroplasticity” in the latest Nature Neuroscience:

“Frank Tong, a cognitive neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, and Yukiyasu Kamitani, a researcher in Japan, announced that they had discovered a way of tweaking the brain-scanning technique to get a richer picture of the brain's activity. Now it is possible to infer what tiny groups of neurons are up to, not just larger areas of the brain. The implications are a little astonishing…

A few years ago, brain scans of London cabbies showed that the detailed mental maps they had built up in the course of navigating their city's complicated streets were apparent in their brains. Not only was the posterior hippocampus -- one area of the brain where spatial representations are stored -- larger in the drivers; the increase in size was proportional to the number of years they had been on the job. It may not come as a great surprise that interaction with the environment can alter our mental architecture. But there is also accumulating evidence that the brain can change autonomously, in response to its own internal signals. Last year, Tibetan Buddhist monks, with the encouragement of the Dalai Lama, submitted to functional magnetic resonance imaging as they practiced ''compassion meditation,'' which is aimed at achieving a mental state of pure loving kindness toward all beings. The brain scans showed only a slight effect in novice meditators. But for monks who had spent more than 10,000 hours in meditation, the differences in brain function were striking. Activity in the left prefrontal cortex, the locus of joy, overwhelmed activity in the right prefrontal cortex, the locus of anxiety. Activity was also heightened in the areas of the brain that direct planned motion, ''as if the monks' brains were itching to go to the aid of those in distress,''…

It is important to understand we are Trace Beings. This is a concept our schools should be teaching all our children along with the associated skills of knowing how tiny quantities can have massive leverage. For example, think how useful such insight is for understanding the impact of an extra .25% increase in your mortgage rate. Our Reserve Bank Governor would love it – see this weeks headline:

Bollard warns of higher debt levels and riskier bank lending.”

We live on a planet that is a trace object in the universe and we are made of atoms that are 99.999% space. We breathe air that is 99.99% space between the molecules. Earth’s surface would be 33°C cooler i.e. average minus 18°C if the atmosphere did not contain the Warmer Trace Gases. These powerful gases (Water vapour, CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone etc) combined constitute less than 0.1% of the atmosphere)

Above all, we are Trace Beings in that our conscious awareness is but a mere trace of our being. We make incalculable numbers of associations and decisions at a subliminal level to enable our most insignificant activity. I find this concept humbling and liberating.  What’s wonderful about this profound primal activity is that it releases me to reflect on it and life in general. And write this. By contrast, many feel threatened by the idea, endure a fearful response and repel it.

I hypothesise that when Scientists dismiss the use of a symbol as “just a word or metaphor” they ignore the vast array of visual, spoken, tactile or smell associations its use generates. Consequently they end up achieving the opposite to their declared intentions. And in as much as the use of the symbol reveals their true beliefs, their activities will give lie to their declared intent as well. Show me the research that disproves this.

Awareness of the profound role of our primal or subconscious processes enhances our ability to appreciate how a flock of birds or school of fish or brain dendrites or audience of concertgoers or electricity-users all act in seeming unison. Whether human, birds or fish, we all receive and process a myriad of subtle signals at a primal level we are barely aware of, if at all. These abilities have sustained us millions of years. We allow our intellect to alienate us from them at our peril.

Currently, our Educators exhibit little effective appreciation of the dominant role of our primal beings. Environmental Educators exhibit even less. Only the PR industry really understands the power of primal. Do we truly trust the PR Spin Merchants to shape sustainable images of energy and our future? I think not! They are driven by short-term political and profit imperatives. Hence their key tools involve the promotion of conflict, confusion, exclusion and self-doubt – surely the stuff of nightmares.

This week’s Bonus Joules features a ‘thought experiment’ in which I try to make sense of EECA. Albert Einstein used to entertain himself with such activities and some argue his thought experiments changed the way we imagine energy. He certainly enabled physicists to describe energy mathematically in new ways, even if they cannot live their theoretical insights.

So lets do a quick thought experiment. In 2000 the new NZ Government commissioned the 2000 Climate Change Impact Report. It predicted that current human activities will put us at increased risk of more extreme “weather events” such as deluges and droughts and cyclones. I know it well as I summarised it onto a poster for 11-12 year old children in our schools. The poster showed scenes of washed out bridges, houses tumbling in the sea, conflict over water use, farmers rowing around flooded paddocks to check their stock etc.

What’s say New Zealand had agreed, “Yes, let us act on the risk of this nightmare.”

Instead of record truck imports and increasing SUV imports four- fold and building more motorways, we would have upgraded and extended our rail system. Our “wall of timber”* would not be stacked on trucks tearing up our fragile roads at 80 kph. Instead it would be transported by rail, thereby reducing oil consumption many fold, conserving roads and extending lives.

At present a large portion of that timber is exported as logs. I am told we get as little as $30 a ton at the wharf. A ton was described to me as 2.5 long log of 1meter diameter. In our thought experiment, the “wall of timber”* would have been converted into smart walls for our houses that provide effective water and thermal barriers in the form of doubling cladding. And for a hundred years each of those dwellings would have needed less electricity and fossil fuel to keep its inhabitants warm.

*New Zealand planted a large quantity of pine forest a generation ago that is now reaching milling age.

We would have stopped bulldozing river catchments for housing and pastoral farming and begun replanting the hillsides left unstable by the activities of our ancestors. A resident of Matata spoke on the Nat Radio Maori news of how he had lived in the town for over 50 years. He spoke in detail how he had watched the stripping of area’s protective vegetation in the name of development. He said it was easy to predict the impact of a heavy rain. Yesterday the Prime Minister talked of the “tsunami type” flood repairs costing $NZ40 million.

I guess those who believe in the GNP is a measure of human development will be delighted. It should grow like crazy in the short-term as repair activity impacts –just as it grew with the “development” of the stricken areas.

I also drew scenes in the poster warning of increased disease risk from Human-induced Climate Change. Sensibility of this and the fact we are entering the Post Cheap Oil Age with its added risk of health system collapses means we would have begun focussing on tourism based on “slow travel” with fewer people coming here for longer periods spending more money. Last I heard back packers still contributed far more to our economy than the flit to Rot, touch-the-snow, fly-by-night tourist. Fine rail through our superb landscape would be part of that experience.

And talking climate change reminds me, I still have not had time to publish our new Minister of Energy’s letter to me as I promised last week. Don’t worry, nightmare addicts, it will keep you stoked. Hang in till next week.

To end, three quick notes, a new feature (The weekly Junk Joules Award) and that footnote I promised for those interested in how the New Zealand Government responds to queries and suggestions from Jo Citizen concerned about climate issues.

Quick note No 1
Two weeks ago I wrote of the Neocon con that they “solved inflation”. Today Nat Radio news broadcast Don Brash, leader of New Zealand’s National Party, claiming he beat inflation out of the system as Reserve Bank Governor during the 1990s. He is clearly living in Lala Land. Is he saying he is responsible for the lower global oil and Gas prices during that period? The same news bulletin quoted the Electricity Commission saying that the water scarcity caused by increasing demand for Waitaki River water will result in higher (Bulk) electricity prices. The water scarcity also results in higher agriculture prices. This ignorance of the relationship between the health of the environment and inflation is a danger to humanity.

Quick note No 2:
An excellent example of Energy Gobbledygook was the Living On Earth programme on “Global Warming”
 broadcast on Nat Radio this week. Think about global warming as a symbol. Every cell in every body and in every leaf knows that the warming of Earth is a good thing. Not one cell could exist without it. The symbol resonates with life in us. LOE talked of wanting “to stop global warming”! What a different resonance they would have generated if they had used the symbol of Human-Induced Climate Change instead.

Our own Government should take note of the interview though and ensure our Pension Fund is not going to go down the gurgler with emitters like Ford and GM – and Boeing if USA Corp escapes its war filled nightmare. Just whom do we invest in? What is the vision driving NZ pension fund investment practice? 
The guts of the interview with the president of Ceres is:

“We've got a trillion dollars worth of assets being managed by large pension funds who are being extremely responsible, saying to those Wall Street money management firms, 'if you want our business we want you to do the right evaluation of companies. And somehow thinking you could continue to ignore the risks from global warming in our portfolios isn't going to cut it any more. If you want to manage our money, we want you to develop the competency for assessing climate risk and that's the way it's going to be.' “

Quick note No 3:
Come on Fed Farmers, The National Party, Act and other Fart Tax/Carbon Tax opponents. George Bush needs your support? The guy promotes your vision and where are you when he needs you? An editorial in the New York Times (May 19) builds on the last note, pointing out that George has been getting a pretty  tough time about the US Administration’s ‘passive’ attitude to climate change risk:


…And now he is hearing it from the heaviest hitters in the business world, including, most recently Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric .. the biggest company in America…”

The editorial says these guys realise that there is serious money to be made in developing industries based on climate risk strategies. It also points out that a by-product is reduced US debt and dependence on oil imports. And as I said it builds on the last note:

In New York, two dozen leading institutional investors managing more than $3 trillion in assets recently urged American companies to address the risks of climate change and to invest more heavily in strategies to reduce those risks.”

And now for this week’s Junk Joules Award (for Excellence in Dumbing-down our Children and Politicians.)

Colin James –Political Columnist of the Year –NZ Herald May 20 –commenting on the 2005 Budget.

(Finance Minister) Cullen has tried to get by on simplification, easing the footling FBT rules, accelerating depreciation, changes to investment taxing rules and the like. These are welcome and useful, though the carbon tax will take the gloss off them.

Third, infrastructure investment will remain a core issue through the next term. There is a large gap, particularly in roads and energy but also developing in water.

Fourth, while the next term's finance minister is about that task, he might take research more seriously if this economy is to get smarter and lift productivity growth

The concept that there is a large gap in energy defies all natural laws, particularly the Principal of Conservation. The most likely way this statement could ever make sense is if Colin is a victim of PR Spin and believes energy=Bulk-electricity sector. If so, this belief is a major obstacle to the development of a smarter economy.

And what research underpins his tax comment? The Carbon Tax will only have a negative impact on those companies and communities that invest heavily in processes and products that result in carbon emissions. Those that do not will be much better positioned to take advantage of the new tax regime in the Post Cheap Oil/Gas Age.


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*FOOTNOTE (as promised)

To be enjoyed with a large dose of humour.

Brief Timeline of a citizen’s attempts to communicate with the New Zealand Government concerning its promotion of potentially flawed images of energy.

2000. Employed by small “energy efficiency” firm. One task is to revise, expand and promote Energy Action programme for primary schools and their communities. New Minister of Energy (Pete Hodgson) personally awards programme creator Grant Dunford with a Communications Award (Forget name of it but there is a framed photo of the occasion.) Become aware of Bulk-electricity sector PR Spin dominating school curricula and lack of science in communication of the nature of energy.

2001 Summarise 2000 Climate Change Impact Report into teaching posters and booklets for NZ primary schools for Climate Change Office. Become aware of lack of science in communication of climate issues and effect of politics on school curricula. Warn Climate Change Office of potential flaws in their teaching concepts.

Mid 2001. OnEnergy, NZ’s largest Bulk-electricity retailer collapses. Government bails out stranded On-Energy customers using State Owned Bulk Electricity companies (Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy). Owner of OnEnergy (NGC) retains major gas interests and ownership of majority of electricity meters in NZ but pulls rug on planned OnEnergy sponsorship of revised Energy Action.

Continue work on semi-voluntary basis.

Xmas 2001. No interest from Government in Energy Action. Government owned Meridian Energy invests millions in launch of film Lord of the Rings. Government commitment to Energy Inefficiency made clear. I am made redundant. Register on the dole. Continue work.

Jan 16 2002. Rise at 4am in Eastbourne Wellington and drive with ex-employer to Hamilton (Waikato University) to inaugural National Conference of the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE).

Arrive 11am. Spend five joint hours erecting Energy Action display stand as per prescribed conditions.

1.15 pm Go for lunch.

1.45 pm Return. Find Display dismantled and replaced by Enviroschools display. NZAEE official informs that there is insufficient display space for Energy Action display. Point out legalities of NZAEE action to official. Eventual compromise. Begin reassembling display in inappropriate position allocated.

Jan 17 2002 9 am.  NZAEE official gives notice that our lunchtime lecture has been cut from allocated 20 minutes to 8 minutes. One week’s preparation ruined.

Minister for the Environment (Marian Hobbs) opens conference. Sees display of revised Energy Action. Demands to know how it is that she does not know of such a resource. Asks to be forwarded all correspondence with her officials on the subject.

Jan 24? 2002 Forward accumulated correspondence to Minister as requested. Refused accommodation benefit by WINZ. Rent out cottage and move into converted garage of neighbourhood friends. Keep working. Begin Bonus Joules website and cartoon strip. Await response from Minister.

May? 2002. Climate Change Office publishes extra booklets for primary schools – riddled with PR Spin and Energy Gobbledygook.

Take one illustration and explore its nonsense using cartoons. Post cartoon page off to Minister for the Environment on Monday. Thursday postie delivers letter from Minister saying she can see we have been messed around with and she has instructed her officials to immediately convene a meeting with me of officials from all departments concerned.

June –Oct 2002 Await immediate meeting. Continue work. On dole. Focus on resolving conflict between Government strategies re, achieving Kyoto commitments and NEECS (National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy.) Work out a solution. Give up waiting for Minister’s meeting.

Oct 2002. Write requesting a brief meeting (10 min) with Prime Minister to show her way of resolving NEECS-Kyoto conflict. No reply. Speak to Prime Minister’s office re. lack of reply. Reaffirm my request not to be referred to officials and avoid unnecessary waste of taxpayer’s money.

Nov 2002. Email with urgent flag from Ministry for the Environment. Requests my presence at a meeting.

Nov 14 2002. Mfe meeting with reps from Royal Society, Climate Change Office, Sustainable Mangement Fund (EECA), NZAEE, Mfe and apologies from Ministry of Education  (to busy to attend). Stand up with poster of rationale of NEECS-KYOTO conflict resolution and begin explanation.  Am stopped one line in. NZAEE official closes down presentation “You have no idea what Environmental Education is…this is just Science.” Meeting descends to shambles. Someone asks Royal Society official his opinion (Official aware of rationale from previous meeting at Royal Society.) Official sits silent for five minutes. Everyone waits. Offers no opinion. Leaves hurriedly. Meeting fizzes out. Mfe keeps no minutes.

December 2002. Run into Mfe official. Extend my gratitude for organising meeting on behalf of Prime Minister. She knows of no such meeting. It seems the meeting we had was the “immediate meeting” ordered in May by Minister for the Environment in response to Mfe inaction on January correspondence.

 2003-2004. On dole. Continue work. Create website with strategy for NEECS-Kyoto conflict resolution plus cartoon exploration of images of energy promoted by Government etc.  Continue attempting to communicate to range of universities and Government departments, including Ministers (See The Minister Replies…)

Unable to attend 2nd NZAEE National Conference in Christchurch – barrier of $500 fees and costs.

Finally am able to view Victoria University facilitation of Environmental Education into our schools (My offer to write to Minister of Education pointing out dire straits of an Ed system that cannot even afford a chair space for a day in a hall in Masterton ends 18 months of refusals to view process.)

Jan 2005. Don (National Party) and Debbie (ACT) now running Work and Income (WINZ). Life in NZ getting uglier. Survival on dole becoming very difficult. Start blog on Bonus Joules cartoon blog. (Memoirs?)  

March 2005 Shelve work. Get job as school cleaner/janitor. Continue Bonus Joules Blog. SCOOP News begins publishing it.

Note: Time line is written without ill will to any person. Indeed my over-all feeling is of gratitude that events occurred to enable me to create what I have.


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