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Blog by Dave McArthur  23 March 2009  


Beacon of hope - the photos


Definition of energy efficiency/stewardship practice  posted on EElist.

Saturday night Earth Hour 2009 and my home will be a blaze of light, a symbol of harmony with the universe, a beacon of hope amidst the darkness, despondency and despair around me in Wellington City New Zealand in this hour. 

Click to view photos

 Surely I must be a perverse, uncaring individual you are thinking. Why would a person promote the waste of precious resources like this? Well it might not be quite what it seems. 

For a start it will not be apparent that while my lights blazed for Earth Hour last year I had my hotwater system turned off for a few days to more than compensate for my consumption of Bulk-generated electricity. No car sits in my drive. Indeed only a narrow path leads to my cottage surrounded by mansions. I am woken daily by the roar of jets from the airport below my cottage yet despite my love of flying I now never board a jet, travelling instead by the far more expensive rail and bus modes. This summer while others holidayed on our beaches I spent my few weeks of annual leave and discretionary funds stripping the south wall off my cottage so it is now insulated and weatherised. Year in year out almost all my “spare” time is filled researching out ways of underpinning with science our communication of the nature of energy, especially its manifestation as our climate. See 

So please bear with me as I attempt to explain why my dwelling lights glow so during Earth Hour. It is not ignorance of the issues. Yes, I am aware that it would take the resources of several planet Earth’s to make the average New Zealander sustainable. Each day each 1000 of us destroy 38 barrels of mineral oil plus a huge array of other mineral resources and,yes, I am sure this is a significant underestimation of our destruction. If everyone adopted our NZ lifestyle our global civilisation would have collapsed amidst war, disease and famine decades ago.  

As it is I accurately predicted five years ago that mineral oil prices would be close to $US80 in 2008 and all our credit systems based on $US20 would begin imploding on scale. I also predicted that if we continue this abuse of our carbon potential then global warfare is extremely probable by 2015. Yes, that’s a grim world I am describing. So where is the hope? 

These few thoughts are a summary of scores of thousands of hours of labour in which I dug deep into our psychology and the role of symbols in our lives. In particular I have looked at our contemporary use of symbols pertaining to energy, power, love, science and climate for I figured these reflect and generate the hopelessness that pervades our current culture.  See sustainable uses of symbols

At the heart of it all I found it is our capacity to experience compassion that enables the continuing survival of the human species in its current grand form. This capacity enables the existence of hope and science. When these exist then we are enabled to create art, language, civics and all that we know as civilisation Thus science is better understood as a state of being accessible to all, not as a way of thinking accessible to an elite of “scientists” as our New Zealand culture believes. See The Compassionate Curriculum 

Our lack of compassion and subsequent perversion of the science symbol is what enables us to trash the planet as we do. Despite all our talk of caring and stewardship our actions and symbol uses reveal a lack of compassion  and the reality is that the welfare of our children not an actual consideration.  

This denial of stewardship is not easy to discern. Humans have a vast capacity for rationalisation and self-deception. Agencies devoted to caring and stewardship are not devoid of this capacity and indeed I discovered that for a complex of reasons they are particularly vulnerable to becoming agents of denial of change and stewardship.  

One reason is the agencies are popularly perceived as symbols of stewardship and thus become the target of sponsorship and infiltration by those who need indulge in Greenwash of their activities.

Also our culture makes it very convenient and justifiable to use cars, fly in jets, live in large inefficient dwellings, buy long haul food etc. So even the most well-meaning folk in these agencies are vulnerable to experiencing dissonance between their walk and their conscious talk. This dissonance is manifest in subtle ways often incomprehensible to us. All to often I have found that agencies and individuals that most call for change and stewardship actually deny that what they call for. The World Wildlife Fund is no exception. 

Now this capacity for denial of change/stewardship is imbedded into the very structure of our psyches. We then project it collectively into our institutions. Any attempt to expose the denial is fraught with the risk of being accused of mounting a personal attack on the individual or agency. For instance over the years I have attempted to alert the WWF here and overseas as to how its activities may well be counterproductive to its stated objective: “WWF’s ultimate goal is to build a future where people live in harmony with nature”. 

I attempted direct communication with the WWF and also made public attempts to initiate discussion of my analysis of its Powerswitch site and its powerful endorsement of Enviroschools with the NZ Green Party, the national environmental education programmes that dominates NZ schools this century. For what ever reason the framework of Enviroschools was deliberately designed to omit the atmosphere from key considerations, to equate the energy and power symbols with Bulk-generated electricity and as you can see even its title frames the focus on the schoolyard rather than the wider community. 

Now there were signs that overseas my analysis was respected with the central website being radically altered though it still is full of Banker Speak and destroys science on scale. See sample analysis below. 

In New Zealand the WWF rejected my offers to explain my analysis, I was treated with considerable hostility and dismissed as a “negative” person. This is very understandable – I have my personality quirks and failings like any other human being. So I figured if I could establish a general principle based in science then people might be able to transcend their personal dislike of me and my general incoherency. And after many thousands of hours of research and deep reflection a consistent pattern of behaviour did become apparent, which I encapsulated in the Sustainability Principle of Energy:.  

“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 mirror reality.” 

Put more simply:

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

The Sustainability Principle is born out of the two great Principles of Energy - Conservation Principle and the Uncertainty Principle - and if either are ever proven untrue then Sustainability Principle can also be dismissed as unhelpful and maladaptive. It is thus based on concepts that energy is as bountiful as the universe and whether we like it or not we are stewards of the forms it can be manifest in. One of those transient forms is human beings and in accepting change we are accepting our own mortality – something most readers would admit we self-styled homo “sapiens” are only too capable of denying.   

I mentioned the central role of compassion in sustaining us. We each have our limits on our capacity to enjoy compassion and we each retain a psychopathic element i.e. an element that simply does not care for the welfare of other sentient beings. This psychopathy is manifest in our large corporations. Indeed the movie The Corporation (Downloadable here at Part one and Part two ) makes a very persuasive case that our modern corporations fit the CIA definition of a psychopath. They are driven by short-term imperatives and have only token regard for the impacts of their activities on the balances that sustain our children. They are founded in a lack of compassion. 

At the heart of these corporations is an oligarchy of bankers and their psychopathy is such that they are driven by desires to control the wealth of our planet. Their lifestyles are ferociously destructive of the balances and resources that sustain us. Many readers will now be very aware of the misery these bankers are generating as they watch their own wealth rapidly dissipating as credit systems based on lies and deceit collapse. 

These bankers take all our great symbols and destroy the science in them for the sake of short-term profits, including and especially our energy and power symbols. 

During the first half of last century they colonised the power symbol and redefined it as Bulk-generated electricity – a product that enabled them to destroy our fossil fuel potential at a maximal rate. Their use of the symbol “Power =Bulk-generated electricity” now frames the public discourse of our electrical potential, effectively excluding a wide range of options from discussion in our schools and communities. Think of how teachers and our media constantly talk of “power companies” “turning the power on/off”, “power lines”, “saving/conserving power” etc. 

In the second half of the century this oligarchy of bankers colonised the energy symbol and redefined it as products they can trade, in particular Bulk-generated electricity and fossil fuels. Now this definition is imbedded into the central frameworks of our school curriculum, national legislation and media. Observe how even the lectures our most distinguished professors are torrents of Banker Speak as they talk of “the energy sector”, “energy production” “renewable energy” “energy companies” “energy derivatives”, “energy commodities”, “energy trades” and other Energy Gobbledygook.  

Now the Sustainability Principle suggests that long term such confusion of energy and power with the forms they can take is fatal: societies use the resources as though they are bountiful as energy and power, fail to conserve them and so perish. A quick search of WWF websites reveals the organization, renowned as an authority on stewardship, is a prime agent in propagating this error. This practice amounts to perhaps the most serious denial of change/stewardship we can make. It denies the central messages of the Conservation Principle, which are that energy is so bounteous that it can be considered a constant and that it is subject to constant transformation (change). 

The psychopathy of this oligarchy of bankers runs deeper than this.  They have redefined and associated the “energy efficiency” symbol with deprivation because their short-term profits are maximised when the forms they describe as energy (Bulk-gen electricity, fossil fuels, nuclear etc) are used most wastefully.

Many NZ readers will be familiar with a classic example of how they abuse the “energy efficiency” symbol without realising it.  

New Zealand’s electrical potential was reshaped in the interest of these bankers in the 1990s with our Electricity Industry Reform legislation. “Energy/Power” corporations (Meridian Energy, Contact Energy, Genesis Energy, Trustpower, Mighty River Power, Transpower et al) were formed with clearly defined imperatives to serve the short-term interests of their major shareholders (the bankers). In this process New Zealanders were redefined by the legislation from being citizens to being tradeable commodities. The imperatives of the legislation are manifest in a regime in which the corporations make the best short-term profits by stressing the national grid to the maximum – especially those corporations with thermal plant. 

Now on occasion, such as if a major plant becomes inoperative or the storage lakes for Hydro-electrical plant are low then the bankers’ profits may be adversely affected. So they institute what they and their Government puppets call “energy efficiency” programmes in which the average person is told we are having an “energy crisis” and are at risk of “power failure”. The bankers urge us to “turn out the lights”, “turn down your electrical heaters and air conditioners” and “conserve energy/power for the sake of the nation” if we wish to avoid complete “blackouts”. 

It is the classic drug pusher syndrome: hook the people on an addictive use of a substance and optimise supply so profits are maximised. The drug pusher wants people to stick with their addictive habits. The trick is to extort the maximum of profits out of the addict and this does not happen if the addict dies needlessly early of the habit. Similarly the Bulk-gen electricity sector wants people to hook people on wasteful uses of their product (just as the oil-car sector does) and to be able to manipulate them so they stay addicted through temporary periods of limited supply of the product. 

This use of the “energy efficiency” symbol is win win win win for them:

  • They get people to conserve the resource for the period required.
  • The “efficiency” symbol becomes firmly associated with deprivation.
  • The “energy” symbol becomes more firmly associated with their product (Bulk-gen electricity).
  • People are profoundly disempowered, lose a sense of stewardship and are made more malleable as “energy”/”power” are defined as the problem and cure rather than the people’s use of the resource.

This picture may seem extreme and unfair until I remind you again of the fact that the behaviour of the average New Zealander is so unsustainable that we are a certain recipe for the global destruction of humanity if 6.7 billion human beings adopt our ways. The statistics overwhelming suggest that our belief in our stewardship is a self-deception. There is serious dissonance between our walk and our talk. Something is way out of kilter. 

What is lacking is compassion and without compassion there is no hope. The Sustainabilty Principle of Energy suggests WWF and our local Councils are putting us all at great risk of misery when they associate caring for our planet with “power/energy blackouts” as they are doing again this month. They are reflecting and propagating some of the worst psychopathy in our culture. 

At this point I would like to make it very clear that my own life is a journey of discovery of my ability to for self deceit and I am constantly amazed and amused at the sophistication with which I can deny change/stewardship. I don’t think of myself as a particularly dishonest person and nor am I saying the WWF officers and others are overtly corrupt either. I am just saying it is helpful to be constantly alert to both our capacity for denial of reality and our capacity to reflect and propagate the denials of those around us – including the aforementioned bankers. 

Those who read my website will be aware that I am not picking on the WWF and I am certainly not saying its officers are any more psychopathic than the rest of us. I apply the Sustainability Principle to a wide range of groups, especially those most associated with sustainability for they are pivotal in affecting the drivers of behaviour.  

I use the example of the Wellington City Council because this is my city, I am very intimate with it and I worked for a decade for the council. I experienced at first hand how it decided ownership of the city’s electrical and transport potentials were not “core council business” and witnessed in depth what happened to our local electrical grids and our bus system when they were sold to the TransAlta and StageCoach transnational corporations. I have recorded in detail elsewhere how these corporations destroyed most of these potentials. At the same time the Council refuses to invest in light rail to the new regional hospital in the city, converted our city’s wonderful wharf potential into luxury apartment blocks, while pouring cumulative billions of dollars into jet travel and motorways in the last two decades. 

To cap this the city is in the forefront in promoting the Carbon Trading ethos globally. This “market” driven ethos is fatally flawed and reveals a contempt for the balances of the atmosphere that sustain us - as I illustrate in my recent submission to the Government Review of New Zealand’s Emission Trading Strategy. And cities that really act as stewards of our carbon potential know that their electrical grids and mass transit system are absolutely core, if not critical, to their business if they are to be able to act sustainably. These technologies are the path to their successful transition from the wasteful Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas Age to the Great Solar Electric Age in which we conserve our carbon potential. 

So I see misery when I see large ads, paid for by my city taxes and the WWF, featuring a large area of black space promoting a blackout with associated messages that this is part of the vision to make the city a “carbon neutral” city. 

Am I being unduly negative or is it the WWF and my council who?  For me there is no such thing as carbon neutrality.  And I have concluded that the idea we can “offsett” our destruction of our irreplaceable fossil fuel resources is a dangerous delusion. Such beliefs belong to those who deny their roles as stewards amidst change, in this case as stewards amidst the carbon potential in which carbon is constantly transformed and flows through all life.   

I associate energy and power with bounty and options, not problems.  I associate them with wonder and awe, not some measly, misery-mongering banker product.  I associate energy efficiency with the wise use of energy and the acceptance of my role as a steward, not with deprivation and blackouts. For me “energy efficiency” and “development” enables me to use more energy over all, such as the energy from the sun. By comparison the Wellington City Council’s idea of development is to encourage my northern neighbours to build out my sun because that increases the rateable values. Its idea of progress is to tax me heavily to build yet more motorways and provide subsidised parking for cars – devices primarily designed to destroy mineral oil in the most wasteful of way.  

I associate energy efficiency and stewardship with light, colour, variety, joy, love and compassion whereas the WWF and my council associate them with darkness and deprivation. They associate energy efficiency/stewardship with the same depravity that is causing the current economic meltdown – a melt down that each of us who destroys mineral oil is responsible for. (It is helpful if humbling to acknowledge that the root cause of the “credit crisis” is the violent explosion of credit based on a vast undervaluation of a carbon form, mineral oil/gas in which we use the resource as though it is energy i.e. we have built our systems based on a valuation of mineral oil at 0.1 cents per man-hour of its energy equivalent. We have dissipated the wealth inherent in this resource so it is now just pollution in the atmosphere.   

So in this context I will attempt to make my dwelling a beacon of hope amidst such dissolution. Sure I would far rather the lights in my building were powered by dwelling based generators. I have worked for decades to promote intelligent uses of our solar, electrical and carbon potentials. Indeed one of the reasons I am now relatively poor is because I persisted with this work unpaid when the Wellington City Council deemed such services are not ‘core council activities”. 

I am also motivated by the fact that I had the privilege of visiting tens of thousands of homes and small businesses on a regular basis for twenty years as a meter reader. I have worked at the interface of our education systems and our communities and witnessed the failures of our educators. I remain keenly aware of the family stress, danger, illness, bone-biting chill and general misery experienced in a nation where surveys suggest that in many areas up to 40% of the population has been described as “energy deficient”.  

Ask me to think of “black out” and I imagine blood on the walls and floors, the dark dingy rooms with curtains dripping with mildew, the ice on the insides of the windows, charred burnt-out rooms, the frigid blue-white hands struggling to hold a spoon to the mouth, grey worried faces standing by silent machines in side alleys, the wheezes of the asthmatics and hacking coughs and above all I see the hardness and lack of compassion in the eyes of the new breed of managers that now control our reformed Bulk-gen electricity industry in which service imperatives have been replaced by short term profit imperatives by law. That is what I associate the blackout symbol with. It is everything that is not hope. 

And as mentioned I do not seek to dehumanise individuals, even when I talk about the oligarchy of bankers. Ken (Kenny Boy) Lay of failed Enron and Bernard (Bernie) Madoff of $US50 Billion Ponzi fame and George W Bush of Iraq slaughter fame are not all that much different to you and me. We each cast our most crucial votes for the legislation that enables these people to do so much damage every time we visit the petrol pump, the airline counter, plug in appliances into the 230 volt socket etc.

They may well be as were/are devoted to their families and friends as you and I are.

 Bernard is well known for his philanthropic activities in the health arena.

 Ken sponsored and worked with a wide range of “environmental” groups including the Environmental Defence Fund, the Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, et al and was a pioneer among corporation leaders in promoting awareness of human activities on climate balances. Enron gave millions to Environmental groups working to “reduce global warming”.

The long list of causes George gives to features in the Chronicle of Philanthropy

Toyota, a transnational corporation responsible for the vast destruction of precious carbon resources and balances is top of the list of sponsors of WWF here in New Zealand.

To answer my earlier question, “Where is the hope?” It helps to embrace the great principles of energy - the Conservation Principle of Energy and The Uncertainty Principle. If the notion that information is physical, as seems likely, then embracing The Sustainability Principle of Energy too is also helpful. When one embraces these Principles one is filled with a sense of compassion from whence comes wonder, awe, harmony and hope. The idea that any individual form is actually energy/power soon becomes an anathema when our existence  is experienced as a world providing a vast array of options amidst the constant transformations which our universe(s). That sense of option and participation is experienced as hope. Acceptance of stewardship/change is transformed from being onerous to being an honour. 

Thus, though I am inherently reticent of being the party pooper, I hope to find the courage to have my lights blazing and to risk being condemned as uncaring and a nutcase. I find it very difficult writing this article as I know the fine intent of many of those promoting the Earth Hour blackout.

*** Footnotes***

The cartoon that accompanies this blog is completely coincidental. It was first published over five years ago. Our top educators and policy makers had argued to me that in the education of our children of how our atmosphere works there is no alternative to evoking images of the Earth’s atmosphere as a greenhouse. When I created the posters summarizing the NZ 2000 Climate Change Impact Report for our junior schools Government officials refused to allow me to use the trace symbol and insisted on the use of the greenhouse symbol. I soon established that their beliefs, common to most of the burgeoning Climate Change industry, lacked science.

More recently I have established that their use of the greenhouse symbol as in atmosphere =greenhouse and their aversion to employing the trace symbol as in trace gases are probable manifestations of a vast denial of change/stewardship. This persistent use of the greenhouse symbol undermines science in our schools from Level 1 on by obscuring our atmosphere’s power for thermal convection and our need to understand how tiny quantities can have immense leverage (chaos theory)

I managed to slip the trace gas symbol into the teachers’ guide booklet for the 3000 posters but to my knowledge it was never distributed with them. Instead another booklet was published that denied the trace vision. This booklet has been the subject of the previous panels of this chapter of Bonus Joules and the Knowledge Economy. The cartoon character Bonus Joules characterises our capacity for compassion and acceptance stewardship/change that enables long-term, low-risk considerations to determine our lifestyles. Junk Joules characterises our capacity for psychopathy and denial stewardship/change that enables short-term, high-risk considerations to determine our use of this world’s gifts. 


*** Here is an interpretation of a sample of many similar WWF pages (March 09) ( Power = Bulk-gen electricity)

PowerSwitch  ( Power = Bulk-gen electricity)

WWF's challenge to the Power ( Power = Bulk-gen electricity) sector is to combat climate change (Climate change = enemy – actually our use of our climate is the problem) and ensure that the globe does not warm (warming =bad – actually warming is healthy and enables life, not so warming UP which involves a change of thermal state and involves extra risk)  too much, WWF proposes a challenge to the global Power ( Power = Bulk-gen electricity) Sector:

The power sector( Power = Bulk-gen electricity) should;

  • become CO2-free (an impossibility) by mid of the 21st century in developed (?) countries and;
  • make a major switch from coal to clean (????)  in developing (?) countries.

WWF’s vision for the world’s energy( Power = Bulk-gen electricity?? Actually energy is the potential of the universes(s) and is all that was is and could possibly be) future leads us away from dependence on fossil fuels such as oil and coal and towards a more sustainable and efficient energy ( Power = Bulk-gen electricity??) future.

An alternative vision for WWF might be:

Key elements of WWF’s vision of how we can better use our electrical potential are: expanding awareness of the vast array of renewable resources we have such as solar, wind, tidal and biomass; empowering communities so they can develop distributed generation and use electronics to engage in intelligent ways with their local electrical grids; improving the efficiency of domestic appliances, buildings and industrial motors; increasing the efficiency of electricity generation plant through the recycling of waste heat; and making the Bulk-generated electricity sector and governments more accountable.


 "Key elements of WWF's PowerSwitch! vision are: expanding the role of renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass; improving the efficiency of domestic appliances, buildings and industrial motors; increasing the efficiency of power plants through the recycling of waste heat; and making the power sector and governments more accountable."

Note this alternative vision is consistent with the Principle of the Conservation of Energy in that it retains awareness the all that exists is energy and it does not confuse energy with any of the forms it can take. It acknowledges that energy is by its very nature renewed and conserved and thus no such thing as “renewable energy” exists. This consistency means it propagates acceptance of change and thus increases the possibility of hope and harmony prevailing.


I am unable to find meaning and make harmony of the following statement from

 “1,858 cities, towns and municipalities in 81 countries have already committed to VOTE EARTH for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the worlds first global election between Earth and global warming.” 

Acceptance of change means we accept the thermodynamics of existence – everything is subject to continual warming and cooling. For any form to be sustained for any period in a stable state then the rate of warming must equal the rate of cooling.  The fact that relatively speaking the rate of global warming of Earth is balanced by the rate of global cooling of our planet enables life to exist here.

The Sustainability Principle suggests that to equate warming with warming up is a grand denial of change that puts us all at risk. The above use of the global warming symbol reveals a denial of life itself. So when I read


On March 28 you can VOTE EARTH by switching off your lights for one hour.
Or you can vote global warming by leaving your lights on.”

I am compelled to leave my lights on as a symbol of my love of life and my wonder and awe that Earth existence amidst the great flux of thermal energy and as symbol of hope amidst such dissonance and confusion.


Enjoy harmony with all and know the wisdom in the Sustainability Principle folks.

Photos of cottage as beacon of hope.

Posting on NZ Environmental Educators forum EElist -
of energy efficiency/stewardship practice

Environmentalists hail Earth Hour as a big success

BONN, Germany (AP) — For environmental activists, the message was clear: Earth Hour was a huge success.

Now they say nations have a mandate to tackle climate change.

"The world said yes to climate action, now governments must follow," the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said Sunday, a day after hundreds of millions of people worldwide followed its call to turn off lights for a full hour.

From an Antarctic research base and the Great Pyramids of Egypt, from the Colosseum in Rome to the Empire State building in New York, illuminated patches of the globe went dark Saturday night to highlight the threat of climate change. Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries dimmed nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

WWF called the event, which began in Australia in 2007 and grew last year to 400 cities worldwide, "the world's first-ever global vote about the future of our planet."

The United Nations' top climate official, Yvo de Boer, called the event a clear sign that the world wants negotiators seeking a climate change agreement to set an ambitious course to fight global warming.

Talks in Bonn this week are the latest round in an effort to craft a deal to control emissions of the heat-trapping gases responsible for global warming. They are due to culminate in Copenhagen this December. …

Hi EElisters

As the above clip indicates, “environmental activists” believe Earth Hour was a great success. It certainly formed a massive education campaign. It is probable that a majority of our children were impacted by this symbolic act in our schools and their communities.

Last week I posted a link to my blog in which I outlined why the lights in my cottage would be shining during Earth Hour on Saturday night. And as promised, Earth Watch Hour, March 28 2009, my cottage was a blaze of light.

 It was a symbolic expression of my sense of stewardship at that hour when WWF and the leaders of some of the leaders of the most barbaric cities on our planet were instigating a blackout.

Photos of my symbolic action can be seen now with my blog on the subject. 

As you can see the photos reveal that a large yin-yang symbol permanently adorns my South Western windbreak. It expresses the essence of my symbolic protest to the WWF black out. As I outlined in my blog our psychopathic corporations now popularly image “energy efficiency” so that it associated with darkness, loss, cost and deprivation. The WWF’s annual campaigns take us down the dark side, deep into the psychosis that is the world of our merchant bankers. 

In this context the deeper symbolism of the equation “stewardship =blackout” puts us all at greater risk*.

(*In brief, the unpopular and unwelcome truth is that the current economic collapses are being caused by our denial of our roles as stewards amidst the carbon flux. In particular we have built massive systems based on the vast undervaluation of mineral oil/gas. In the last two decades we have, for instance, built great systems of financial credit, transport, agriculture etc based on a valuation of about 0.1cents an hour of the man-hour labour of the energy equivalent in mineral oil. We use the enormous power and wealth of mineral oil to do most of our lifting, pushing, pulling and much of our fertilising. Now that this mineral resource is becoming depleted all those systems are collapsing – as some of us have predicted they must. We have converted our wealth to air pollution. It’s a multiple whammy risk.) 

Stewardship and our survival rests on our capacity to begin making far more intelligent uses of our solar and electrical potentials and the Earth Day blackout teaches quite the opposite – turn off the light, turn off electrical technology.  

Also analysis of websites such as WWF’s reveals implicit support for the “Market” driven status quo, including support for the current “Electricity Market” regime and the movement to impose a Carbon Trading regime on humanity. Such derivatives trading markets are psychopathic by nature and manifest a total denial of stewardship. (**See even Gordon Brown’s belated realisation of this below.) If such a carbon trading regime is adopted at Copenhagen then expect the enhanced destruction of our carbon potential and the high risk of global warfare as early as 2013. Survivors will probably come to believe that WWF stands for the World War Fund. 

So perhaps it is a good time to ask, “Just exactly what is “stewardship/energy efficiency?” if it is not what the WWF et al teach it is? This is my understanding: 

Put most concisely, energy efficiency is what occurs when one’s life is lived in the state of science, a state we are all capable of experiencing.

In this state the individual enjoys a sense of acceptance of their role as a steward amidst change. Energy efficiency is understood to be about reflecting and being in harmony with reality i.e. with the constant transformation, which is our universe(s).  

In this state people are most able to make wise uses of resources. They are able to continually review and reflect on their actions, to acknowledge and embrace perceived flaws in their practice and errors are viewed as opportunities to learn how to best conserve our resources. 

In brief, “energy efficiency” is stewardship. As mentioned the symbol has been perverted and redefined by our psychopathic element. In fact it is so mangled now it is probably more helpful to avoid its use and talk of “stewardship of resources” instead.  Here is what energy efficiency (stewardship amidst change) is not: 

“Energy efficiency is about using less.”

Comment: The association of the symbol with deprivation is unhelpful because the wise use of resources involves using them in such a way that we remain in harmony with the flows and balances that sustain us. We may well use more resources and experience greater wealth. A simple example is the embedding in the statute books of legislation promoting the siting and construction of dwellings so they make more effective uses of our solar resources. As a result we can use, on balance, far more kilowatts, our houses are warmer and we use fewer fossil fuels. More joules of energy are used while carbon balances are impacted less. 

“Energy efficiency is about using less energy”.

Comment: See above comment. On a deeper level the Sustainability Principle of Energy suggests this is a significant denial of change as defined in the  Conservation Principle of Energy. It thus puts us all at greater risk. This is especially true when energy is equated with a particular resource e.g. mineral oil or Bulk-generated electricity.

Energy is so bounteous it can be considered a constant. It comes in myriad forms, many of which can act as resources for us. Our challenge is to remain open to the opportunities they represent. 

“Energy efficiency costs more.”

Comment: The above-mentioned oligarchy of merchant bankers and their acolytes in our schools, universities and media teach that the costs of ‘energy efficiency” increase in a linear way i.e. every additional measure is an increased expense with lessened returns.

Certainly the separate investments in insulating your dwelling, installing heat stores and glazing to the sun may have small returns individually. However cumulatively their returns can be high as suddenly a wide range of technology (heat pumps etc) become very economical and the nation does not need to be taxed to build huge dams, fossil fuel burning plant and wind turbine complexes to provide electrical products at periods of peak demand.

Similarly the decision to use light rail instead of cars can have very high benefits/cost ratio in the community. 

“Energy efficiency is about conserving energy .”

Comment: There is no more destructive act of science and the future of our children than to teach that human beings can “conserve energy”. It is a complete denial of Conservation Principle which states that energy is bounteous and is conserved i.e. can be neither created nor destroyed. To teach, as so many did this Earth Hour, that we can and need to conserve energy is the ultimate denial of our roles as stewards amidst change.

To teach and preach as they did is to fracture our sensibilities and place us in dissonance with the reality of the universe(s). Such beliefs in the power of humans to create/destroy/conserve energy are born of and reflect our capacity for arrogance, greed and generating misery.

Energy efficiency (acceptance of our roles as stewards amidst change) is about conserving resources (individual forms) and opportunities. It is not about conserving energy. 

“Energy efficiency is about saving energy"

Comment: Teaching this equation is equally as destructive of science as teaching that "humans can conserve energy". See all of above comment. How can anyone save energy when it is as bounteous as all the potential of the universe(s)?

“Energy efficiency is about using renewable energy”.

Comment. See the comment above re "conserving energy" and the Conservation Principle of Energy. As much as it is very convenient to believe in “perpetual motion machines”, “elixirs of youth” and “renewable energy” all the evidence suggests they do not exist in our universe(s). Acceptance of change is to accept that all energy is constantly renewed. Thus it is unhelpful to speak of some forms of energy being “renewable energy” and some “non-renewable energy”. There are only relatively renewable forms and resources.

And how does the yin yang symbol contain the essence of stewardship/energy efficiency?

The wiki on the yin yang symbol suggests:

"Yin and yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, which constantly interact, never existing in absolute stasis." 

Essential ideas include our acceptance of universal change, of seeming good coming from seeming bad and vice versa and being in harmony with all. In this state we experience balance, humility, openness to learning and, in general, greater compassion. 

Footnote: the story of how I came to this understanding of “energy efficiency” may be of interest to some. For decades I was employed in the Bulk-generated electricity industry and thus visited thousands of homes. My experiences of the interface of our education system and our communities made me aware of and gave me insight into a great disjunction between what was believed to have been taught and what had actually been learned.  

In 1998 I trained as a primary teacher, which gave me considerable insights into how and why this disjunction between the theoretical objectives of our education system and the real outcomes occurred. These insights were complemented by my experience of how the Economic Reforms affected both the Bulk-generated electricity industry and our education system. I found myself uniquely placed to witness how our most vital “energy” and “power” symbols were re-engineered to serve the interests of the oligarchy of merchant bankers I mentioned. 

In 2001 I came to conclusion that our educators, including our Environmental Educators, were failing us badly and their visions of the nature of energy were fatally flawed. So I determined to go back to basics and, as best as I could, start again allowing any and all possibilities. 

I created a cartoon character embodying the “energy efficiency” symbol. I assumed the symbol contains an ideal which involves the wise uses of energy and a generosity of spirit in which one’s actions are motivated by long-term, low-risk concerns. The cartoon character was shaped to personify this ideal. 

I sent this character, Bonus Joules, forth on a journey of exploration of the nature of energy. After some chapters I became aware that Bonus Joules was always accompanied by a another presence – one characterized by arrogance, wasteful ways, meanness of spirit and whose actions are motivated by short-term, high-risk concerns. This presence emerged as a separate cartoon character I called Junk Joules (from junk bonds). 

At one point I drew Junk Joules embracing Bonus Joules and did not see what I had drawn for some weeks. Then one day it hit me -together these two spirits formed the Yin Yang symbol

 and when I looked up the origins and meaning of the symbol I realized my exploration of the nature of energy may well have considerable integrity. The symbol is supposed to have been discovered by the Chinese millennia ago when they placed an 8 foot stake in the ground, recorded the shadows it cast over a full year and based their agriculture and civics on the symbol formed. Thus arose a culture better reflecting reality and in greater harmony with our solar system. 

The truth of the nature of “energy efficiency” had been staring me in the face for weeks from my drawing board a few centimeters away and I was unable to see it for weeks. I now see that our culture experiences this same blindness and the WWF blackout is an elegant symbolization of it. 

I remain hopeful that this great global act on Saturday night can now be an opportunity for us all to review how we can most truly reflect reality and be in harmony with the balances and flows that sustain us. This I believe will generate greater prosperity as we make wiser uses of our electrical, solar and carbon potentials. 

Enjoy harmony 


The Sustainability Principle of Energy

“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 mirror reality.”


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."


**Brown urges free markets to exercise decency

Tuesday 31 March 2009 06:42:01  - Breaking News - Source: Reuters  Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - The new global economic order must be guided by everyday values cherished by all rather than the self interest of the few, according to the text of a speech Prime Minister Gordon Brown will give on Tuesday.

In a speech to faith leaders and charity workers ahead of the G20 crisis summit in London on Thursday, Brown will reaffirm his support for free markets while urging policy-makers to overhaul the rules that govern them.

"Our task today is to bring the imperatives served by our financial markets into proper alignment with the values held by families and business people across our country -- hard work, taking responsibility, being honest, being fair," Brown will say, according to extracts of his speech.

"Most people want a system where the market is free. But it must never be values-free. It must be fair, but not laissez-faire. And so our task is to agree global economic rules that reflect the enduring values that we cherish elsewhere," Brown will say.


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