"What is Energy?" Part One
A brief introduction to the  video "What is Energy?"



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Sustainability Principle of Energy


Video "What is Energy?" 
Part two
(The Potential, which is Energy)


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 of symbol uses
 that promote acceptance/denial 
of stewardship amidst change.)

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Requisites for 
to exist:



Collegiality openness 
and sharing; 


Honesty and trust; 

Time and reflection 


Science  and creativity:

 The above requisites enable quantum leaps
 in insight.


The power  of symbols:

Symbols convey
 meaning and enable civilisation


Conserving the 
potential of 
our key symbols:

Any failure to
 conserve them 
puts us at greater risk.





Background to video “What is Energy?” Part One


This video is one of a series planned on our use of the key symbols used to express our relationship with the universe(s). It explores our current use of the “energy” symbol.

The opening statement suggests we are all very intimate with energy and yet no one knows what it is. Thus everyone has a different and changing sense of what energy is. The video is based on the premise that Google both forms and reflects our Anglo-American societies now and thus provides useful insight into our culture.  The video contains a snapshot taken on one day (5 August 2009) and explores what the Google search page on “energy” reveals of the New Zealand culture.

 I suggest the Wiki page reflects the confused vision of the nature of energy propagated in our schools and media and offer my alternative definition of energy:

Energy = the potential of the universe(s).

Top of the list is the Wiki definition of energy, a statement framed by the notion “In physics…” I suggest this is unhelpful and confusing because everything can be seen as physics and we are all physicists to some degree. It is our capacity to each be a scientist that enables each of us to exist. The “physics” symbol derives from the Greek for “nature”. We are all students of nature and the original definition of the “physics” symbol was “making sense of all things”.

I suggest the following Wiki statement is also unhelpful:

. Different forms of energy include kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, sound, light, elastic, and electromagnetic energy. The forms of energy are often named after a related force.

This is because most of us understand that energy is manifest in myriad myriad forms and I suggest the Wiki list really refers to types or kinds or perspectives of energy. We can view any object (energy form) from a gravitational or a thermal or a kinetic or potential or an electromagnetic point of view. We can view it directly through our senses using light, sound, olfactory, taste and touch. We can also view it indirectly using various technologies. The prime universal observation we make it is that the object is constantly changing.

The Wiki folk however clearly believe the Conservation Principle of Energy is of great importance. They state it thus:

Any form of energy can be transformed into another form, but the total energy always remains the same.

 I suggest the “Conservation Principle of Energy” symbol provides a great guide to the nature of energy and that it is as near as we have to a law of nature. I offer my preferred definition:

“Energy is bounteous, conserved (it cannot be created or destroyed) and it is continually transformed.”

This statement provides the framework for analysis in the video. I state the implications of the Conservation Principle thus:

In other words, it is 100% DENIAL of the Conservation Principle i.e. denial of reality to say energy is a form or group of forms or to say energy can be generated, created, sustained, saved, conserved, destroyed, wasted or lost.. to speak thus is 100% DENIAL.

The video associates this denial with a commonly used danger symbol for a very good reason. The denial expresses a fundamental disconnection with reality. In this state of psychosis the activities of humans tend to put us all at risk of misery in the form of war, famine and disease.

The video then explores the links on the snapshot Wiki page on energy. (See at bottom) These include

Wiki (Energy definition)
Contact Energy
Mercury Energy
Meridian Energy
Colombia Unive rsity (USA)
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (also known as EECA)
Genesis Energy
The Department of Energy (USA)
The International Energy Agency (Not visible on page capture)
Keri Hilson – Energy (USA video)
Lindsey Williams – the Energy Non-Crisis (USA video)
And the Google corporation.

These websites in turn provided links, electronic and symbolic, to other “energy” pages.

For instance

EECA linked to Consumer NZ Inc (http://www.eeca.govt.nz/node/3057 )

Genesis Energy linked to the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Google corporation pages linked to “intelligent energy” which in turn linked to “clean energy” which in turn linked to “green energy” and so on.

The video illustrates how all these sites exhibit 100% denial of the Conservation Principle and suggests this problem is endemic in our culture. It provides a snapshot examples from our media, including the evidence that it is endemic to the regulators of our medias as well. The example shown is from a decision by the NZ Broadcasting Standards authority in which it declares in my complaint that it is wrong to state energy, power and Bulk-generated electrical products are the same thing:

[16]   Looking at Principle 6 (accuracy), the Authority considers that it was not inaccurate to use the terms electricity, power and energy interchangeably, and it finds that listeners would not have been misled by the use of the words in the broadcast. Accordingly, the Authority declines to uphold the Principle 6 complaint

The video was published prematurely and in haste as the Windows Move Maker programme purchased with the new PC is proving very unreliable. Youtube time and content restrictions determined much. The series of snapshot illustrations form a bombardment, which is not unlike how we are impacted by corporations these days. The script and associated links are provided below to allow more time for reflection. However many websites will have changed already.

This video is one of two asking the question “What is Energy?”. The second one explores the potential, which is energy. Both are part of a planned series looking at our use of a range of key symbols (incl. power, electricity, energy efficiency, carbon, global warming, trace, greenhouse and science), how they have been colonised by vested interests and how flawed uses of these vital symbols puts humanity at serious risk.

The objective is to provide students with an appreciation of the wisdom and hope inherent in the Conservation Principle of Energy; the tools to evaluate the sustainability of their school libraries, lesson activities and media; and the capacity to psychoanalyse their teachers and parents with compassion. Thus students will be able to provide all those in denial of the Conservation Principle, especially their teachers and parents working in corporations, with inspiring glimpses of the wondrous nature of energy.

Note – see the original 5 August 2009 Google page on energy at bottom, as is preamble to Wiki definition of the "energy" symbol.

What is energy? It’s a simple and great question.  Everyone experiences energy..yet no one knows what energy is. This also makes it a great fun question.

Ask one hundred people what energy is and you will receive one thousand very different answers. Often people will give a different answer at different times of the day according to their mood and who they think they are talking to. 


A Google of the  “energy” symbol reveals myriad differing definitions too .about 435 million references...But first.. my current definition. 

Energy = the potential of the universe(s).

Note how different it is to what our schools and media teach.  The way they symbolise energy is beautifully summarized in the confusion manifest on this Google page. 

Google both reflects and forms our societies now.. this page teaches us a lot about what New Zealand people think energy is..

Top of search.. wiki energy


It starting statement is not helpful:  "In physics,....

Each of us survives because we are students of nature, scientists, to some degree. We all reflect..play a part in the activities of the universe(s).

And this Wiki list of energy forms is unhelpful too. You and I know energy is manifest in myriad different forms. I suggest the Wiki folk are really talking about perspectives or types or kinds of energy.

Ah great though – the Wiki guys are onto it

This great guide to reality. If there is a law of nature this is it. Here is how I prefer to state the General Principle:

Energy is bounteous, conserved (it cannot be created or destroyed) and it is continually transformed. 

In other words, it is 100% DENIAL of the Conservation Principle i.e. denial of reality to say energy is a form or group of forms or to say energy can be generated, sustained, saved, conserved, destroyed, wasted or lost.. to speak thus is 100% DENIAL


lets speed our search up. Ah, …Contact Energy…. a short cut to discovering the nature of energy?.. huh... Sadly no.  How miserable..just some confused corporation.. like what on Earth is DualEnergy? 

And big time denial too..


Lets go deeper.  the energy debate. The confusion and denial deepens too… they think humans can save energy! Truth is we can only conserve energy forms. 


Hmmm …Mercury Energy Dual Fuel – more serious confusion –electrical energy is a fuel.. next they will be saying is that energy is a fuel.? ... and  “alternative energy”??. How in our universe can this be?  


Number two link: Folk who call themselves an energy conservation authority. they believe there is stuff called ”renewable energy” and that humans can conserve energy…. 

What gives? Why would you want to conserve something that is already conserved? And the mind boggles at what inefficient energy is  


Meridian Energy, oh dear, double nonsense here: 

 “join the largest renewable energy generator today”. ..  Humans cannot generate energy – we can only transform it..  And now the video links 

And now for the two videos linked to 

(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW8wrXjPs5A 

Keri Hilson – Energy

Cool song but “..this love is taking all my energy, energy energy…”??

Question: How can love destroy energy? 

 (2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbakN7SLdbk

Lindsey Williams – the Energy Non-Crisis (USA video)

Energy = fossil fuels (mineral oil)


Ah Genesis Energy..sounds promising. the source of all creation? ..hmmmm…how miserable ...much more to creation than this eh! 


The Department of Energy?  Again the mind boggles. Are not all other US Government departments energy too? And a Secretary of Energy? Is that an American name for God or something?


a quick flick through the site…. (Energy Facts for kids)– what a limited vision of the nature of energy– and look …no mention of the atmosphere as a source of energy – how can you have air without energy? Breathing, burning without air? 


Ah  a guide to energy slang – looks more like Oil Speak eh folks.

DOE Energy = mainly fossil fuels .  


 Colombia Uni – hmmm-more believers in Renewable Energy in some “energy future”.. 


Next link International Energy Agency. Sounds promising.. but wait mumble  renewable energy, mumble oil,  mumble “energy” technology oil gas mumble more oil gas – not much hope and intelligence there eh 


Hey wonder people think there is stuff called intelligent energy – yep sure do – imagine dumb energy


Clean power – Do people think there is clean energy – yup sure do…  oh Why are the Greenpeace folk so keen to endorse and promote Bulk-generated products, as in this ad?…


What about green energy believers? Sure are –more ads for Bulk-gen electrical products as usual… and yes I have checked there are pages full of links to red energy blue energy pink energy purple energy.


Even found people who believe in Solid Energy – these folk think energy is coal and perhaps a few wood products.


And yes there are those who think food is energy


And drink is energy… wow there is even cocaine energy..truly delusional..


and Monster Energy – scarey - ough – perhaps energy got them…


Lets check out our yellow pages on Energy.. hmmm basically a page of ads for retailers of electrical products….


Elemental Energy…


Energy Select…


Nova Energy..


Or search New Zealand’s largest daily broadsheet .. its got an “energy section” …huhh .. people in our media are seriously psychotic the way they think energy = fossil fuels


Search mind energy…yes – here we go “Mind Power is Energy” …now that cannot be true ..power is not energy…

   Power = the rate at which energy is manifest.


Google PowerMeter

At Google we're helping enable a future where access to personal electricity information helps everyone make smarter energy choices. Google PowerMeter shows ...

Hey wonder what Google corp thinks energy is… oh dreary us. Energy=power, renewable energy,


..clean energy.

What about… hey lets try about dot com


Well surely the universe is a physical system… and yes it is saying energy is the potential to be active…

Bummer that they confuse energy forms with types of energy though


NZ’s premier consumer protection agency…


..whooha..a whole section on “energy saving”…looks like they think energy is power and they seem to think power is a few electrical products. ..Hmmm . Lets give Consumer a rating

Such shonky products are endemic in our media now


 Check out what the crème de crème of our communicators believe:

16]   Looking at Principle 6 (accuracy), the Authority considers that it was not inaccurate to use the terms electricity, power and energy interchangeably, and it finds that listeners would not have been misled by the use of the words in the broadcast. Accordingly, the Authority declines to uphold the Principle 6 complaint.


Talking elite minds  - our Royal Society.. here we go.. “promoting excellence in science… so what is their idea of energy?…wood, gas, oil, solar wind… CO2 capture, hydrogen 


Free Dictionary…. Hmmm.. energy is usable heat or power?  A source of useable power, such as petroleum or coal?  And it gets worse by the look of it…portable energy? I thought energy is motion….

Energy is power?!!??? What confusion. Can you take one more search? Lets search on videos “energy is power” (result 2)


Energy = Power = Bulk-generated electrical products


Man creating t-shirt slogans - a big future as a big PR expert for the self-styled "energy" corporations.

Don’t feel confused and muddled. If you think all this is Energy Gobbledygook you could be right. Perhaps its time to open the door, step outside and enjoy a deep breath, to actually experience energy on a different scale. Just feel this sky and land and all…experience the continual change. See the enormous potential in just this single view of our universe… feel it .. breathe it.. dance it .. it is to be lived…

Confused? Depressed? Then ensure you watch the second video in which we explore the astonishing and wonderful potential that is energy.

Want to make more sense of what you have just seen - read my essay on the Sustainability Principle of Energy at

www.bonusjoules.co.nz  Be mindful of its central message: enjoy compassion and a rather wonderful vision of existence emerges.

Wiki definition

In physics, energy (from the Greek ἐνέργεια - energeia, "activity, operation", from ἐνεργός - energos, "active, working"[1]) is a scalar physical quantity that describes the amount of work that can be performed by a force, an attribute of objects and systems that is subject to a conservation law. Different forms of energy include kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, sound, light, elastic, and electromagnetic energy. The forms of energy are often named after a related force.

Any form of energy can be transformed into another form, but the total energy always remains the same. This principle, the conservation of energy, was first postulated in the early 19th century, and applies to any isolated system. According to Noether's theorem, the conservation of energy is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics do not change over time.[2]

Although the total energy of a system does not change with time, its value may depend on the frame of reference. For example, a seated passenger in a moving airplane has zero kinetic energy relative to the airplane, but non-zero kinetic energy relative to the Earth.




Footnote: For more joy, see the Compassionate Education Curriculum Framework.

Link here

 for examples of the application of Sustainability Principle. 
(Inventory of symbol uses that promote acceptance/denial of stewardship amidst change.)


Video "What is Energy?" Part two
(The Potential, which is Energy)

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