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Sample SEF Postings 2008-9 
by Dave McArthur



The Sustainable Energy Forum is a nationwide forum of New Zealanders concerned with making our country a model of sustainability for the world. Many of its members are engineers and/or have experience with or teach abut the  Bulk-generated electricity and fossil fuel sectors.  

This frames their world view and thus their misplaced belief that there exists a substance called "sustainable energy" and that humans can "sustain energy". 


Posting 12 Dec 2008

Framework for submission to Emissions Trading Strategy Review?. 

  Posting 14 Nov 2008

Our very own GOON Show -reflections on NZ Electricity Industry Reforms

 Posting 5 August 2008

Carbon,  climate, mineral oil prices, metering 

Posting 13 June 2009

Prediction Time; The psychosis and psychopathy driving current uses of our electrical, solar and carbon potentials.


Posting Sustainable Energy Forum -Our Own Goon Show  



Several weeks ago the question was posed “ What does John Key and the National Party mean when they talk of investing in “infrastructure”. 

At the time I submitted to the Sustainable Energy Forum  

“As a general rule in NZ the “infrastructure” symbol is now used to describe technology that directly supports the lifestyles of the rich.


The rich like to drive cars and profit from motorway construction so it is considered infrastructure.


The rich receive the bulk of the benefits from investments in Bulk-gen electricity systems (Comalco et al) and so it is considered infrastructure. The rich receive relatively few benefits from intelligent Dwelling-gen electricity systems and so these are not considered infrastructure.


The rich were happy to let “The Market” demolish rail until large export corporations (coal, timber, milk) suddenly decided it affected their profits and so suddenly it became “infrastructure” again.


Similarly the Government fell over itself to pour billions into air travel infrastructure because this is infrastructure that is vital to the lives of the rich.


Housing is not symbolised as infrastructure because if it were then this would result in investment in maximizing the use of each dwelling’s solar and electrical potential and greater consideration of the more efficient situation of dwellings and mass transit infrastructure. This of course transfers investment away from the rich to lower income people.” 

I probably could have added that “infrastructure” also means that large corporations like Telecom will be given huge subsidies so they can further control and gut our broadband/knowledge potential. 

Since that posting I have analysed John Key’s statements and detect no vision whatsoever as to how he will transition New Zealand from the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas Age to the Great Solar Electric Age. At least Helen Clark evidenced faint glimmerings of an awareness that mineral oil/gas is a finite resource though her last acts were to enact the ETS legislation and commit more money to motor ways.  

However John is oblivious to the fact our credit systems are based on a vast undervaluation of the mineral oil/gas and so must collapse with consequent societal breakdown -as we are currently witnessing with the ever deepening economic recessions in some economies now that mineral oil is priced nearer half a cent per man-hour labour of its energy equivalent. (That price seems bizarrely cheap until you realise we priced it at .05 cents per man hour in 1999 when the Glass Steagal acts were repealed and the derivatives traders were let loose on scale.) 

John is going to find it enormously difficult when confronted with the stress and conflict of economic collapse not to relapse and revert to the psychopathic world of the money traders where humans are mere tradable commodities. 

Sadly John seems hardwired into the money trading debt engineering ethos still and this makes it inevitable that he will restructure community assets so the bankers can further lever off them as they have taken over and levered off what were our community trust banks and electrical grids. He’s wired to debt creation.  

He will also instinctively work to sustain the money trading system and so we can expect him to use KiwiSaver, the ETS and the SOEs as mechanisms to siphon wealth out of our communities to bolster the money traders’ structures from imploding. Ultimately it’s a futile exercise and only leads to more debt, more war and more misery and the failure of our education and health systems but such is John’s mindset. 

On Sunday morning, a few hours after he was elected Prime Minister, I read in the Sunday Star Times an article about the report by Craig Stobo, “a professional director, investment banker and financial consultant”. It seems Craig has been circulating Government officials, including National, with this report. It suggests the establishment of a New Zealand Asset Liability Office  “at arms length to parliament”. 

He suggests, “SOEs carry with them lots of business risks, including the requirement for more capital and should the government be putting more capital into those businesses which might be better used in the health system or education…what are the priorities of government, is it to increase the education of our kids or is it to put more capital into a power company?” 

Feel the overwheming compassion here. You get the picture? Of course this is all extremely familiar to those who recall the campaigns of the 1980s/90s.

Step one

Start the whispering campaign: this community asset is starving our children.. it is a liability to our society…listen to this example of its stupid managers…I hear tell that people wait a year for a phone now… did you hear the one about the wagon that got lost in the rail yards..  communities don’t know how to run businesses ..we cannot afford to keep it.. it is unrealised capital.. we should put it in the hands of business people who know how to lever off it (use it to generate debt, whoops I mean wealth..)

Step two

Convince the wider public that the asset (telecom, Government Print, NZ Rail, Forests, Dams, local electrical grid, you name it) is a dog and show the local politicians that their books will look better short term if they “realise the asset”. Undervalue all social and civil defence positives of the asset.

Step three

Accomplish commitment of sale of community asset. Begin sacking workers and stalling on investment in infrastructure maintenance so as to make the books look good for a sale.


Pretend to have competitive tenders and/or float private shares (commonly known as public shares even though they are held by individuals).

If former deal then sign mate’s rate deal and start gutting of asset. If latter deal then run high profile national campaign raving about the wonderful value of this asset. Preferrably get Government or Local Body to fund this advertising. Get whole group of mum and dad investors to purchase shares at high price. Maintain shares for a few years at reasonable price until asset is gutted, sell out majority share lot and leave nation with debt loaded and barely functioning structure and individual shareholders holding worthless bits of paper. 


Skip to Switzerland or Ireland or England or somewhere where no one will blame you for the social shambles and poverty. Hope that too many people don’t follow your model as that would ignite an instant global world war as the extreme wealth disparity ruptured the world’s middle classes and they go rabid. Even the very wealthy become vulnerable then. 

So it is Sunday morning after the election and it is clear the vultures are circling, ready to pick what remains of wealth off the debt-addled NZ economy. I ask myself, when and who will start the “whispering programme” as per Step One. 

Tuesday it starts. At 4.17pm  or so. Sure enough the rich assets we have in Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy and Mighty River Power are being ridiculed on scale. I had figured they will be the first to be “realised”. I am sure if merchant bankers like Craig Stobo  are listening they are dumbstruck, unable to believe their incredible luck as the SOEs are trashed with a precision and effectiveness that no high charging PR consultancy could provide. 

 The service is provided completely for free and with all the prestige of our National Public Radio and with all the combined mana of one of our top comedians, one of our top public broadcasters and, wait for it, one of our top “independent” community advocates and “energy consultants”. 

I have posted below a rough, very approximate, transcript below for SEF’s records.  

I will just make a couple of points. 

My comments are directed at the human state in general and no individual.  

I am great Goon Show fan, in fact when I was younger people told me they could not think of me without thinking of the Goon Show. Somewhere I still retain about 50 tapes of the show, I still retain Spike Milligan’s books and I used to be able to quote many whole Goon Shows word and sound effect perfect. I still vividly recall the electric shocks I used to get as kid as I gripped the aerial wire to my homemade one value radio in my teeth as I tried to maximise radio reception and catch every precious moment of the Goon Show each week as it waxed and waned on the ether for a half an hour of sanity each week. 

I was born in the shadow of the second world war. I experienced the effects on my father and remain haunted by the wretched silence of those who lost relatives. I also sat on my grandfather’s knee and heard of the horrors of being gassed in the trenches in the first world war, as he was. War for me is horrible. It is insane. It is misery. It is needless and to be avoided at all costs. I wish more people around me understood that and would stop driving cars and flying in jets. 

I was vastly affected by Spike Milligan, as he conveyed the horrors of war and bazaar elements of human behaviour that enable that horror to persist on epic scale. Somehow I gained strength in learning from him how to find humour amidst that bazaar behaviour and to generate compassion and humanity amidst psychopathy.  

Read the transcript below and tell me who or what is truly bizarre. 

Are the Genesis Energy’s managers really bizarre or are they simply normal human beings doing exactly what the dominant ethos of our country prescribes is sane behaviour? 

All the history of human kind and the hardest lessons we ever learned if we survived them is that the Principle of the Conservation of Energy holds. It is the nearest thing we have to a natural law. It is repository of great sanity. 

Is not it really bizarre then every member in the National Radio discussion dishes Genesis Energy as bazaar and yet every member totally denies the Conservation Principle and says energy and power are Bulk-generated electricity. Can you get more bizarre than that?  

Surely this is bizarre as the notion that the Sustainable Energy Forum promotes, which is that there is stuff called “sustainable energy”. Any sane person knows energy is sustained and one is a fool or an idiot to confuse energy with any of the forms it can take. 

Is it not bizarre that energy is manifest in myriad forms and power in myriad measures and the universe has this vast potential and yet, wait for it folks, some of our most influential human beings think energy and power are just one tiny miserable aspect of all this vast range of options? In this case, incredibly, they believe energy and/or power are Bulk-generated electricity. 

Is it not bizarre that all those on the Nat Radio panel find the Genesis Energy promotion meaningless and bizarre and yet they employ all the uses of the energy and power symbols that are promoted by the Spin doctors of this “energy/power company” that “supplies power and energy”, which is called Genesis Energy? Who is screwing who here? If I were a Genesis Energy Spin doctor I would be laughing so much that I would have to be stitched up again. 

And what is so bizarre about the management of Genesis Energy attempting to increase their asset value? They are just doing exactly what the national legislation of this country prescribes that they do. If you want sanity, peace and prosperity then the Electricity Industry Reform legislation is the last thing you would inflict on a country but the fact is we have adopted it as our national way of life, bizarre as that is.  

Not once did I hear a member of the panel observe this most truly bizarre fact. These guys at Contact Energy/Origin Energy, Trustpower, Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy and Mighty River Power are just doing exactly what our laws say they must do. 

(Hey, aren’t those symbols such a bizarre lot when you string them together like that –they speak bizarre volumes about our nation and its lack of science.) 

I tell you, folks, you cannot get anything much more bizarre than the Electricity Industry Reforms. Like where else in the universe can you lose your democratic rights of association (MEDs, Power Boards etc) and ownership over personal knowledge and, bizarre as it may seem, you end up “deregulated” with regulations that give you “complete freedom of choice” of six psychopathic corporations. 

 There’s a whole series of Goon Shows here. I can hear Colonial Bloodnok “ Roll up, roll up, folks just step this way, folks, just step into this jail for a moment and experience that wonderful feeling of freedom … just leave your wallets out here with me for safety… there you go Clang oohoohohhuahha …lets all do the jail house rock .. this is your lucky day folks – we have a special deal on to celebrate the advent of Spong and you can stay in there till niddle noddle noo – whoosh (sound of Bloodnok departing for horizon with wallets). 

And what is so bizarre about the management of Genesis Energy attempting to promote a little bit of carbon trading and a spot of carbon offsetting?

 If its alright for our Prime Minister to tell the world New Zealand is going to be “carbon neutral”, what’s wrong the Genesis Energy guys encouraging us to be a bit delusional too. Especially if it makes us feel better about burning fossil fuels and trashing the atmospheric balances that sustain us.

Of course it is pretty bizarre that human beings, which are creatures with carbon constantly flowing through us, can even entertain such a daft notion as carbon neutrality. But enough of us do to make the daft notion our national policy and an essential part of our 100% Pure Clean Green Lie whoops I mean Image. 

And of course the Genesis Energy managers are simply operating within the spirit of the legislated Carbon Trading Scheme - which only the ACT party in our parliament opposes. How much more bizarre can you get than that!  

If it was OK for Ned Seagoon to dream of getting out of the army by pretending insanity and proposing that the Army buy a full scale cardboard replica of Britain, tow it to the coast of Germany and wait till the Germans invade it and then tow it out to sea and pull the plug on it and if it was OK for Major Bloodnok to promptly give the order to purchase a full scale cardboard replica of Britain then its seems to me that it is perfectly sane and OK that the Genesis Energy management and its customers should be able to order up a complete arcane and artificial construct called The Carbon Market, load all their qualms and concerns about their carbon emissions on it, send it out to sea and pull the plug on it too and live happily ever after. You can order one free now at your local Government Department or National Public Radio station or Te Papa you know... 

Recently someone described me as an “energy expert”. I have never felt so bizarre in my life. I hastily assured those present that I really am a mere mortal human. It is possible I may be something of an expert about the capacity of humans for denial of the Conservation Principle and the bizarre notions people have about the nature of energy. The idea that I, or any other human, could be described as an “energy expert” is however just so bizarre and demeaning of the potential of the universe(s).  

I give Molly full credit for her expertise on load management in Bulk-gen electricity systems but to suggest that this knowledge makes her an “energy consultant” is hilarious. 

It is also bloody tragic, for it is the stuff of war. The problem is, knowledge is physical and so all this energy gobbledygook that is spun by the fossil fuel and Bulk-gen electricity bankers is blinding us to sustainable ways of living. It is equally lethal as land mines and bullets.  

And be careful to check out Contact Energy and TrustPower too, they are even more bizarre than the SOEs. Remember Major Bloodnok is always trying to get you to look the other way and feel very clever so he can distract you and “relieve you of this very heavy weight called a wallet before it crushes you, poor fellow”.  

Too few people look at constructs of The Market such as Stock Exchange, Kiwi Saver, the ETS and the Electricity Reforms and see them for what they are – truly and totally bizarre. Most people are either just try and see the sanity in them and wonder why they feel totally perplexed or they see the behaviour of people acting within the constructs and see them as hilarious and bizarre when in actual fact the people with them are simply acting in perfectly sane ways within bizarre constructs. 

Until you understand how bizarre they are then you will be as lost as Ned was with Bluebottle? in India – “For days (puff gasp) we fought our way (puff, grunt) through the dense tropical jungle (puff heave) that ran along side the main arterial road.”  

That’s the end of my introduction to this week’s show and keep mindful of the power of community. Remember what then happened as Ned and Bluebottle found themselves surrounded by cannon fire and ten thousands Indians all set to destroy them? They did the only thing that two people can do when in such a terrible situation.

(Sound effects of waltz music and relaxed cabaret ambience.)

Ned, Do you come here often?

Bluebottle. Only in the mating season. 

So keep dancing folks and remember also what is inscribed on the stone that marks the spot of their last stand. It reads:

Ten Miles to Bombay.  

Enjoy the following Kiwi Goon Show. Written in hurry – not speil chucked. 


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.”

At 17minutes

The Panel - Part 1

With Wena Harawira and Gary McCormick. (duration: 23′36″)  

Jim Let us attempt to explain this next story – Genesis Energy has found a whole new way to reward its customers.. brownie points are its way the company says are its way of thanking you for being with us..thank you  Brian Mackie at the  Gog? or God? for picking up on this…

…Spend just 255 thousand dollars with Genesis Energy and you get a free patio heater 

Garry If I spend twice  as much…that $600,000 .. and I get two? 

Jim It appears Genesis Energy has a new brownie points programme for its customer that rewards you …  the more power you use in the home the more points you earn  but the better your habits the more you earn …at the risk of being unfair to Genesis

… maybe Molly Melhuish will have a different construction on all this.. perhaps I am

Maybe I misunderstand the complexity of all seems bizarre.., 

Wena“ It was incredible .. they want us to use all that energy to earn these brownie points and at the same time they are telling you that you are earning one carbon credit. 

Jim Yes they will give a large house carbon offset  that you can get for 51000 points or you can offset your car use this way .. the more power you use the more points you earn.

And the God? Blog says there are echoes of the Goon Show here ..Remember why Eccles joined the army… “Why? I needed the money to buy my way out of the army”. 

We asked “Independent energy consultant” Molly Melhuish to run a ruler over the brownie points … 

 Molly Melhuish “It’s a bizarre scream isn’t it”.Yes I thought it bizarre… for Gods sake you would have to use electricity for Africa to get a prize … you don’t even get a choice of the prize.. it was intentionally ridiculous.. there was no evident meaning.. 

Jim you would have to spend 446 000 dollars to qualify for Masport Mower 

Molly .. there has to be another reason.

Jim Q What is it trying to achieve?…is it trying to sell more electricity? 

Molly “ The rational reason would be to sell electricity. No I think the  reason was simply to waste money

Let me add some information from my research…The retail margin.. that the power companies like  Meridian, Genesis Contact and every one else make $170 per year off each consumer… the retail margin in Victoria Australia is $70…. So already the power companies earning a total unreasonable margin.. that is from our power bills are $100 to high by that measure.. and to justify that they have to spend a lot of money retailing.. brownie points is a way of throwing away an enormous amount of money 

Jim But they don’t have to give any of it out until they (Genesis Energy customers) have spent 445000 dollars.. 

MollyIt’s a scheme which is designed not to actually give anything out …and if it does get to give anything out it does at their discretion and they get to use your name in their advertising 

Wena Is it a prank? 

Garry McK  .. I would like to say this Molly here and and now, I would like to put in on the record I really admire what you have done over the years You are one of the people who have done the research.. I read everything you say – I know we are being ripped in NZ by the power companies ..good on you …keep up the good work. This sums up the whole situation its  $70 in Australia… $170 profit  here… 

Molly And that is for a purpose Jim Justifying price hikes to increase their asset value … the underlying reason is to increase their asset value 

Jim Well the other seemingly praiseworthy aspect of this Molly Melhuish, before you go is the minimisation of carbon footprints.. I couldn’t really get my head around what they are in fact offering 

Molly No NO they Offering to increase your carbon foot prints  to get brownie points….

Garry… Get a masport motor mower.. good stuff

Wena Harawira …And the patio heater… 

Molly– …its bizarre – sheer waste of money – if National Party wants to get rid of bureaucrats they REALLY have to get rid of these bizarre people in the SOE companies  who are wasting your money and my money for the purpose of increasing their asset value.

Sorry about it but that’s it 

Thank you Molly Melhuish and the Gog? blog , just to give them the last words– “down at Genesis Energy headquarters the lights are on but they are very dim

The flash harrys and harriets have overlooked the only real winning offer. Just cut the real price of energy… 

Jim Oh well..It gave us a chuckle 

Garry I’m in pain actually..chuckling through gritted teeth 

Jim….just chuckling through the tears

Return to Blog 18 Nov 2008

Posting 5 August 2008

Carbon,  climate, mineral oil prices, metering

 Hi SEF 

Re Carbon use

Untouched Forests Store More Carbon

Posted on: Monday, 4 August 2008, 14:20 CDT

A new Australian study of "green carbon" and its role in climate change suggests that untouched natural forests store three times more carbon dioxide than previously estimated and 60 percent more than plantation forests.


The role of untouched forests, and their biomass of green carbon, had been underestimated in the fight against global warming, according to Australian National University (ANU) scientists.


The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Kyoto Protocol did not distinguish between the carbon capacity of plantation forests and untouched forests, scientists said.


However, the ANU report released on Tuesday said untouched forests can carry three times the carbon presently estimated, if their biomass of carbon stock was included.


Currently, forest carbon storage capacity is based on plantation forest estimates…


Comment The question of what is biomass waste that can be used for vehicle fuel and heating plant takes on a new significance with this study.



Re climate communication.



The Earth's temperature may stay roughly the same for a decade, as natural climate cycles enter a cooling phase, scientists have predicted.

A new computer model developed by German researchers, reported in the journal Nature, suggests the cooling will counter greenhouse warming…

..The key to the new prediction is the natural cycle of ocean temperatures called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which is closely related to the warm currents that bring heat from the tropics to the shores of Europe.

The cause of the oscillation is not well understood, but the cycle appears to come round about every 60 to 70 years.  

Comment. This research suggests a period of global cooling-down may occur. The knowledge will be useful in explaining to people why present rising temperatures may stabilise or even drop in the short term while the overall probability is that human activities are causing a longer-term average warming-up of Earth’s surface. Includes links to model projections.

Note BBC article rates as “very unsustainable” according to Climate Change Communication Evaluator 4 Aug 

19:20 Ice-Free North Pole

Mark Serreze is the senior research scientist from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. (duration: 20′30″) 

Comment. Climate models seem accurate in predictions of the melting of Arctic ice. If anything they underestimate the rate of meltdown. Article contains valuable information. Some SEF readers may recall that some years ago I posted links to US Foreign Relations documents discussing how to capitalise on a relatively ice free Arctic even as the US Administration was denying the such a phenomenon was possible.

Note RadioNZ article rates as “very unsustainable” according to Climate Change Communication Evaluator. 

Re communication of carbon care. 

Comment. At present the market price of mineral oil is dropping and some use this fact to argue “The Market is working” and  “the energy crisis is easing”. It is helpful to be clear that the market price has no relationship to the value of mineral oil and that once it is burned this extremely valuable resource is destroyed.  It is more helpful to understand price fluctuations in terms of psychology than economics. For instance check out the price history graphs in this wiki article. As I quoted in my latest blog:

“After retreating for several months in late 2004 and early 2005, crude oil prices rose to new highs in March 2005.”

The Principle of the Conservation of Energy still holds and the resource is still being destroyed at a rate of over 80 million barrels a day. Until a low market price reflects a high individual valuation of the resource then any lowering of the market price only hastens the global economic collapse. The market price has more to do with election cycles and the maintenance of addictive behaviour. 

Re Metering, “feed-in tariffs”

Ian posted

Meters not being misread: Contact

By DYLAN THORNE - The Southland Times | Wednesday, 30 July 2008
[ following an article by Sue Fea the previous day ]

Contact Energy yesterday maintained it had not been been misreading meters despite growing consumer complaints about massive power bills.

A report about Garston Gig Cafe owner Tony Corbett's whopping $1100 power bill in The Southland Times on Saturday sparked reports of similar horrendous power bills, including one that jumped from an average $170 to $970.

The increases could be attributed to a cold winter and changes in energy use, such as heat pumps, and the fact actual readings, rather than estimates, occurred every two months in residential areas and every three months in rural areas, he said…”



For the benefit of new SEF members and other readers: 

Early in the 1980s the Christchurch MED debated whether to post or field deliver bills. It found that they received payments 3.5 days earlier on bills delivered by us meter readers than those posted. The interest earned on that money in the bank paid for most of the meter reading costs. Thus some of us noticed that after customer intelligence was privatised in the Electricity Reforms of the 1990s there was a distinct tendency for the algorithms used by the new Bulk-gen electricity corporations to estimate consumption to be inaccurate and overestimate by the equivalent of several days of consumption. Which is what you would expect of “profit driven” corporations.  

In the early 1990s we meter readers at Wellington MED were told our jobs would be gone by 2000. From memory the example given was a Florida utility that had recently begun reading the meters of 2 million customers by remote means. Even as I acknowledged the probable loss of my meter reading job I also was aware that the new technology would enable communities to make far more sustainable uses of their local electrical potential. The possibilities were truly exciting! 

The Electricity Industry Reform legislation 1993 effectively forced a profit motive (as against a service motive) on communities and the new companies formed suddenly had little interest in replacing the metering system and maintaining the ripple control system. The implementation of the “smart” technology was further postponed in 1998 when that Electricity Reform legislation banned communities from making intelligent uses of their local electrical potential. The new owners of most of our meters and ripple receivers) (TransAlta, NGC et al) had no interest in providing intelligent uses of smart meters because corporations like them make their best profits when the electrical grid system is stressed to the max. 

These companies inherited a national meter system that was largely freehold in the 1970s and I have seen estimates that over a million (i.e. over half) of our meters are over 30 years old. I understand rentals average $50 per aged meter per year. This has been a pure cash flow of over half a billion dollars to often fly-by-night companies of– money that could have paid for intelligent and resilient community grid systems.

It is timely to remember that Labour made much capital in 1999 of what it called Mad Max’s Electricity Shambles (Hon Max Bradford) and promised to clean up “the mess” caused by the 1998 legislation.  Hon David Parker, current Minister of Energy, came into Parliament on such a specific promise.

At the resulting Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry in March 2000 I argued that the Reform legislation had stripped away the democratic rights of New Zealand citizens and put many of us at excessive risk. In particular I warned that in the context the new anti-community systems and ethos the advent of “smart metering” was dangerous. This has proven prophetic. If I knew then what I know now I would have suggested to the Commission that the legislation puts us a major risk of becoming a “Fascist”.

The Chair of the Commission (now head of the Electricity Commission) David Caygill, asked me where the money for the new smart metering might come from. I replied to the effect “ I don’t know now. However the special $NZ350 million profit that TransAlta’s Calgary website is boasting about from its recent sale of its NZ assets would have gone a long way towards funding the technology”. I recall well how David’s two fellow Commissioners looked shocked then sick as the truth of my statement impacted.

David then asked me how soon we could expect the “smart metering” to be implemented. Unfortunately I am not very articulate and my response was also qualified by my very mistaken belief that the new Labour Administration was going to repeal the Electricity Reform legislation as promised. I knew it would require a couple of years for communities to recover from the immense damage they had sustained in the Reforms. So I mumbled something like “ The advent of new technology is always slower than we imagine it will be but when it does arrive its impact is far greater than we could have imagined.”

This statement has also been proven very true but not as I dreamed.

At the time I assumed the Commission would recommend that NZ citizens would be re-enfranchised and communities re-enabled to participate in the Electricity Market. With that I expected an explosion in the use of dwelling scale generators, dwelling insulation, the intelligent use of “smart” appliances and resurgence in quality education programmes. I also expected to see the implosion of unsustainable structures like Contact Energy, TransAlta-NGC-On Energy, Trustpower et al.

History records David Caygill and the Labour Administration opted for retaining the Electricity Reforms. However the impact of the new technology is still proving greater than I could have imagined.

Over the last 8 years I have witnessed the escalating destruction of the science underpinning our education system, from our top professors to our five year olds, as the Electricity Reforms have reframed vital elements of our curriculum. The main mechanisms for this destruction are “environmental education programmes” and the mass-media programmes of the Bulk-gen electricity corporations.

The Electricity Reforms have been deeply embedded into our technology also and as corporations such as Meridian Energy install the “smart” technology we are witnessing the probable loss of civic rights on an exponential scale few people can imagine. The loss of rights include the loss of control over the data generated by the “smart appliances” in their dwellings, the loss of capacity of individuals to develop the intelligence potential (solar, electrical, carbon etc) of their dwellings and their local community plus the loss of their rights to select broadband sources of information and entertainment.

Note The Southland Times  article rates as “very unsustainable” according to Climate Change Communication Evaluator.

Know and value democracy and your community.




Posting 12 December 2008

Framework for submission to Emissions Trading Strategy Review?. 


I was intrigued by the lack of response on SEF to the British Government’s announcement that it was raising the price of air travel from Britain. Personally I thought the removal of $200 off the vast subsidies our rich elite of air travellers receive was a rare and sane move towards more sustainable use of our carbon potential – especially if the funds were released to retrofit Britain’s housing stock with insulation, install solar systems etc. I figured the removal of this subsidy provided an acid test of the sincerity of New Zealand’s (including SEF’s) commitment to sustainable practices. The response of our media, business leaders and our politicians indicates a significant lack of sincerity. The silence of SEF gives considerable cause for concern. This was an ideal opportunity to expose our hypocrisy and to applaud the enhancement of stewardship in the greater world. 

I figure the review of the ETS is another acid test of SEF and I would like to thank Allan T for providing a thoughtful basis for the subsequent discussion that followed on SEF. 

Allan T wrote (1 Dec)

“I find it interesting the term "carbon tax" has appeared again in the upcoming ETS review driven by Rodney Hide. I'm not sure if this represents an opportunity to get it right this time, given the context of a right wing government, but for what it's worth, this would be my ideal GHG control policy…” 

Here are a few thoughts that SEF might like to consider for a framework if it makes a formal submission.


(a) We are Carbon Beings.
At present there is no coherent discussion of our roles as stewards of the carbon potential. There are many and varied groups concerned about our use of carbon and activists from each group - whether it be “Climate change”, “Peak Oil”, “solar weather”, “food”, “soil”, “forests”, “plastic products”, “alternative energy”, etc.  Each group has its own lexicon, calculations and strategies. Often their symbol use is conflicting and exclusive so the net impact of these groups is general confusion and the destruction of science.

Example 1: the self styled “climate change acceptors/activists” employ uses of the “carbon neutrality”, “carbon offsetting” and “carbon trading” symbols that obscure the fact that when we burn our reserves of fossil fuels they are effectively destroyed and cannot be replaced for eons. They also tend to propagate attitudes that carbon is unhealthy, even evil, while excluding other powerful determinants of climate formations such as water vapour and solar variations.

Example 2: “Peak oil” activists make uses of the “zero carbon”, “low carbon” and “post carbon” symbols that obscure the fact that carbon is a major element of all biomass, including the human body, and carbon is an inextricable part of our future. For instance today I read on Reuters:

 NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scientists at Harvard University and IBM are hoping to harness the power of a million idle computers to develop a new, cheaper form of solar power that could revolutionize the green energy world.

Researchers have launched the project using IBM's World Community Grid, which taps into volunteers' computers across the globe to run calculations on a myriad of compounds -- potentially shortening a project that could take 22 years to just two years.

Harvard scientists are hoping the project will allow it to discover a combination of organic materials that can be used to manufacture plastic solar cells that are cheaper and more flexible than the silicon-based ones typically used to turn sunlight into electricity.


Similarly we can make far greater use of carbon by employing more intelligent design of food, insulation, building cladding, data storage and other systems.

SEF should promote a very clear vision that we are Carbon Beings and exist amidst and as part of a great carbon flux and flow. In this context our activities can never be neutral and each time we deny our roles as stewards of the balances of this flow we put ourselves, especially our children at greater risk. (Witness our fossil fuel wars and the growing millions of people on the brink of starvation.) We also deny ourselves possibilities of greater wealth. (Witness our failure to develop sustainable farming practices etc)


(b) “Climate change activists/experts” have little credibility.

The lack of science underpinning the lifestyles and the communication of climate processes of these people suggests factors such as ego, career, family, monetary, religious and other pressures are biasing their objectivity. They may well have some expertise of climate processes but their aggregate performance generates much reason not to trust their information. The net impact is that they model non-science. 

Example 1: Their persistent confusion of thermodynamics indicates they experience a massive denial of change/stewardship in climate change. For instance their constant equation of warming with warming up reveals a profound ignorance of the thermal flux of the universe(s). All objects are subject to constant warming, enabling their existence at a constant temperature. When warming up of the object occurs we have a change of state – there is a temperature change.  

Example 2: Their constant use and evocation of the “greenhouse” symbol of Earth’s system reflects a profound belief system or religion in which humans can engineer the planet’s ecosystem at will. Humans are seen as above and beyond the laws of thermodynamics governing the universe. The characteristics of this particular belief system emerged simultaneously with the Industrial Revolution – a revolution in which humans (especially Europeans) were seen as being deigned by God to have dominion over all creatures and the Earth in general. The “greenhouse” symbol is an evocation similar to religious symbols such as the crucifix, the yin yang and the swastika ("that which is associated with well-being,"). 

Example 3: It is hard to believe someone who flies in jets and drives cars around the world urging other people to refrain from using such technology. We are finely tuned to detect such dissonance at a primal level as we process the information of our mirror neurons. 

As Brent E stated, it is all about risk evaluation and management. Little is known about the impact of solar, ozone and water vapour fluctuations. There are indications that human activities can affect climate balances in significant ways. For instance Earth entered a cooling down cycle 11,000(?) years ago. This cooling down process has been interrupted by some medium term event. A candidate is the global expansion of human activities developing extensive rice paddies, de-afforestation and the use of fire in agriculture over the last several thousand years. 

A summary position is that all human activities impact on climate balances to some degree and the distinct probability exists that we could have a significant negative impact on the climate balances that sustain us. It is highly probable that burning all existing fossil fuel reserves in a generation or so, as we are quite capable of, has this potential. 

In evaluating that risk we need take a holistic account of our use of carbon. SEF should remind the Parliamentary Review panel of the unhelpful nature of the limitations of its framework and make it clear that intelligent discussion and effective risk analysis can only occur within a full consideration of our carbon potential. The ETS disables nations from performing such holistic calculations. 

SEF could provide practical examples of holistic calculations e.g. investment in correctly installed polyester (carbon based) insulation in dwellings provides a longer term return, reduces health costs by x amount, reduces the costs generated by peak demand for Bulk-generated electricity by y amount, reduces the risk to householders from tectonic, weather and solar events as the dwellings are more self-sustaining, reduces the costs associated with importing fuels etc. 

There is no inherent link between stewardship of atmospheric balances and the ETS.

It is common practice for ETS proponents to condemn its opponents as “deniers” of humans’ capacity to destroy climate balances critical to our survival. ETS proponents dismiss its opponents as “ignorant” and “uncaring”.  

There is no systematic research supporting this thesis. Indeed the anecdotal evidence provided by informal surveys of the lifestyles of prominent ETS proponents suggests their activities, on average, make significantly more high-risk uses of our carbon potential than the norm. For instance it is highly probable that ETS activists and media proponents destroy at least 30 barrels of mineral oil per 1000 activists/proponents compared to the global average of 3-4 barrels per 1000 people and their lifestyles require very large subsidies from lower income groups. 

Other anecdotal evidence that the ETS will fail to promote stewardship includes:

It is based on the same trading system that gives us: 

*The loans derivatives market

Evidence: As we are now witnessing, 100s of trillions of dollars of trades this last two decades have resulted in the massive destruction of wealth in those countries most involved in the trades. Some have calculated this loss of wealth to be in the order of $US0.5 trillion per annum in the USA alone this last decade.  

*The fossil fuels market:

Evidence. The market has provided an average valuation of mineral oil at under 0.5 cents per man-hour of labour energy equivalent since 1980 during which time over half of the cheaply extracted resource has been depleted. Even at this extremely low valuation price swings of over 100% occur within very short periods, making planning impossible and generating social disorder. The social systems and institutions based on this very low valuation now form trillion dollar liabilities for the next generation. 

*The New Zealand Electricity Market (1993 on)

Evidence: The period has been characterised by historic high spill-overs of hydrodams while fossil fuel combustion plant have been burning fuel reserves at maximal rates. While global technological innovation of Distributed Generation has advanced considerably the current Electricity Market has actively prevented New Zealanders from enjoying the benefit of it. Also lower income households have experienced a doubling in prices in the last decade with a general loss of service, options and democracy. 

*Enron Online.

Evidence: It is probable that the ETS originated in Enron. Enron and US Government documents detail how Enron worked directly with Gore and Clinton to shape “climate policy, especially prior to Kyoto.E.g.  

Enron Said The Final Gore Global Warming Treaty Was "Another Victory For Us." An internal Enron memo about the Kyoto Protocol said, '"[i]f implemented, this agreement will do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States. . . This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!' Drafted by Enron's Kyoto emissary immediately upon his return from Japan, it praises individual Kyoto features with 'we won,' 'another victory for us,' and 'exactly what I have been lobbying for.'"
(Christopher Horner, "Outside View: Caught En Flagrente Kyoto," United Press International, January 31, 2002)

 What is certain is that Enron provided the first detailed working model for the ETS and its trades of other commodities using its global trading systems (Enron Online) were exemplars of how carbon trading would work. In this system the fundamental notion underpinning carbon trading is that it does not matter what is traded or why it is traded or what impact the trade has. The prime driver of the activity is maximising the number and quantity of trades.
The Enron Online systems of commodity derivatives trading were extremely expensive and were among the reasons that Enron collapsed in 2001, resulting in the extensive destruction of the wealth of its staff, its small shareholders and the communities it served. 

The psychology of the ETS.

The stated objective of the ETS is to promote behavioural change that will result in net few emissions of the small group of trace gases with a very high thermal capacity (the Warmer Trace Gases). Note: The inability of many people, especially our media and educators, to accept the reality of these gases results in the perverse behaviour where these gases are commonly symbolised as “greenhouse gases.” 

The dominant of these gases is water vapour. Because it is relatively volatile and is affected by very complex feedback systems with the other Warmer Trace Gases relatively little is known about how human activities affect water vapour concentrations and reactions. More is known of how human activities affect the balances and flows of trace gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Thus the ETS framework does not include water vapour with “climate carers/ETS proponents” dismissing it as a secondary effect, even though it is by far the dominant Warmer Trace Gas. Hence the focus on “carbon emissions” is a very arbitrary decision and we find lists of the Warmer Trace Gases often omit reference to the existence of water vapour. 

Every single human activity involves “carbon emissions” of some sort. Hence the proposed ETS affects every aspect of our lives – where we live, what we eat, how we keep warm/cool, what shelter we have, how we move, how we learn, how we socialise…

In other words the ETS involves profound issues of equity, stewardship and sovereignty – issues we already struggle with. Indeed there is growing evidence that our inability to resolve these issues has brought the human species to the point of catastrophic collapse.  

Perhaps SEF members saw The Times’ article reprinted in the Sunday Star Times this week: 

November 30, 2008

The fool’s gold of carbon trading

A huge new market designed to solve global warming seems doomed to failure  

We are witnessing the birth of the greatest and most complex commodity market the world has seen…

The incongruity of proposing that a brand new financial market might be able to save the world – when faith in every other kind of financial market is tumbling – needs no underlining. But there are plenty of other reasons for scepticism, too.

Jim Hansen, director of the Nasa God-dard space centre and a renowned critic of global measures to combat climate change, believes carbon trading is a “terrible” approach. “Carbon trading does not solve the emission problem at all,” he says. “In fact it gives industries a way to avoid reducing their emissions. The rules are too complex and it creates an entirely new class of lobbyists and fat cats.”… 

Jim’s observations are supported by the insights of millennia of research into our psychology.  A significant body of evidence suggests humans have a vast capacity for creating very sophisticated rationales to deny their roles as stewards amidst change. The ETS shows all the hallmarks of such a rationale. Fundamentally the psychological process involves individuals, communities and nations ceding their sovereignty, decisions about equity and their roles as stewards to an abstruse, faceless authority called the Carbon Market.  

The origins of this construct lie deep in our psychology.  Every human being is constituted of both compassion and psychopathy or a lack of compassion. Every human being goes through developmental stages where first a sense of right/wrong occurs, then actions are driven by considerations of how society rewards/punishes ones actions. In the mature human being external mores and values are internalised so that actions are driven by an inner sense of stewardship and civics.  

The ETS is a projection or reflection of our psychopathic elements. Those that endorse the ETS and relegate their stewardship to the Carbon Market show evidence of being arrested at the intermediate immature stage and are driven by external reward/punishment systems. 

Some sociologists suggest that similar processes can be identified in communities and nations. 

To give concrete examples: 

The social construct called “The Market” prices a Wellington-Auckland journey at $69 for a Air NZ fare and at $144 for a Toll rail fare. “The Market” driven person travels by Air NZ in one hour. The person driven by an inner sense of stewardship of our carbon potential travels by rail in the knowledge the train is mainly electrically driven and the journey will take 12 hours. 

The carbon trading ethos has been driving NZ policy for nearly two decades now. During that time forest planting has decreased, the first decline in nearly a century. Most of this decline was a direct response of corporations to the carbon trading ethos. Forests have no intrinsic values to them and they respond only to exterior reward/punishment signals – real or anticipated.

Note: When CIA standard evaluations of psychopathy are applied to modern corporations they rate very highly as psychopathic institutions - Source 

By contrast many NZ communities and individuals have continued to embrace their roles as stewards of our carbon potential. They place a high value on forests and they have continued planting and conserving them, quite independent of The Market signals – real or anticipated.  

These two examples provide evidence of radically different belief systems generating radically different behaviours with radically different carbon emissions. 

Modern neural psychology is providing other important insights that suggest other inherent fatal flaws in the ETS. FMRI scans have identified the existence of major latticework of “mirror neurons” throughout our brains. These respond to all forms of symbols and play a profound role in enabling us to communicate. In brief, it seems highly probable that we respond at primal level to the activities of others. It means we are very sensitive to dissonance between another person’s deeds and their words. It also means any dissonance between our own deeds and words is revealed in our choice of symbol uses and is subliminally reflected in our audience. 

An example of this is “An Inconvenient Truth” in which Al Gore modelled flying in jets and driving large cars and attempted to resolve the dissonance by “offsetting” his activities with “carbon trades”. While this behaviour does not alter the behaviour of those who believe it is their God-given right to fly and drive cars on scale it does affect the critical portion of society (15-20%?) who are contemplating changes of behaviour because they identify with Al Gore as a symbol of climate stewardship. We now see his behaviour reflected in the actions of the NZ Green Party caucus, NZ Greenpeace, Government officials and other similar groups – all have now endorsed the ETS. We also saw, as was predicted, car purchases and jet travel, increased in NZ in the aftermath of the movie – despite rising mineral oil prices. 

The ETS and our education system.

The insights of neural psychology are being supported by education research. In particular educators are now becoming aware of the enhanced potency of experiential learning activities and of the “hidden curriculum” (those activities that are inherent in the school structures and communities eg the local transport serving the school, its building design and use, etc)

The implementation of the ETS will generate a learning environment in which the fundamental message is that a student need not be concerned about issues of sovereignty, equity and stewardship for these considerations are decided by “The Carbon Market”. This abstract social entity will care for both them and the climate balances that sustains them as long as they respond to the price signals provided by the market trades.

In brief, the ETS ethos works directly against the explicit goals of the recently adopted National Education Curriculum.  

Concluding thoughts:

Ken P wrote:

“..Having argued for the tax option over the last fifteen years, I now accept that within the OECD cohort that particular train has left the station. The task for NZ will be not to divorce itself from the direction chosen by our major trading partners…” 

Finally, is there anything wrong with the concept of a Trans-Tasman ETS?
Wouldn't a common ANZ price for C be consistent with CER, while avoiding
the pitfalls some have identified might flow from full currency union? Is
SEF a broad enough church to accommodate this option?” 

Certainly that particular train has left the station, but no thanks, I’m giving it a miss. My observation is that a mixture of psychopaths and psychotics mans it and the train line goes around the corner straight into oblivion. This statement may seem extreme if you are not mindful that it is an insane act to confuse energy with one of the myriad forms it can take (mineral oil/gas in this case) and you persist in deluding yourself that you and several billion people can use it as though it has a value of only half a cent per man-hour of labour equivalent. This behaviour is an almost certain recipe for catastrophic warfare. 

And a person has to be either extremely uninformed or in blind denial to see that the current activities of “OECD cohort” must result in such catastrophic warfare in the near future – probably by 2013. The war will most likely be triggered by traditional cause –middleclass people lashing out when they suddenly find their wealth has evaporated and the rich consider them mere cheap labour, in this case, to replace the loss of the cheap labour until recently provided by mineral oil.  

The ETS and the wild fluctuations in mineral oil/gas prices only exacerbate the wealth concentration processes of the most powerful traders and enhance the risk of war as the unsustainable status quo is maintained, destroying remaining options in the process. 

Simon Upton’s “middle ground” can be viewed as simply the consensus of the elite –high-consumer grouping typified by our media, universities and policy makers. The corporatisation of these institutions means they are more the source of our problems than our solutions now. It is helpful to be mindful that Simon was part of a Government that imposed the Electricity Industry Reforms on NZ, transferred control of much of our electrical, rail and banking systems to Australian merchant bankers and promoted SUVs, jumbo housing etc on scale. This has cost us dearly in direct dollar terms and in terms of our capacity to make sustainable uses of our electrical, solar and carbon potentials. Watch household debt and unemployment levels rocket in the New Year as the liabilities generated by the Administration he was part of begin to have a fuller impact now mineral oil is retailing over $US25 a barrel. 

Simon’s idea of the middle ground at Kyoto was to negotiate between the implementation of the ETS and the Clinton/Gore’s threats to walk out if they did not get it. He agitated against the majority view of humanity that carbon taxation systems are the sustainable way to go. In this context his position is extreme and probably untenable – as the current implosion of derivatives trading systems (loans, commodities, currencies etc) reveals. 

I predict history will conclude SEF’s submission on the National Energy Strategy was unhelpful because we allowed ourselves to operate in and endorse a fundamentally flawed framework. Thus SEF failed to identify critical problems and offer solutions to them. It is essential we do not permit this to occur this time if SEF does make a formal submission on the ETS.  

Members have communicated to me valuable information over the years about the failures of the ETS.

For example, the massive transfer of wealth (5 billion euros?) in a very short period from European consumers to the bankers of the Bulk-gen electricity sector.

For example the secret Meridian-Comalco deal here in New Zealand shows both the lack of transparency in carbon trading and the hypocrisy of “Climate Ministers”. Arguably this deal alone shows there are such flaws in the system that it should be scrapped. It exposes the real objective of the ETS, which is the transfer of wealth out of communities into the pockets of the traders. 

This wealth transfer objective was underlined in the recent Treasury Report to the new Government. If I heard correctly it proposed lowering taxes for the wealthy, increasing GST (which affect this group the least) and it gave the ETS high marks. 

In summary perhaps we could put it to the Review committee that there are two completely different issues involved here:

Should New Zealanders be concerned about the impact of our activities on climate balances?

Should New Zealand cede much of its sovereignty to carbon traders? Are we in a position to out bet the dominant traders in the ETS? 

Above all we must promote a clear vision of our roles as Carbon Beings and the capacity of carbon taxes to make intelligent strategic decisions. And the psychology of the ETS is that it is fundamentally a system for those who would not care about the conservation of carbon balances. We should give credit to those who say they do not care and are out for the quick buck, for at least they are honest. The bigger danger lies in those who pretend to a care they do not have.

 Enjoy kindness


Simon Upton article Dominion Post

 Two Enron –Gore – ETS links

April 23, 2002, 10:40 a.m.
Controlling Hypocritical Authority
Gores expertise.

By Christopher C. Horner



Various Media Outlets Found in Research and Referenced | 22 August 2002 | Freeper Research

Posted on Friday, 23 August 2002 9:05:15 a.m. by PhiKapMom  

  Sustainable Energy Forum Posting 13 June 2009

Prediction Time; The psychosis and psychopathy driving current uses of our electrical, solar and carbon potentials.


Steve wrote

“I monitor the oil price that is reported in Energy and Environment
Business Week. I have plotted the values below.

Over the last couple of months there has been a steady increase at a similar rate to last year, but from a lower base.”

Yes, things seem to be following the predicable and destructive paths that one expects of addictive behaviour.  On the surface the consumption and marketing of the substance seems erratic but there is an underlying unsustainable order. The key thing to note is the addict is unable to confront the reality of their condition and thus is unable to place a meaningful value on the substance or face the consequences of its abuse.


We continually hear politicians of nearly all the parties, journalists and economists saying that no one could have predicted the depth of the current economic malaise. SEF members know this is untrue. Some of us have long made clear and informed predictions of the economic implosion. We are now confronted with the reality that our policy makers are in major denial of their disorder and we are faced with the questions of how best to respond to the situation.


Healing addictive behaviour is a very complex process and in this case it is vital that addicts can see there are ordinary people who live fulfilling lives without the need to own cars, fly in jets, have children, dwell in large houses, eat meat and who are able to better conserve our carbon potential. I suggest we can play an important role by acting as models of relative sanity that they may reflect and draw sustenance from if and when they “hit the wall”.


Addictive behaviour is accompanied by delusions and we all experience them to some degree. One measure of the extent of the delusions is to check out how they affect the capacity to predict the consequences of behaviour. For instance, what will be the consequences if everyone decides to drive cars? To fly jets? To beget children? (as against perhaps sharing a child)?…


I have just posted a blog detailing a list of predictions I have made this last decade or so. It is a biased list for I seem better able to remember the accurate predictions I have made.


The list includes the public predictions I made in 2004 that mineral oil would be close to $US80 in 2008 and economic systems based on US$25 would implode. This prediction was based on very simple calculations that a child of twelve can understand. If you have 25000 servants and their wages rise from 0.1 cents an hour to 0.2 cents an hour then your wealth is effectively halved. Such is the story of a barrel of mineral oil that does so much of our lifting, pushing and pulling for us.


Last week at my submission to the Greater Wellington Transport Plan the Chair, Fran Wilde, confirmed to the committee that I predicted to the council last year that mineral oil, then $US100, would go to $US150 and then plummet by Christmas before beginning rising about April - May this year. (Simple psychology = it was US election year.)

I am very aware that the actual price can be misleading and it is the capacity of an individual to actually be able to afford to purchase the resource that counts. It will be especially misleading now Governments are printing money at a frenetic, if not criminal, rate.  

While I did not spell out this caveat I repeated my prediction to Greater Wellington that the price would reach $US80 again this year and this would result in credit collapses of even greater magnitude than that experienced last year. I am predicting a renewed surge in wealth destruction, renewed demands from the bankers for additional “stimuli”/subsidy packages soon, and growing civil breakdown in countries that make addictive uses of mineral oil/gas. The breakdown will extend to their currencies.  

The unsustainable nature of our use of our carbon potential will be compounded if carbon trading is adopted universally later this year and catastrophic war by about 2013 will become almost inevitable.  

I remain hopeful that enough people have learned from the clear failure of systems like the current Electricity Reform structures and derivatives trades generally to reject the insanity of Carbon Trading. This said my confidence was shaken last Friday when I attended a Greenpeace “sign on” campaign meeting.  

I see the wisdom in signing up to get our leaders to commit to carbon dioxide levels of say 350 ppm but if this is used as a lever to implement a global carbon trading then I think humanity is at far worse risk than if no cap is set at Copenhagen.  

Greenpeace is clearly oblivious to the risks, as is illustrated in this quote scorning NZ inaction: “A carbon trader in Wellington was saying the other day that if New Zealand does not sign up then we will become the Cuba of the Pacific.”  

This statement reveals the ignorance and moral bankruptcy of both the Carbon Trader and Greenpeace. In question time afterwards I suggested all evidence this far was that Greenpeace would prove counterproductive and pointed out that Cuba with its initiatives in health, local food production and micro-generation of electrical products etc provides a very valuable model of a transition economy from the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas era.  

Greenpeace argued that it is not enough to change ones own behaviour. We need change our laws. I agree entirely and as members of the forum well know I have long argued that we need repeal the Fascist Electricity Industry Reform laws in New Zealand. New Zealand can never provide the world a model of anything but misery while these remain in place as the intelligent use of our solar, carbon and electrical potentials are all dependent on the legal framework controlling community uses of these potentials.  Transition is impossible under the current regime.  

Greenpeace did not offer a single useful example of what laws need to be reformed and indeed Greenpeace Clean Energy, along with other activist groups such as Consumer NZ, WWF, Environmental Educators and our Universities are the prime proponents of the Electricity Industry Reform legislation.

Last week I posted links to an inventory of symbol uses that I have assembled.  

The inventory is an illustration of the practical application of the Sustainability Principle of Energy. Those who have taken the time to check it out will know it provides a unique way of measuring of the degree of science that the symbol user enjoys. 


What may have been less apparent is that it is also a measure of the degree of psychosis of the symbol user. As mentioned, we all experience elements of psychosis to some degree. Aggregation of the symbol uses in denial of change/stewardship offers an indication of the scale of the psychosis*.

*Quote wiki

Psychosis (from the Greek ψυχή "psuche", for mind or soul, and -ωσις "-osis", for abnormal condition), with adjective psychotic, literally means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". People suffering from psychosis are said to be psychotic.

I don’t really know what drives me and it seems possible my use of the “reality” symbol is driven by my awareness of the Conservation and Uncertainty Principles of Energy. In brief, energy is bounteous; all is change/transformation; any form is a trace and integral element of all and that includes humans, whether we like it or not.  

What the inventory makes clear is that high IQ and academic qualifications do not make one immune to profound psychosis. Indeed my analysis indicates that it is our educated elite that evidences the greatest vulnerability. 

For instance, examination of the language of our climate experts and “energy experts” reveals profound denial on a scale matched only by that of our merchant bankers. While they might not directly destroy our carbon potential on the scale of the bankers they are still rank in the elite of destroyers. The dissonance generated by their greater knowledge of the impacts of their behaviour is manifest in their language exhibiting similar levels of denial.  

The psychosis runs deep in our media, which of course is entirely controlled by the merchant bankers. Our media is almost entirely divorced from reality. Reflect on these samples of our top journalists.

Transition Towns are spreading around New Zealand as communities roll up their sleeves to become more self-relient 

Chris Laidlaw introduces the programme thus, "If ever an idea has whose time has come it is that of the transition town. All over the world local communities are realising that if they don’t take greater charge of their production and consumption then we are all in for a rough time... “  

Sounds insightful but the programme that follows is framed in denial and completely fails to address the most fundamental question “Can transition towns really exist in New Zealand?”  Even a superficial exploration of this question would have revealed the discussion is entirely academic. Transition towns cannot exist in New Zealand –and probably not in the UK either.  

Longer term SEF members may recall that I articulated several years ago that we are in a state of transition and I suggested humanity is in transition from the short Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas era to the Great Solar/Electrical Era, this involving a radical shift in how we use our carbon potential. Critical to the success of this transition is the ability and capacity of communities to optimise how they use their electrical, solar and carbon potentials.  

I have pointed out ad nauseum that the 1993 and 1998 Electricity Industry Reform legislation is expressly designed to destroy this capacity. It has been 100% effective and now not one single NZ community owns the intelligence of their local electrical networks. Pre the Reforms 100% of communities owned their local intelligence plus their 230-volt electrical grid.

Indeed the community of the Capital City of New Zealand no longer owns any electrical grids with the exception of Wellington Cable Car Ltd, which is the nominal owner the trolley bus grid (The company was formed after 1991 legislation stopped local authorities running passenger transport services.) The trolley bus grid is close to collapse also and the community retains little capacity to make intelligent use of it.  

As a result our Capital City is a powerful model of a community unable to be a transition town. The particular tragedy is that the community had one of the finest potentials in the world in the 1970-80s and was a global leader in pioneering models of transition in the aftermath of the 1970’s “Oil Shocks”.  

I have also pointed out ad nauseum that the Electricity Industry Reform legislation is working exactly as it was designed to. It has enabled the transfer of billions of dollars of wealth from freehold communities to a few bankers and enabled very wasteful uses of fossil fuels, which again makes very large short-term income flows for these bankers as they are able to profit from stressing electrical grids to breaking point.

Examine this conversation of National Radio on Tuesday

With Linda Clark and Linley Boniface with Jim Mora 

These are the elite of our journalists and as the programme shows clearly they are capable of speaking in most erudite way on a wide range of subjects. However there is a notable exception. Jim asks what we should make of the despondency surrounding the fall in profits of Contact Energy because we have an improved Hydro capacity this year? Not one member of the panel has an intelligent insight to offer and all confess to being baffled by the Electricity Industry. One can sense them passing the topic around the studio like it is a steaming dog turd. Linda says she has looked in depth at this subject before and it is fiendishly difficult to comprehend.

Her response is interesting because it is very typical of the denial of our journalists/educators/academics. Even if the reality is actually simple and is presented to them they are still unable to see it, such is the degree of their psychosis. In this case the current operations of the Electricity Industry make great sense if one is capable of accepting the possibility of the simple notion that industry is now working exactly as the Reforms designed it to. Six years after this 2003 letter to Linda her condition remains unchanged.

2003 Sanity Check 
A hurried antidote to save a national Radio NZ host after her interview with Professor William Hogan of  Harvard University. He is one of the architects of New Zealand's Reformed electricity system. Afterwards Linda Clark complained the "fiendishly difficult" topic always "makes her brain hurt".    

Linda is no different to every other prominent journalist/ presenter and commentator in our media who has had reality revealed to them and continues to reject it. Their general behaviour patterns are in too much dissonance with reality. Fortunately there is a large residue in sanity in the wider population, without which our society would have imploded in self-destructive ways a decade ago.

And there are signs that some journalists are catching glimpses of reality. On the same radio programme last week Richard Griffin spoke of finally getting around to watching the movie “Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room”. He expressed his deep shock at what he witnessed and clearly now has the potential to accept the psychopathic nature of the reality, which is the US Electricity Industry.

I find it difficult to predict whether this will mean our journalists are capable of accepting the high probability that such psychopathy is the essence of the reformed New Zealand Electricity Industry. I experienced the universal stunned silence of the packed audience after the premier of the movie in Wellington. The audience sat unmoving for some minutes, clearly in a state of shock.

By comparison I was elated for at last I was at long last experiencing a profound affirmation of my experiences of the NZ Electricity Industry Reforms. My elation was short lived. As I chatted with folk afterwards I ventured the idea that the same happens in New Zealand and the impacts were far worse on some of those effected than the movie portrays. Every one moved away from me as though I had swine flu… I realised I had suddenly become a most inconvenient presence. They were not ready to part with their delusion about “civil, peace-loving democratic New Zealand.”

Linda, Linley and Jim did not discuss the possibility of a larger reality: Contact Energy (AKA Contact Positive Energy) is part of a wider psychopathic condition. It (like all the private corporations such as Telecom, Tranz Rail, BP,  Microsoft, McDonalds, Merck, JP Morgan Chase, most of our SOEs et al) profits most from stressed inefficient systems and unhealthy populations. By contrast communities profit most from efficient systems and healthy members. The psychology of why the private corporations are fundamentally misery mongers is explained well in the movie “The Corporation”. It identifies their psychopathy and traces its origins.

Thus Contact Energy’s profits tumble because our hydro-electrical systems are running more efficiently. They would tumble even further if New Zealand became a democracy again.

John Irving recently posted this comment

‘Subject [SEFnews] Intelligent Distribution & Smart Metering

NZ is a technology laggard compared to the rest of the world (see also this weeks Economist:  

To which Alastair Barnet replied:

John, Your view smacks of the fashionable cultural cringe – all overseas technology is automatically better than anything we can do here. This becomes self-fulfilling, as our media trumpet the latest from overseas while downplaying our achievements – what coverage has there been of our success in licensing the latest network demand simulation technology to a world-leading Canadian company? (see )….”

I believe that John reflects reality. You can have the most sophisticated technology and systems in the world but that is not sufficient for a sustainable society. The critical test is whether communities can employ them in intelligent ways. In the New Zealand context such technology can now only be used in ways that compound the current incoherence of our systems.

The reality is New Zealand does not have the democratic basis to use the technology in intelligent ways. That is limited to nations where communities are permitted to own their local electrical grids AND its intelligence. Even nations that permit households to use reversible meters (a 19th Century invention) are far in advance of us.

I write of our collective psychosis and psychopathy in kindness and with the knowledge that I share unknown elements of these states.   And often my research, such as the application of the Sustainability Principle, confronts me with realities that I find damn, damn inconvenient, to say the least. According to these calculations if we do not snap out of this psychotic state, as is possible, then catastrophic warfare is inevitable within 5 years. I give weight to this prognosis because I am aware of the capacity of the states of psychosis, psychopathy and addictive behaviour in general to utterly destroy individuals and communities.

And I remain mindful that people only heal their addictive behaviour when they are ready too. I believe one of the requisites for healing now exists. Many people are experiencing a strong sense that their current behaviour is destructive and for instance, now feel trapped, not liberated, by our car/jet culture. This is a most healthy sign, as is the drop off in car purchases. Many are now acknowledging that a valuation of mineral oil at 0.1 cents a man-hour of its energy equivalent is insane, especially as crop yields in current agricultural systems would plummet up to 80% in the absence of mineral oil.

There are few signs that the bankers (Carbon Traders) realise the self-destructive course of their behaviour. It is almost certainly means hell for their children, who may be the only people left capable of communicating reality to them. Bloomberg reports this week:

“June 3 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second- largest U.S. bank by deposits, hired a newly built supertanker to store heating oil off Malta, shipbrokers reported, in the company’s first such booking in at least five years…

JPMorgan, which has never hired an oil tanker based on data compiled by Bloomberg going back five years, follows companies including Citigroup Inc.’s Phibro LLC unit and BP Plc in hiring ships to store crude or oil products at sea. The firms are seeking to take advantage of higher prices later in the year….”

It is not easy reflecting on our schools and health services being starved of funds so trillions of “stimuli packages” can be poured into activities like this. Has anyone else had a strong sense of déjà vu with current US Administration and its charismatic and multi-talented leader? I find close parallels between Barack Obama (the great communicator, wit and liberal) and his chief policy drivers (Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers et al) and David Lange (the great communicator, wit and liberal) and his chief policy drivers (Roger Douglas, Dave Caygill, Richard Prebble et al). Theirs was to be a  policy that few people imagined and it now forms a legacy of enormous destruction of our prime potentials with massive wastage of fossil fuels and gross pollution.  

Theirs was to be a policy that few people imagined and it now forms a legacy of enormous destruction of our prime potentials with massive wastage of fossil fuels and gross pollution. The wiki on the 1984 Labour Administration fails to tell how, for instance, they created huge subsidies to flood the New Zealand landscape with cheap, polluting second hand cars and trucks and to double, even triple, the number of planes in our skies.

It is not easy either contemplating what happens if we fail to make the transition to the Great Electrical/Solar Age I wrote of. I guess I draw much inspiration from the Sustainability Principle of Energy. While it provides us with an inventory of our psychosis it also provides us with wonderful insights into the majesty of reality.

I will pile this onto my website so people can follow links more easily.

In kindness



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