Long time between thinks

It’s been a long time between posts. The last few years I’ve been wondering what I can do that is the best use of my time, to contribute to the changes we are ever-later in making. I can’t change the world, but equally there’s no point wasting my time either.
One idea I had a while back quickly ended up stillborn; it wasn’t the right approach but the exercise clarified my grasp of what was. Now, after lots of off-putting and equivocating, I’m (we’re, really, it’s not just me) about to make a start. Identified the target market, identified the un-supplied need…… and overcome the natural fear of placing your chips on one number!
Still, we only live once. Watch this space…….

a link – first of many? And an update

Interest.co.nz bravely took this piece, which I hope is the first of many.


It generated a lot of comment traffic, think I’ll drop one in about fortnightly, will link to it here (if I can scrounge Jennie’s t-stick, my land-line is now so slow that it won’t do wordpress).

The other moves – pushing the media and asking the hard questions of some folk who don’t want to articulate the answers – proceeds slowly. Have to be careful; these are big boys, with a lot to lose. More soon.

Otherwise, Zeb and I are being sustainable, and it’s hard work. Goats out, 3 lots of chickens now, glasshouses to water and pick from, produce to collect, store, systems to keep going, friends to nurture. Went to a Climate Change lecture/q&a recently, first time I’ve heard EROEI mentioned – hat-tip to Janet Stephenson – so maybe we’re getting there, I sense a groundswell of folk who ‘know’ too.

Interesting times!


It’s been a while since I blogged here. The object was to change public opinion, or – more precicely – to make the debate happen. That clearly wasn’t happening; the numbers reading here weren’t big enough, and the vast majority (can you have a vast majority of a small number?) were ‘the converted’. Also, I had a ‘libel’ scare, and a couple of odd site-visitations. That goes with the ‘stirrer’ territory, but I’m too old for such nonsense. So I concentrated on commenting on Interest.co.nz, given the bigger exposure, and the fact that Hickey is one of the smarter ones around – more likely to ‘get it’. That has gone as far as it can/will go, and the change of ownership suggest it will revert rather than lead.

Continue reading

Gareth Morgan – impressive talk, but questions remain

We went along to hear Gareth Morgan last night. We aren’t the type to go to a finance talk, so it wasn’t that. He is touring the country, talking about his trip to Antarctica, and raising money fro a pest-eradication programme on a sub-Antarctic island.

I was prepared to ask the obvious question: how does he justify, cranially, his involvement in growth economics, with his conservation efforts.

I didn’t. The man spoke too sincerely, and too thoughtfully, for that to be a valid question. A case of someone being too proactive, to knock. He has a better grasp of Climate Science, than anyone outside the science profession; with the perhaps exception of Gwynne Dyer. His graphic of the warming Southern Ocean (the temperature differential is much bigger at the poles) was irrefutable. Continue reading

A great wee graph – nicely presented. ht: PT.


Otago Daily Times, RNZ News, Interest.co, and ? Swallowing the spin.

A wee while ago, a fellow named Maugeri, produced a paper. He hides behind the Harvard name, for respectability, but the outfit is a funded think-tank (read, lobby).


What he produced, was immediately rebutted:


But the ODT, RNZnews, and earlier, Interest.co.nz, chose to put it up. I don’t mind Interest.co – they put up other stuff, and allowe a discussion. I do have a problem with RNZ – no need to please sponsors, and an expectation that they will ascertain the truth. The ODT, of course, have a permanent in-build bias you could drive a bus through, and no apparent peer-review mechanism which holds up an internal mirror. They didn’t use the original article, by the way – but a once-removed (fudge) opinion based on same. As per ODT practice (Dene Mackenzie/Peter Mackintyre) the opinion has a statement-of-fact-appearing headline.

It’s not on line on the ODT site, but here it is:


The bio says it all – a spinner regurgitating spin. The difference is that she doesn’t have ‘truth’ in her mission statement.


ps – this is a better treatment. The reporter is smart enough – honest enough? – to be sceptical.


Being an Aussie, he had better realise that ‘electric cars’ are 80% ‘coal cars’, though. You have to remember what makes the electricity….

Green Drinks – Warwick Stanton? , Metiria Turei, oh dear…..

We went along to the Green Drinks last night. Hadn’t been for a while, but Prof Lloyd on ‘the connection between energy and finance’ sounded right up my alley. Polite people let the speaker do their presentation, then wait for question-time. One person – I’m told he is Metiria Turei’s partner Warwick Stanton – wasn’t so polite, and interrupted often.

Very quickly, it became obvious that he must have been a product of the ‘Business’ or ‘Commerce’ or Economics’ faculties. Talk of ‘services’, as if they can somehow soak up/displace the purchase of real items, as an eventual home for circulating proxy (for that is all that money is) was the give-away. How can these folk not see that sooner or later, all the ‘money’ that folk make from charging each other for services, eventually expects to be able to buy ‘bits of the planet’ (oil, food, processed resources). You can play the music and pass the parcel for a long time, but when the music stops….

If the Finance view was correct, we could all get wealthy without mining, aquaculture, farming, building, infrastructure. The need to grow ALL those physical activities, tells us the ‘services’ claim is humbug. That (buying physical bits of the planet) is the eventual home for ALL money, and the only real measure of ‘wealth’.

Jennie just thought he was a d-head, I though it was a bit more dangerous than that. This false – for it IS false – grasp of the place of finance in the real world, has no place in our future. Money is merely a proxy for future purchases. Non-resource-using services (if there are any – even a masseuse eats a BigAg-supplied breakfast, plies her trade in a fossil-fuel-expended building, and drove to work in a car) are a zero-sum balance either side of the ‘equals’ sign, but the real trail ends with the purchasing of ‘bits of the planet’. Clearly, via interest and profit charging, that demand for ‘bits of the planet’ is growing. Anyone who says different, I call a liar, or stupid. No third option.

If this nonsense infiltrates Green thinking, then they too have no place in our future. It might explain their slide into socialism (welfare, state housing, Holly Walker/Chch comments) of recent times. Green Growth is just as unsustainable as any other growth, and we are 30 years overdue for the public education on that. The old leadership clearly understood the Limits to Growth, this fellow apparently didn’t. The rudeness and the ‘self-importance’ aside, his belief – for that is what it is, a belief, alle same religion – has no place in Green policy, and no place in society if we are to survive what is ahead.

Sure, there is a need for optimism and proactivity. in leadership. Sure, that’s a difficult tight-rope, on  a planet temporarily carrying 7 billion, heading for perhaps 2 billion. Sooner or later folk will see through any horseshit. Talk of ‘the velocity of money’ won’t alleviate the problem that it is spun into existence as debt, expects the future to underwrite, and when the future clearly can’t, folk will be a tad annoyed. We are staring down the barrel of the biggest ‘value’ readjustment the planet has ever seen, and we need leaders who understand the ‘why’ of this.

I wasn’t reassured last night – not reassured at all.