Murray Grimwood is a hands-on environmentalist, and minimalist. He saw the ‘limits to growth’ coming a long time ago. He was advocating getting ready for sustainability as a County Councillor from 1986, and as a representative at Regional level (C.N.O.U.C.).

All the comments made here are ‘in his opinion’.

He has been involved in various committees from  ‘Keep Dunedin Beautiful’ through ‘Dunedin Planning ‘ to ‘Dunedin and Districts Road Safety’.

He is a past member of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (and still an enthusiast).

He initiated the Omarama Classic cross-country hang-gliding competition, is an enthusiastic Masters yachtsman, has cruised extensively, and still coaches youngsters (and no-so-youngsters!)

He has been a Co-ordinator of Environment Access, a member of the Hawkdun Land Management Comittee and Co-chairs Solar Action.

He writes the occasional op/ed piece, and a monthly column (The Good Life)  in Lifestyle Block magazine.

He and partner Jennie live in a passive-solar, off-grid house. It was built of coolstore panels, plus recycled and down-grade materials, for a mere $50,00o. This they did in light of the fact that it will have to be done more and more in to future, and someone had to go down the  track to prove it could be done.                            Google: ODT Murray Grimwood Jennie Upton       for more.

They grow timber trees, orchard trees and vegetables on their 60 acre block. They are constantly striving for self-sufficiency. This includes the understanding that doing less (work, consumption, earning/spending) is better in terms of what quality of planet we hand on to future generations. Currently they are setting up a formal framework whereby they can share the land with younger folk, a logical extension of that thinking.

He sails a bit, teaches sailing a bit, writes a bit, never stops inventing, and has a lot of unfinished projects …………..


3 Responses

  1. I’m not a scientist. I’m an economist. Not an academic. Have worked for several multi-nationals at the coal-face. Many years of endeavour in IT specialising in robotics and other technical programming. Some years ago I attended a specialist course at Monash University learning the intricacies of the C++ programming language. The tutor emphasised the compactness of the language and how functions can be reduced to a single line of code and how a single function could be used to condense many functions, which in turn condense many lines of code. The same tutor gave us an example of a single function and explained that it was so compact it would take 3 days to decode.

    Now Mr Murray, for some time I have tried following the propositions of Hugh Pavletich and Phil Best together with your offerings.

    I gave up on Hugh Pavletich many months ago. He is like a blob of mercury rolling around on a hot-tin-plate or walking on quick-sand and avoids answering direct challenges. I can’t read Phil Best’s posts because they are so long winded I lose the thread as to what he is trying to say.

    I agree with your position. You are correct. Fortunately I am able to decode your compact Function Speak. I suspect many wouldn’t.

    PS1: On peak oil. My mate is a Chemical Engineer (Phd) and he says that the biggest issue with oil is not so much peak oil, but more the cost of getting the oil out of the bottom half of a half-depleted oil well. It costs to get the last half out, and the methods of pumping water in, followed by the costs of cleansing and de-contaminating the end-product are with us now. He accepts we are well into the bottom half of all reserves now. But the costs of getting that out are increasing (exponentially?) Dont hear any discussion about that.

    PS2. Pavletich and Best advocate unrestrained growth (for growths sake). I dont. I advocate closing the front doors to NZ and stop immigration altogether until we learn how to best live with the resources we have. As NZ is not self-sufficient in oil, all new immigrants wishing to arrive in NZ should post a $100,000 bond in the form of “OIL FUTURES” purchased now and held in escrow. What Pavletich and Best do is assume there will always be an automatic, unlimited, in-exhaustable supply of energy and oil to satisfy their arguments. And in NZ’s case thats just not so.

    • My reasons for advocating no more immigration are a little different.
      The world needs food and will need a lot more in the future from less land and with less fertliser.

      We should be killing urban sprawl completely, only allowing residential land to be sold to residents, and all other land only to citizens.

      When the climatic sh*t hits the fan and Oz loses its attraction we may have to cope with 500,000+ returning Kiwis. Let’s not exacerbate the situationby allowing in more people to spread urbanization into fertile land.

      We’re reliant on farming and yet we’re driving the price of land up by opening the market to 7,000,000 people. It’s cheaper to buy dairying land now in parts of the USA than it is here. Didn’t we do well?

      It’s a tragedy.

    • Murray,

      I follow your every word. And those words of yours that I fully comprehend, I value greatly. Sadly I miss the point in some of your better stuff.

      Clearly you are at times very frustrated that your point made is not more widely and fully appreciated.

      Please slow down a fraction and write for those (me included) who did not have quite as much formal education as yourself.

      You and I share many common interests including human powered vehicles. I played a big part in the construction of New Zealands most famous streamlined bike – used by Steve Gurney to win the Coast to Coast.

      Our properties all have energy replacement systems fitted that greatly reduce the grid supplied power consumption. Very cheap outlay for some quite large energy savings. I try to spread the word on this simple technology – and the typical response is a stunned face – and the words “why bother”! I too am frustrated.

      I have now retired after 38 years of kayak building and my kayak factory is now being set up to produce low-head low-volume water turbines that will produce small current flows – forever. Why? I need one myself.

      I want more from your knowledge bank. Please slow down just a little bit. Please spend a few moments “decoding” your thoughts. And remember that the great silent majority includes many people like myself.

      We appreciate your efforts.

      PS Iconoclast – My son uses C++ every day. Code code and more code! I liked the nice way that you pointed out to Murray that he needs to decode his messages to get a wider (and solid) following.

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