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…….



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.

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Towards lower incomes and voluntary input.

We seem to be starting to have a discussion about ‘pensions’, and the age one might have to be, to become eligible. A classic discussion about deckchairs on a sloping deck!

 We aren’t paying our way NOW, as a nation, as ratepayers, or collectively as individuals (if that makes sense….) On the back of that fact, we are paying every public servant more than we have. They, however – will go out and ‘spend’ that ‘pay’ on part of the planet. The underwrite has long gone for that fiscal process to stay in positive territory, which is what we are seeing in Europe.

I saw it coming not long after reading of Hubbert and Peak Oil back in ’75. It seemed obvious that a growth-based fiscal system (itself based on physical growth, that is, virtual has to be converted to real at some point) was a ponzi scheme. Sure, in the beginning of a growth phase, it was the only model which fitted, but an average intellect could have foreseen that beyong the Peak of physical underwrite (typically around half-way through something, not when it’s ‘run out’) then leveraged (fiat) money system had not just it’s pants, but everything else, down. Totally, irredeemably (pun intended) stuffed.

But – we need to cooperate to have a functioning society, and we need to retain some specialisation (but not to the extent we currently have, that’s courtesy of cheap, abundant energy). So we need to anticipate paying our public servants less – and less -and less. Not in ‘dollar’ terms, but relative to purchasing of physical portions of the planet. That will mirror the private sector – their ability to profit will reduce, par, then turn negative unless population numbers drop faster.

I can’t remember how long I’ve lived this – walked the walk, talked the talk. I’ve done things for folk ‘because they needed a hand’. It always comes back – in friendship, return of help, sometimes just in good conversation. Long lost count of the voluntary hours – hundreds on the Waitati community/school pool alone. Who knows how many more with sailing? Several weeks a year, probably. Currently, I drop down to the local school and help them out (facilitation, really – better to let them design) with their solar dehydrator. Before that, it was Port School with their Eco-hut, and a bit with their boating too. I have a forte of taking wheel-chair-bound kids out on the Hobie – don’t know whogets more out of it sometimes….

All of this – and the riparian river-bank replantings, the Solar Action time, the Envac time, the free lectures (next weekend’s one here on energy is full!) – is my way of giving back to my society, in real terms. Sooner rather than later, we are going to have to count something like this in for benefit or tax purposes- hours done for society rather than ‘money’ ‘paid’. The Weimar Republic experience, is probably the closest historical precedent to what I think we’re about to go through. Wonder what type of politics that kind of stress spawns?

Yet this week, Radio New Zealand had a clip of Bill English talking of ‘sustainable growth’. It’s a lie, of course. A provable falsehood. The question is whether he knows that, or believes the dogma.

You can see the start of the low/no income – slash  – voluntary mode with Transition Towns, and the kind of goodwill seen early in the Chch experience. With a lifetime of it behind me (and the lack of ‘income’ to go with that) I can only say that I don’t envy the status-object-owning types. People are all that matters, at the end of the day – and love and friendship. It’s a lesson a lot of folk are going to have to learn real fast, soon. Make that now.


Radio New Zealand – if they won’t ask, who will?

The nonsense continues. This morning, we are told that NZ will ‘loan’ the IMF 4? billion dollars. We are in debt, jointly and severally, already. So we will ‘borrow’ the ‘money’ (someone even managed to refer to it as ‘cash’!) from ‘somewhere else. Oh, we’ll expect to be repaid, and with interest, apparently. The only interesting thing here is the amount of ignorance shown by our public – not requiring advertising – media.


We are so far past the real underwrite (of the existing expectation that future goods/services can/will be produced/purchased) that’s it’s a joke – there is NO way back, and by several orders of magnitude.




So we’re borrowing virtual numbers, to underwrite virtual numbers, but relying on real stuff – in increasing quantities – to be available in the future to  underwrite the eventual spending.


A lie, is what they’re reporting. A ponzi – one so massive it makes Madoff pale into insignificance – is what it is.


Truth, is what isn’t being reported. Watch Nine-to Noon – coming up. I’ll blog after it, but I bet she’ll drop the ball. She has been pre-warned, too!

RNZ Radio New Zealand – growth, truth and lies….

Ah, me. Will we get there?  Not if Morning Report and the News this morning are any indication. Here we are 7 years past the point where we leveled-off in terms of global energy. Sure, we’re still getting more efficient, but an internal combustion engine is what it is –  inefficient. That progression cannot possibly underwrite the ‘wealth’ expectation everyone has, nor can it underwrite future production/consumption of goods/services, on the escalating basis that 3% growth (or any growth) need.


We had French comment, Greek comment, even Aussie comment this morning. Not once was the premise that growth is (a) desirable) and (b) achievable, challenged.


A ‘F’, for you this morning RNZ. It comes after my formal complaint to Morning Report (buck-passed) and Mora’s gaffe, re Powerdown.


If public – not reliant on advertising  – radio can’t ask the hard questions, we aren’t going to have the public debate.

Herman Daly on ignorance. Thoughtful.


A wee excerpt:

“Although I am eager for knowledge to substitute physical growth to the extent possible, the basic renewability of ignorance makes me doubt that knowledge can save the growth economy. Furthermore, knowledge, even when it increases, does not grow exponentially like money in the bank. Some old knowledge is disproved or cancelled out by new knowledge, and some new knowledge is discovery of new biophysical or social limits to growth. New knowledge must always be something of a surprise — if we could predict its content then we would have to know it already and it would not really be new. Contrary to common expectation, new knowledge is not always a pleasant surprise for the growth economy — frequently it is bad news. For example, climate change from greenhouse gasses was recently new knowledge, as was discovery of the ozone hole”.

Dark Sun, George Dibbern, Eileen Morris, Te Rapunga.

I’ve just read Dark Sun (Erika Grundmann, David Ling publishing). What a read, what a man. The sensual part of him reminded me of my thoughts watching David Lewis, years ago. Those wanderers with the faraway eyes sure catch the feminine fancy. Of course, they’re impossible to ‘settle down’ with, so it’s always a case of ‘moving on’.

Some of the women are pretty awesome in their own right, though. Eileen Morris, a young girl from Napier in the conservative ‘Thirties’, stood out in this book, indeed she ended up being my hero of the whole story. She had what it took to go in the first place, against all parental and other advice. Then the staunchness to see it through long-term, the ability to stand by him through 5 years of Soames Island internment, then to have a child by him ‘out of wedlock’ in the ‘Fifties’. That all takes rare courage.

Great read, of of NZ’s best, right up there with Man Alone, in my book. Well done Erika G – she spent 10 years researching it, stunning.