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Blog by Dave McArthur  18 Nov 2008 

Change is the characteristic state of our universes and yet for all the talk of change with the elections in New Zealand and the USA I suspect many will soon be left wondering why they feel short-changed – especially those who voted for change. 

Well both here in New Zealand and in the USA our political leaders have a change of faces but the unsustainable mores and practices of our societies remain unchanged. Readers of my blogs will know that when Sarah Palin was selected at the Republic candidate for the vp of the US I wrote saying that she and John Key had won the most crucial election. People of every political party had voted for them at the petrol pump, at the airline counter, at the electrical socket in their homes, at their bank, at their superannuation fund and at all the other crucial polls we caste our votes in. 

At the time of Sarah’s selection many of her most strident critics were also the people who had voted for her, for being addictive car and jet users she reflected their truth. She represents their subliminal denial of reality, their fundamental delusions. She represents their belief that mineral oil is as bounteous as energy. She is the embodiment of that delusion, the dream that Alaska provides eternal supply of cheap mineral oil. She is the shimmering frontierless land of plenty – this thing we call The Market that endlessly provides without limit. 

Similarly people of all parties voted for John Key in New Zealand at the petrol pump and airline counter. He too represents this thing we call The Market and his fortune of many millions of dollars magically generated from his trades as a senior member of Merrill Lynch is proof that The Market is bounteous as energy. His promises to “get the economy moving” resonates in all car and truck owners as he describes how he is going to invest in “infrastructure’ symbolised as more motorways and huge industrial-scale electrical generators. 

So even before we went to the electoral polling booths in both countries last week all the major leaders, including Barack Obama in the US and the now ex-Prime Minister Helen Clark in New Zealand were supporting the transfer of trillions and billions of taxpayers money to subsidise a few merchant bankers who benefit so much from our use of cars, trucks, jets and weapons. Effectively our political leaders signed off on national budgets that put our education, health and superannuation systems on starvation rations for years to come. 

While “the state of the economy” dominated election commentary I did not hear or read a single politician or commentator  articulate the political reality: We have created massive credit system based on a delusion that the energy in mineral oil has a value of less than O.1 cents per man-hour labour equivalent. We have built transport, education, communication, health, food, dwelling and, above all, credit systems based on this insane undervaluation of this amazing resource.  

A classic case is DHL, which just closed down its whole trans-US transport system and sacked several thousand workers. As its CEO admitted on Bloomberg News, “We built our system on the basis of $US35 a barrel of (mineral) oil.”  

The truth is that since 1980 we have expanded our credit systems thousands fold on the basis of this vast under-valuation.  

Since 1980 we have burned half the cheaply extracted mineral oil that existed on this planet while at the same time we have doubled our numbers. 

We have set up massive systems of denial of this reality, the latest being the Carbon Trading ethos. In New Zealand even the Green Party endorses the Emissions Trading Scheme that was rammed through our parliament under urgency amidst a national climate of stifled discussion of the implications of the legislation in the last days of the Labour Administration.  

Other systems of denial in New Zealand include the privatisation of our superannuation scheme with a system called Kiwi Saver, the embedment of the Electricity Reform legislation, which decrees that “The Market” places the value on the national trade of electrical products, and the Bank Deposit Guarantee Scheme  (the New Zealand equivalent of the US bank bailout schemes). 

The feature of all these systems is that they work to divert remaining community wealth into investments promoting the car, truck, airline, armaments and other industries that make most wasteful use of mineral oil. 

And, as mentioned, all this is endorsed by our political leaders of whatever name and hue – Democratic, Republican, National, Labour, left, right, centre, green, blue, red, yellow, liberal, conservative, socialist, free market, you name them. 

So people are about to find out is that though the faces and names have changed the economies of countries like ours which are based on addictive uses of mineral oil/gas are about to implode. We may experience this implosion as explosive forces as our middle classes vent their rage as they experience a sudden an unprecedented loss of wealth. We will experience it as both stagflation and inflation. 

Implosion. Explosion. The physics of our situation is not altered. We have confused energy with mineral oil/gas and no matter what price The Market puts on this remarkable resource, once burned it is gone. Its component elements still exist but not as wealth, rather as the pollution in the air that we breathe. The less we value remaining mineral oil stocks the sooner they are gone too, taking with them all the social systems based on our insane undervaluation. 

I have detected no evidence that any of our politicians or media commentators understand the physics of our economies. Today I read in the New York Times



Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi have urged the Bush administration to help the major automakers, especially General Motors, which is fast depleting its cash reserves and seems to be hurtling toward bankruptcy. G.M. shares, pummeled for weeks, fell an additional 13 percent on Tuesday to $2.92, its lowest point since 1943. G.M. on Monday warned shareholders that it might not be able to continue as a “going concern.”

At a meeting on Monday at the White House, President-elect Barack Obama also urged Mr. Bush to help the automobile companies, and Congressional aides said Democratic leaders were coordinating their activities with his transition team.  

And more from the NYT  

Suddenly, our consumer society is doing a lot less consuming. The numbers are pretty incredible. Sales of new vehicles have dropped 32 percent in the third quarter. Consumer spending appears likely to fall next year for the first time since 1980 and perhaps by the largest amount since 1942

And yet more from the NYT

How does $14,000 off the price of a 2008 Ford F-150 pickup sound? Or $12,000 off a Jeep?

“We’ve never gone this deep before,” said Paul Walser, co-owner of the Walser Automotive Group, which sells 13 brands at nine dealerships around Minneapolis. One of them is offering a $15,000 discount on G.M.C. Yukon sport utility vehicles this weekend in hopes of making room for a newer vehicle that is profitable.

“We’re going to be losing money on these things,” he said, “but it just costs us too much to keep vehicles that are $30,000 or $40,000 in our inventory for six months.”



The NYT article goes on to say

Some dealers have gotten creative in their wheeling and dealing, offering bonuses like Ford or G.M. stock (though the shares of G.M. closed at $3.01 on Friday and Ford at $1.80).


Here in New Zealand political and economic commentary is no less weird than the bizarre US car bazaar. Just as Germans reacted to the Fascism of the 1930-40s by adopting proportional representation New Zealanders reacted to the Fascism of the 1980-90s here by adopting MMP, a proportional system that enables a far wider representation of views, races and other aspects of our society.


Both our main parties and our media loathe the more democratic nature of MMP. Thus we had the spectacle of the leaders of both our larger parties, John Key and Helen Clark, refusing to appear on the same media platforms as the smaller parties. And in general the media acquiesced to their refusals. And both leaders promoted images of MMP as a system that creates “multi-headed monsters”, which cartoonists obliging converted in graphic form.


Chris Trotter’s Sunday Star Times headline the day after the election “The night MMP couldn’t save us from ourselves” illustrates the general hostility to democracy and the nonsense I speak of. His article begins, “ Well THE New Zealand Left has woken up to is very own 9/11..” 


The reality is MMP enables us to reflect our deepest desires and actions in a very accurate way. I don’t like what it reflects but I do acknowledge the fact that as a nation we are fundamentally non-conservatives – as  is any society or subset of societies that destroys mineral oil at the rate of 5, 10, 20, 40 (NZ), 68 (USA) barrels a day per 1000 people. Dumping on MMP is like blaming the mirror for the sad, desperate, drug addled being that we see reflected in it.


Most media commentary was in terms of “the left versus the right” and “the progressives versus the conservatives”  and “ red versus blue”. In other words it was confused and unsustaining. New Zealand’s premier broadsheet, the nationally distributed Star-Sunday Times portrayed the election results as an overwhelming movement to the right, to the conservatives, to blue. Check out its graphical portrayal of the election results.



 The whole country is portrayed as blue with the exception of a few microscopic pockets. This is the image our children will retain for decades to come.  

In the learning process our brains seek out the familiar and the map of New Zealand resonates with our sense of nationhood. The graphic sub-text is meaningless by comparison and will not tend to resonate over time.

In the teaching process our choice of symbols reflects our primal responses to the world. In this case our medias hostility to democracy is manifest in a most vivid way.



Such shonky journalism may seem harmless and apologists excuse it saying," Its only a graphic.. we are limited by the demands of page graphics." The reality is the democratic will of the people can be illustrated graphically if journalists care to reflect it accurately. Such geographical portrayal of social strata easily leads to corruption and gerrymandering such as we used to experience under First Past the Post elections. Then urban areas were vastly under-represented in Parliament compared to their rural counterparts.


The costs of such poor quality journalism cost us billions of dollars annually. For instance our media actively promotes the proliferation of cars and trucks and is hostile to rail and shipping. It constantly confuses the geographical reality with the social reality and argues a car/truck culture is essential here because "New Zealand is a long, narrow country".


The reality is that 87% of our population is now urban based and the image our media promotes is that of a 19th Century New Zealand. It is probable that our pervasive car/truck culture will bankrupt New Zealand next year as the costs of our addictive uses of mineral oil finally destroy our viability.


Any nation built on $US10 a barrel is at great risk of collapse when the price trebles. The IEA is predicting a decline in the extraction rate next year of, depending how you read their stats, between 4 and 9%. This is uncharted territory for humanity - we have never before experienced such a decline in our history. 

Whether the decline is 9.7% or half that, the price of mineral oil will become unaffordable one way or another for most New Zealand and US people because we persist with outmoded and flawed visions of democracy and the reality of our nations.


The reality is this: the elections in NZ resulted in very little change. Maybe 1% of the population changed their essential voting behaviour. The same small group of merchant bankers who derive enormous wealth off the global trade of fossil fuels and Bulk-gen electricity products still run New Zealand. They still gut New Zealand and US communities of their wealth and promote the rapid depletion of very finite and precious resources. 


If red is the symbol of debt then both nations are a sea of red. If blue is the symbol of depression then both countries wallow in blue.


The arcane nature of the political commentary is revealed in analysis of our resource use. Those that most destroy our resources are called "conservatives" and their activities are symbolised as “progress”. Those that least destroy our resources are called “reactionaries” and “losers”. This week I could not resist firing off a note pointing up this nonsense to commentators David Brooks of the New York Times and to Gordon Campbell at SCOOP News here in New Zealand:

I read the David Brooks article too and, like Gordon’s article, it contains interesting information and thoughtful reflections.  However I conclude that the net impact of both articles is unhelpful. They are unsustainable because they adopt confusing and obscuring uses of the “conservative” symbol. As a result both articles work to promote acceptance of what they warn us against. Until our commentators face reality and take more care with their use of key symbols then they will continue to be a source of much misery. They will continue to frame fine work in the nonsense spun by the greed merchants of our times. Here is a quick note I shot off to David. 

Hi David from New Zealand

Over the last decade I have been become very interested in the power of symbols – of how they resonate and what they reflect of our primal natures.

I have noticed some very funny phenomena in our use of symbols and how our use often reflects a deep-seated denial of the Conservation Principle of Energy.  I note how Americans describe the sector of its society that consumes resources in the most liberal way as “conservatives”. The people in the sector that tends to consume resources less liberally are called “liberals”. 

A web check indicates that, as in New Zealand, children in your schools join Conservation Clubs and learn how to be conservative and caring for the plants, soils, waters, air and creatures of this planet. So at an early stage they learn that “conservatism” is associated with care and compassion. 

So from this distance I see the USA as a very confused society and greatly lacking science.

Here is a thought. It is by our actions that we are known. It matters little what we say, it is what we do that counts.  For instance we may say we conserve precious resources such as mineral oil but if the reality is that we burn a barrel of mineral oil then physics and the Conservation Principle of Energy say that we have destroyed that barrel and it will not be replaced for many eons, regardless of the reason we give for destroying it. 

Surely the state of science more prevails when we conserve the “conservative” symbol and use it to describe what we do? Then the people who most liberally consume resources become known as non-conservatives while those who conserve resources are known as conservatives. 

You can see how this changes the discourse entirely. It is well possible the enhanced clarity of vision will help the USA from imploding entirely from liberal consumption of resources, as looks possible at present. 

I am interested in your response 

Dave McArthur


As regular readers of my blogs know I was employed for a couple of decades to read the  meters of Bulk-gen electricity companies and cooperatives. Thus I was privileged to share the lives of many thousands of New Zealand households and businesses. I soon learned that comparative terms like left/right, Labour/National, Democrat/Republican, capitalist/commie, liberal/racist, progressive/Luditte etc mean little.  People would proclaim they believe in one reality and yet their actual lifestyles reflected quite another reality.


Lower income white people could mouth racist comments about those of other skin colours and yet live next door to those folk in most congenial way (“Oh, I know these Cocoanuts – they are different”) while higher income white people who prided themselves on their liberal attitudes would lobby to keep their suburb uniform “Oh, I have nothing against these coloured/poor/insane people but we do have to look after the real estate values of our neighbourhood.)

Similarly people who were acclaimed by themselves and others as “capitalists” and “free marketeers”  very often received the largest state benefits and promoted the most repressive legislation.


So I have developed a simple way of looking at things. I rate a person as to how much they conserve resources. In New Zealand our media, both private broadsheets and public broadcasting, cast Chris Trotter and Matthew Hutton as apostles of "the left" and "the right" respectively. I understand they are proud of their titles. Back in the days of Ronald Reagan and the Evil Empire (the Soviet Union) I asked Chris if such positions were even then growing meaningless and unhelpful. Chris replied he was proud of his position as spokesperson for the left, “standing up for the working-man”.


Analyse the lifestyles and consumption of Chris and Matthew and there is little that separates them. They are both members of a high consuming, non-conservative elite whose activities and life models are driving humanity perilously close to another, even more catastrophic world war as remaining cheaply extracted mineral oil/gas reserves are depleted.


Until we face the reality of the Conservation Principle and we employ its maxims in our daily life and our use of symbols then war becomes inevitable.


And as I keep attempting to remind people, this imminent global war can still be averted if communities are again enabled to make democratic and intelligent uses of the their electrical, solar and carbon resources. However time is running out and the recent fall in mineral oil prices in countries like New Zealand and the US and our increasing adoption of the carbon-trading ethos is lethal. They are a sign we are such addicts of mineral oil/gas/cars/trucks/airlines that we will mainline ourselves until we are blind, demented and derelict.


So nothing much has changed with the elections because most of us are unwilling to confront and change our ways. I keep on maintaining a range of little campaigns to sustain sanity while those around me stand transfixed, near catatonic, as they watch their certificates of wealth in the share market, their homes, their jobs and their banks evaporate.


My latest two efforts this week were two very hastily written attempts to awaken in our media a sense of the bizarre Goon Show nature of our “market delusion” in general (click here to read) and to alert the Maori Party of the fatal flaws in carbon trading as the party debates what role it will play in our post election Government.(click here to read). Maori Party Members of Parliament have since replied, informing me that they voted against the Emissions Trading Scheme. To which I replied:


Kia ora

I was not aware that the Maori Party had a clear position on the ETS. Perhaps the media has not communicated this well. I am delighted to learn of it. I believe this may well mean that the Maori Party is in the prime position to become the party most able to promote stewardship of our lands, air, rivers and oceans.


The current destruction of our fossil fuel resources, the economic collapse and the degradation of the soils, waters and air have one thing in common: our abuse of our carbon potential. I look forward to the Maori Party being able to articulate the vital nature of our Carbon Beings and so promote in our people a greater sense of our roles as stewards of the balances of the great carbon flux and flow that we are part of. Our people will come to understand the role of carbon in our lives and place high value on irreplaceable carbon forms such as mineral oil and gas. This stewardship will be manifest in a nation that is able to provide the world with a model of how we can transition beyond the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas Era to a much more sustainable world society.


Their clear endorsement of the ETS ethos means that neither the Green Party nor the Labour Party can provide a sense of stewardship or provide sustainable models for humanity now.


E mihi ana ahau mo your role as stewards of te rangi e te moana e te whenua e te iwi. (Please excuse my poor knowledge of Maori – just know the heart is here.)


Dave McArthur ”


I first drew and published the cartoon strip that accompanies this blog about 5 or six years ago now. In this chapter I look at our abuse of the potential of atmosphere. For years I had been trying to get out teachers to communicate what I call Trace Theory to our children – the fact that tiny elements can have enormous leverage. our educators refuse to speak of trace gases and persist in talking, for instance, in terms of “greenhouse gases”, thus obscuring the fact that a few trace gases retain most of the thermal energy in the atmosphere and we are messing with the balance of those trace gases.


Trace Theory, of course, communicates notions of exponential change and an obvious application is promoting comprehension of how interest charges accumulate. Understandably our merchant bankers are hostile to this education and since I began promoting Trace Theory in 2000 we have seen debt expand at a horrific rate on the back of a vast undervaluation of mineral oil> As a result Western debts levels are in the hundreds of trillions of dollars – and all the while our economists and media have described the economy as “humming along nicely”.


Humming has another meaning – it can also mean something is rotten and stinking. My strong hunch is that our economy is built on a rotten education carcase and it is time to explore the Compassionate Curriculum Framework.




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

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 Letter to Maori Party  re Emissions Trading Scheme


Tena koe Tariana, Pita, et al and congratulations on your success in the recent elections 

I am writing to you to urge you to dissociate the Maori Party from the Emissions Trading Strategy. It is a product of psychopathic minds and is designed to destroy individual and community stewardship of the ocean and atmospheric balances that sustain us. 

Before you dismiss me as a “climate denier” please note that I have been passionate about communicating the need to live in harmony with these exquisite climate balances for decades – long before it became a matter of public debate. This century alone I have volunteered well over 10,000 hours of unpaid labour to researching how to ensure that our communication of climate issues is underpinned by science. This has come at considerable material cost and this is a price I have been prepared to pay, as I believe the issue is so critical.  

I mention this so that you may be well assured that I am not an ACT supporter or a so called “climate change denier”. My sense of stewardship of our carbon potential and my analysis of the risks of our current national abuse of that potential inspired me in 1991 to decide to never to buy another car (I have not), I refuse to fly in jets no matter the personal cost (the cost is not only monetary but also in terms of heart break) and I have refused the options of higher paying jobs because they would entail increased unjustifiable carbon emissions and mineral oil destruction. (I am now the janitor of a school within walking distance of my home). 

If you go to my website you will find it a repository, albeit a very untidy store, of unique research into strategies for mitigating the potentially negative impacts of our activities on sustaining atmospheric balances. 

I show that carbon trading is in denial of the fundamental laws of physics and that its ethos contains prime and fatal psychological flaws. I also outline a history of the origins of carbon trading, which is in the psychopathic world of Enron and Arthur Andersen and Co, two of the biggest corporate failures in history. I will paste below a segment from the Wiki on Enron that provides a brief introduction to Enron Online.  

In brief Enron executives came to believe that the greatest wealth came in owning the trade of all commodities. It did not matter what the trade was or what the impact of the trade was. Thus they designed a trading system and promoted legislation that gave them the control of all trades, including carbon. 

Before you sign any deal with National to support carbon trading, please watch the movie “Enron – the smartest guys in the room” and witness the complete lack of morality in the way the “electricity traders” gamed the electrical grids of California etc, mercilessly exploiting the negawatt provisions and stressing the grid to the breaking point, putting millions of lives at risk and nearly bankrupting the State of California. The movie does not portray the full horror of the misery Enron and Arthur Andersen have generated around the world. If New Zealand does go bankrupt, as is well possible next year, then that will be in part a manifestation of the impact of EnronOnline and our current Electricity Market. That is one of the untold stories of our nation and now is not the time to start to tell it. 

Enron executives realised that if they could get Governments to legislate that carbon become a tradeable commodity then they would have a source of spectacular wealth if they controlled the trade. Thus they lobbied against stewardship models such as carbon taxes and pushed Al Gore and Bill Clinton to oppose them at Kyoto – which they did. They also exploited the naivety of Greenpeace, the Environmental Defence Fund and other well-meaning groups to promote carbon trading “as a means of caring for the environment”.

A lesser motive was that Enron had significant natural gas reserves but little coal and they figured such a carbon trading system would put them at a strong competitive advantage in the combustion game.  

As you watch those “electricity traders” in action know that you are witnessing “carbon traders” in action.  The trade is all that matters. Every extra trade is extra wealth. That trees get chopped down, swamps drained, air polluted, people slaughtered and starved, species become extinct, extreme weather events generated, mineral oil/gas resources exhausted… none of this matters to carbon traders. Sure they will have fine words to justify their actions but the reality of their actions is that they do not care. They will simply create carbon derivative on carbon derivative just as we are now learning they have created mortgage derivatives up to 100 fold. 

Indeed carbon traders are hostile to all concepts of personal and community stewardship – and I know and appreciate these are the traditional strengths of Maori. They are hostile to them because every act of stewardship reduces the chance to make trades. Hence the ETS tends to generate measures that penalize carbon stewards. 

To give a brief local example: The secret Comalco–Meridian deal commits almost half our hydro capacity to Comalco plus Contact Energy deals probably increase that commitment still further. We have no access to the details of the Meridian deal and, based on history and knowing Comalco’s profound hostility to concepts of stewardship such as carbon taxes, it is highly probable they are more or less exempt from carbon trades. This means the average New Zealander will have to purchase Bulk-gen electricity generated by burning fossil fuels and thus incur carbon penalties in the trades. This will be reflected in higher Bulk-gen electricity bills for households, which of course dominate the incomes of the low income, many of whom are Maori.  

Worse the relatively cheap rate at which Comalco gets Bulk-gen electricity means that householders incur extra deficit payments plus provide subsidised electrical products to Comalco, thereby subsidising the production of cheap aluminium, 93% of which gets exported for the manufacture of car parts. Thus the householder is subsidising the manufacture in North America and Asia of some of the worst polluting devices we have. These devices not only threaten the future of our children but also increase the cycle of carbon trades, thus further penalising households. 

I could give a range of other examples illustrating how carbon trading penalises carbon stewards. I will just say this.  

Analysis of the symbol use of carbon traders indicates that it reflects a complete psychological denial of responsibility for their actions. Examples are the concepts of “carbon neutrality”, “carbon offsetting”, “carbon trading” and the notion that “carbon is our enemy”.  

I know well the lifestyles of some of our most prominent proponents of carbon trading. It is safe to estimate they destroy over 50 barrels of mineral oil a day per 1000 of them. By contrast the average person in the world destroys less than 4 barrels a day per 1000 of them. As I have implied – we are our actions. This is the reality of carbon traders.   

I have watched in sadness as I witness the insidious effects of the carbon trading ethos on Maori and note the loss of their sense of their stewardship of our trees, our soils, our oceans, our air and all that sustains us. Increasingly I hear them speak in the language of the carbon traders. 

I have also watched in sadness as “environmental educators” now teach our children they do not have to be stewards of this planet – something called “the carbon market” will sustain us. I see this lesson being taught in our schools, universities, museums (Te Papa), movie theatres (examples are Earth and An Inconvenient Truth) and churches. 

I have worked for the “green parties” for nearly four decades, including the Values Party in the early 1970s and voted for Labour until the death of its soul in 1987. Since then I have voted for the Green Party. It would have been so very, very convenient to vote for the Green Party this election too, as I have done the last several times. I really like the people. 

However in endorsing the ETS the Green Party now has become the prime agent of the carbon traders. This is because of its mana and pivotal role in promoting concepts of stewardship of our lands, skies and oceans. 

All my analysis points to the inescapable conclusion that every time the Green Party now speaks with authority on issues of sovereignty, equity, sustainability and stewardship it now actively works to destroy these vital qualities. The ETS is fundamentally hostile to these qualities and the Green Party’s endorsement of the ETS works to frame them out of existence. That is why I pray the Maori Party does not commit the same fatal error and allow the carbon traders to lever of its goodness to create Greenwash and carbon mayhem. 

I can tell you I wept when the Green Party endorsed the ETS. I know for a fact  a great many party members do not believe in it and acknowledge that personal and community stewardship using carbon taxes such as BC Canada has adopted is the way to go.  Members know in their hearts they lie to themselves when they say “we had no alternative and at least the ETS is one step in the right direction”. I see that truth in the conflict and doubt in their eyes as they defend the ETS decision.  

I have to face the reality – the Green Party caucus endorsed carbon trading. The “billion dollar insulation package” is born of a deal that means it will be a millstone around our necks – just like the Telecom “rock” of 1990 has crushed most of our broadband potential and cost us tens of billions of dollars. 

Thus I did not vote for the Green Party, much as I admire Jeanette, Sue K, Sue B, Keith and Metiria and treasure the memory of Rod Donald. I see little hope in my local Green Party candidate, Russell Norman, and so gave my electorate vote to Annette King, even though I know her support for motorway investment is working to bankrupt our nation as we exit the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas Age.  

Such is my grave concern about the ETS I was unable to vote for any party. Only ACT actively opposes the ETS, rightfully pointing out that it fails its stated objectives of working to reduce carbon emissions. However ACT’s general strategies work to increase our risk from unhelpful carbon emissions and economic collapse in general. 

I could not vote for any party and so I voted against the media. I know for a fact that our media refuse to engage in an honest debate about the real impact of the ETS and elements of it have a strong interest in promoting the EnronOnline ethos, whereby everything, including the majority of human beings, is considered tradeable commodities. I believe the campaign against Winston Peter was a deliberate and contrived event to distract the public attention from what is possibly some of the most profound legislative change in my lifetime – the ETS.  

This ETS legislation transcends and compounds other significant legislation such as the Electricity Industry Reform legislation, which as you know, removed the right of communities to make intelligent uses of their electrical potential and reduced all consumers of Bulk-generated electricity products from being citizens with civil rights to mere tradeable commodities. It may not have occurred to you that already this century about one million New Zealanders have been traded with little knowledge of the consequences on their lives. Maori is rural areas have been some of the most disadvantaged by the Electricity Reform legislation while urban Maori are set to become singularly disadvantaged by it as our economy implodes. 

Thus I voted for New Zealand First in protest against the corruption of our media. Our “journalists” refused to tell the real story of the ETS, bullied Green Party people that the Party would become extinct if it did not vote for the ETS and was complicit in the act whereby the ETS was rammed through Parliament under urgency and without full public discourse. 

What you will see with National is the real nature of the ETS, Kiwi Saver and the Electricity Reforms being more exposed. You will see that fundamentally they are simply mechanisms to extract wealth out of our communities into the hands of a few “commodity/share/money traders”. You will see that EnronOnline prevails and governs our lives. You will see it acts without concern for the welfare of our whanau, our dwellings, our rivers, our air, our soils, our oceans and our general wellbeing. You will see the ETS manifest as “economic growth” and “employment growth” even as the lives of our people are diminished. 

So please take time to step back a little, reflect and ask yourself, do I really want to be a hollow person in this Parliament made powerless by the ETS? What if this letter is really true?  

Know there are positive alternatives whereby we accept our roles as stewards of the carbon flux, we actively put value on carbon resources and reflect those values in direct taxes on them so we better retain the carbon balances that sustain us.

Ask of yourself, is this not surely what I want my children to learn so they can stand tall?  

And if I have to stand and say that I now perceive that perhaps my past endorsement of the ETS was unhelpful, there are better ways, is this not good that my children experience my courage and learn from me how to learn? 

Kia ora

 Kia kaha

 Dave McArthur

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