Joules and the Knowledge Economy
The matter of Air
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Chapter Six - Land of the Lost Trace Gases-The Matter with Air.
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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
article goes on to say
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).
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.
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..”
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.
arcane nature of the political commentary is revealed in analysis of our
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
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
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
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.
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.)
people who were acclaimed by themselves and others as “capitalists”
and “free marketeers” very
often received the largest state benefits and promoted the most
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”.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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 ”
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”.
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.
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
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.
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”.
“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
overwheming compassion here. You get the picture? Of course this is all
extremely familiar to those who recall the campaigns of the 1980s/90s.
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..)
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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...
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.
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
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
following Kiwi Goon Show. Written in hurry – not speil chucked.
The Sustainability Principle
“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
With Wena Harawira and Gary McCormick. (duration:
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? Blog.org 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
this..it 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 …
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
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
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
Jim….just chuckling through the tears
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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?