Sunday, December 31


Helen Dew in her potato patch - another liberated lawn.

She recently sent me some Leek seeds, with a note to "Sow leeks now, for good sized crop in winter. Love, Helen" I got them in some seedling pots on New Years eve. Thank you Helen for this lovely gesture of support, you are an inspiration.

Here are the pots with Helen's leek seeds in - protected from the birds and the drying effect of the sun. I aded some dry worm castings, harvested a year ago, to the potting mix. I only planted half the seeds, as I recall that the period following the full moon is said to be better for root crops.

People rarely write or talk about their gardens until they have perfected some aspect of them. It is easy to feel daunted by all the volumes of books and articles on the subject. Where do we start! My friend Scott has often expressed the basic truth that "you don't need to know all the answers before you begin."

Saturday, December 30



For the last couple of weeks I have been reflecting on where my attention and intention have been focused for the last couple of years, and contemplating where I want to focus in the coming year. During that time I have been delighted to have received a number of emails and been party to some conversation with friends and acquaintances who have been sharing at a deep level, and offering very personal expressions of what is in their hearts at this moment.

Pondering this phenomenon I wonder if the human psyche is realising this is an important part of the picture - to share who we are, what we care about and what we need and can offer. Maybe it is a way we can find those who we need to connect with, in order to be more effective and conscious servants of the transformation.

So with a new year about to begin, and not wanting to put off until perfect, here is my own story as it is unfolding and evolving at this time.

A practice of trust and exploring the dark side

About two years ago I expressed two strong intentions. The first came from a month long enquiry into my values to see if I could identify those which drive me. At the end of this month I had come to the conclusion that 'trust' was the value which held the greatest force. I have a sense that as long as I have something to offer, even if it only the capacity to read a bedtime story to a friends child, then my needs (and I long ago discovered that these are very minimal) will be met.

Although I have this deep trust in life, I had not always been living it. I had allowed myself to buy the propaganda that I needed to remain alert, even fearful and mistrustful of others, and always plan ahead for my future needs.

I was living alone in a converted bus at the time (quite happily I must add). I distinctly remember someone quizzing me one day about whether a life practice of living on trust was possible if one had intimate others to account for. I thought about it for a while, and had to admit I didn't know, it wasn't my experience. Well now I live in a simple house on a clifftop overlooking the Hauraki Gulf, with my life partner Kim, her two children Elise and Hope, and our 5 month old daughter Zuva. Such is the humour of life.


We have been living on the funds from a house sale and a business sale (thanks Wayne for drip feeding the funds from the plumbing partnership through this last year). One of my changes in focus in this coming year is to provide for more of our food from local sources. I would love to do an experiment one day - perhaps starting in six months or a year - to see if it is possible to live off only food grown on the island. It will quickly show up where the holes are in our community's ability to be much more self-reliant in food - largely free of dependence on food with massive fossil fuel miles attached.


The other money saving intention this year is to get our big yurt up somewhere and go through the process of setting it up for living in. This is not the small 5 metre yurt I finished building last Christmas, but a 9 metre yurt we brought in from Pacific Yurts in Oregon (USA) that arrived a couple of months ago. We would like to have it setup with solar and wind power generation, a 'nice' composting toilet, rain water collection, and
grey water recycling.


I just got given a baby seat for my bike - thanks Baz and Meg. Also got a baby backpack from Trademe for Christmas, and yesterday I knocked on the door of Robert Vale's house where I spotted a 50 year old Morris Minor - and much to my surprise he gave it to me! More on this later :)

Changing the world

Another aspect of this disposition of trust which is beginning to become clear is the feeling that the universe as we perceive it, is already perfect - or a perfect reflection of our cocreated reality. Which leads me to the second strong intention that has dominated my life since I wrote in my diary a couple of years ago that "I want to explore my dark side."

I didn't know what such an affirmation would lead to, but looking back, and I have only recently made this connection, I think that the way 'my' dark side was revealed was through searching out and uncovering the dark side of the world.

As the picture of the geo-political power structures and maneuvering became more clear it seemed that there were clearly identifiable individuals who could be pointed to, and could be held responsible for much of the destruction of our environment, resource depletion, inequality of resource and wealth distribution, and the conflict and wars that are raging across the planet today.

Thankfully, and despite the sometimes deeply painful revelations about the state of the world and the seemingly unnecessary suffering of our brothers and sisters on this earth, I was able to keep the question alive, "What am I doing to contribute to this?" Over time my sense of self-responsibility, rather than blame, became stronger. While I cannot control how others act and whether they make the changes I would like to see, I can be responsible for my part of it. I can choose how much I consume, how I treat those around me, how I relate to others whose ideas and actions I may not agree with.

So for a couple of years I assumed the role of researcher and disseminator of information, which I felt would change the world if only we all understood how things work. But of course it was only my view, and the sense of trusting that all is as it should be - was still germinating.

Where to now?

I sense that I no longer need to play the researcher role so strongly. The information is out there if anyone needs or wants to find it. I feel that there is a need to model new ways forward. For people who are waking up to the challenges of climate change, oil depletion, and the tentative nature of the global economics, there is not much out there by way of serious models showing the how-to's for the transition.

Around the time that this change of direction started becoming clear, Kim and I were invited by some new found friends, Mark and Kamila, to collaborate on the development of a 10 acre property here on Waiheke. It has a small area of arable land a large tract of regenerating bush. The plan is to develop this land resource based on some key (and still evolving) principles. The following are my first draft thoughts and I haven't yet had the chance to work on these with Mark and Kamila. I welcome your thoughts and ideas about these too, so please feel free to leave a comment.
  • Model resource use in ways that enhance, rather than deplete them.
  • Maximise energy efficiency in every aspect of the development and maintenance of the land and its buildings.
  • Carefully discover the maximum sustainable limits of the resource.
  • Meet as many of the residents needs as possible directly off the land.
  • Develop trade options for other essential needs.
  • Where outside resources are required, source them within the region.
  • Use appropriate technology, without developing reliance on it.
Dialogue processes

For the last few months I have been involved in facilitating some dialogue circles in preparation for a meeting between some community leaders and the Auckland city Mayor.

There are many effective dialogue processes and tools available today, and I am hearing more and more references to the importance of engaging with each other in effective dialogue. There is an infinite wisdom to be called up and expressed, and it is in all of us, if we give each other the opportunity to speak and be heard we can meet the challenges of our time and begin to celebrate our uniqueness and all that we have.

To end...

It feels like the time to go beyond a fear based society - driven to seek fulfillment and distraction through consumption - and discover the joys of voluntary simplicity, that many of us intuit and long for already. We live in exciting times. I am here to serve, and have many different skills. If there is anything I can do to help you with your projects please do get in touch with me.

Monday, December 25

working together

My friend Ted from Nelson, pointed me to this video. It is on youtube and I first watched it on the Transistion Culture blog.

It is a great example of the benefits of avoiding a them-and-us approach, as peak oil activist and local authority representative (both from Portland) sit side by side on a sofa and talk about preparing for peak oil. Exemplary stuff.

Saturday, December 23

capitalism 3.0

Here is a clear description of the commons, how they have been exploited, and the importance of reclaiming them as the common asset they are for us and future generations.

I first came across some background to this process which took it out of the abstract in an article by Derek J. Wilson.

From 1770 to 1830 some 3,280 enclosure bills were passed putting into private hands for private gain more than six million acres of commonly-held lands. By 1830 not a single county had more than three percent of its land open to public use.

According to historian George Sturt: “To the enclosure of the common more than to any other cause may be traced all the changes which have subsequently passed over the village. It was like knocking the keystone out of an arch.” (Kirkpatrick Sale. Rebels Against the Future, 1995.)

Review of Capitalism 3.0 by Peter Montague of Rachel's Weekly

Books full of new ideas are rare, but here's one worth chewing on: Peter Barnes's Capitalism 3.0. The book is original, readable and provocative. It will definitely hold your attention.

But let's get one thing straight. Despite the title of his book, Peter Barnes is no radical. He is an entrepreneur and investor who co-founded Working Assets, the telephone company. He says, "As a businessman and investor, I've benefited personally from the primacy of capital and am not keen to end it." (pg. 24) On the other hand, he recognizes that, "Capitalism as we know it is devouring creation. It's living off nature's capital and calling it growth."(pg. 26) So, "to save capitalism from itself," (pg. 66) the book offers a whole slew of new ideas. the goal of which is to give capitalism a "software upgrade" to fix what Barnes sees as the system's three major flaws:

(1) its disregard for nature;
(2) its disregard for future generations; and
(3) its disregard for the poor.

Barnes's analysis of the problem is succinct: the history of capitalism reveals two threads: the decline of "the commons" and the rise of the corporation. These two threads are linked because corporations make money largely by taking things from "the commons" (or dumping wastes into the commons) without paying compensation to its owners (all of us).

By "the commons" Barnes means "all the things we inherit or create together," which none of us owns individually. The commons is like a river with three forks:

  1. Nature, which includes air, water, DNA, photosynthesis, seeds, topsoil, airwaves, minerals, animals, plants, antibiotics, oceans, fisheries, aquifers, quiet, wetlands, forests, rivers, lakes, solar energy, wind energy... and so on;
  2. Community: streets, playgrounds, the calendar, holidays, universities, libraries, museums, social insurance [e.g., social security], law, money, accounting standards, capital markets, political institutions, farmers' markets, flea markets, craigslist... etc.;
  3. Culture: language, philosophy, religion, physics, chemistry, musical instruments, classical music, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, astronomy, electronics, the Internet, broadcast spectrum, medicine, biology, mathematics, open-source software... and so forth. (pg. 5)

The commons is a set of assets that have two characteristics: they're all gifts, and they're all shared. (pg. 5) Taken together, all the assets in the commons are our "common wealth." Furthermore, the commons are essential and indispensable; they provide sustenance for everyone. If we fail to protect them, we're sunk.

Read on...

Tuesday, December 19

wisdom council

Here is a Quicktime audio file that is worthy of your attention if you are curious about the way forward, and how we will manage our affairs in the coming years. It has long been my opinion that the way forward will come from the ground up, rather than top down.

The Center for Wise Democracy has developed a social invention called the "Wisdom Council," which provides a new systems approach to solving many of today's most pressing social issues—failing education, loss of community, citizen apathy, diminished economic viability prejudice, terrorism, poverty, exorbitant health care costs, partisanship, breakdown of families, global warming, wars, etc.

It's not a long audio, and well worth the time as it explains quite well how it is structured and why it works.

hard to feel alone

In 2003, the Hubble Space Telescope stared, for a little over 11 days at a rather unremarkable section of sky. The results were humbling ... all on a universal scale.

The Deep Field/Ultra Deep field images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope represent the farthest we've ever seen into the universe. Looking at these images, one cannot help but be humbled by what they mean. At a glance, they show us how tiny humanity is in comparison to the size of the universe.

Friday, December 15

imagine Waiheke

I have been adding a few posts recently, to a site called "Imagine Waiheke."

Please do drop in there sometime, have a squizz, and
leave a comment if you feel moved.

Monday, December 11

brief bits

Snow and sleet are falling on two bushfires burning in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
ABC Radio, Nov 15
THE news report was almost flippant, something that could happen only in Dorothea Mackellar's land of drought and flooding rains. Later that evening, two weeks from summer, Sydney had its coldest night in more than a century.

Pentagon delays chemical weapons disposal
The Pentagon has extended its timeline to destroy its aging chemical weapons arsenal until 2023. the military won't eliminate its stock of deadly nerve gases and skin-blistering agents until 11 years after the 2012 deadline set by the international Chemical Weapons Convention.

Struggling U.S. dollar triggers currency concerns
Globe Insider The sudden weakness of the U.S. dollar began late last week, soon after Chinese officials suggested that holding a lot of dollars might be a losing investment strategy. Investors read that as a signal that the massive trade and financial imbalances between Asia and the U.S. may be about to unwind.

AIDS Set to Become One of Top Three Killers Worldwide Within the next 25 years, AIDS is set to join heart disease and stroke as the top three causes of death worldwide, with estimates that at least 117 million people will die from the disease by 2030, according to a study published online Monday.

Catholics Urge Pope Benedict XVI to Lift Ban on Condoms In recognition of World AIDS Day, Catholics from around the globe are calling on the pope to lift the ban on condoms in order to help stem the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Kissinger to Serve As Papal Adviser?
National Catholic Register Nov 26 Pope Benedict XVI has invited Henry Kissinger, former adviser to Richard Nixon, to be a political consultant and he accepted.

Monday, December 4

David Korten video

You may have read the posts on his book: From Empire to Earth Community. Here's a short preview clip from his slide show . . .

The full slide show can be purchased from Peak Moments.

Sunday, December 3

tipping point: energy

Written by Jan Lundberg
PDF of the entire article

Culture Change Letter #145,
November 27-29, 2006

What we can do about passing the energy tipping point?

The energy tipping point has been reached, just as a system such as the climate has been found to have a critical threshold that some scientists believe has probably been reached. Obviously, climate disaster is much more ominous than the enormous consequences of passing the energy tipping point.

As if it's a matter of choice, there are those who don't want to see any concerns about energy supply distract us from the climate challenge. Yet, the two crises are related and inseparable. There happens to be a common approach to mitigate each of them.
Meanwhile, the mainstream corporate press is finally hinting at limitations on the economy from the "constraints" of both climate and energy. This is heresy for free marketeers who believe in endless growth. The New York Times ran a guest editorial column on Nov. 29 that said,
The world’s supply of cheap energy is tightening, and humankind’s enormous output of greenhouse gases is disrupting the earth’s climate. Together, these two constraints could eventually hobble global economic growth and cap the size of the global economy. The most important resource to consider in this situation is energy, because it is our economy’s “master resource” -- the one ingredient essential for every economic activity. (Thomas Homer-Dixon's op-ed, "The End of Ingenuity")

This article continues and for the sake of brevity I have cut it here, but it is by far one of the most eloquent summary statements of our situation and I highly recommend clicking here and reading on...

Sunday, November 19

life-based pursuits

Life-based activities are things we can do because we are alive. They include, for example, appreciation, empathy, friendship, love, art, music, dance, sport, parenting, looking, listening, smelling, touching, tasting, thinking, meditating, scholarship, service, etc.

Rather than diminishing with use, life-based activities tend to become stronger and more rewarding through use.

While industry is always eager to sell material accessories, life-based development tends not to require much material resources, and is not likely to inspire organized conflict. Quite the contrary. By developing human potentials, we increase our personal satisfaction and simultaneously reduce our territorial and material needs, thereby reducing the threat we might pose to others.

The more we develop our skills and abilities the more we can help others to do the same. Sports, music and other creative activities give pleasure to both participants and observers. As we develop our own inner calm, we can help others find calm in their lives. As we increase our understanding, we can help others to understand.

The satisfaction derived from life-based activities is far greater, proportional to the material required, than from inessential material consumption. The prospects for the future improve when we place more value on what we can do with our lives, rather than on the quantity of the goods we consume. If the material accessories can be avoided, a shift to life-based activities would go a long way to ease environmental distress and enable the restoration of ecosystems health.

Exerpt from: Life, Money and Illusion by Mike Nickerson

Note: If you are a NZ resident and would like a copy of this book,
please leave a comment here - as I hope to place a bulk order soon.

Saturday, November 18

first time in living memory

I just came back inside after stepping out to feel the wind that has been howling for most of the night. It is gusting over 60Km/hr, as measured by my handheld wind meter. While it is not as strong as the 120Km/hr winds of nine days ago, which shut down the Telecom Tower in the city, it is still far more than I recall.

The words, "So you don't believe in climate change?" popped into my head. I have a feeling that these more extreme weather conditions are not about to become less common anytime soon.

It prompted me to search a little of the weather records and I stumbled across this article that just came in:

Nov 17th, 2006: An iceberg has been spotted from the New Zealand shore for the first time in living memory. Courier Mail

Scientists are trying to determine where it and several other giant chunks drifting in the country's waters originated from.
Last year, icebergs were seen in New Zealand water for the first time in 56 years, but couldn't be seen from the shore. On Thursday one was visible from Dunedin on the South Island. It has since moved away, driven by winds and ocean currents.

The floating ice blocks have become a tourist attraction, as sightseers pay up to $NZ500 ($435) each to fly over the icebergs.
Theories about where on the Antarctic coastline the icebergs originated have gripped the science community.

Wednesday, November 15

China steps up

"As China grows -- at the current rate it's growing, in twenty or thirty years -- and becomes the number one largest economy in the world, I think China may become our nemesis."

Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on NPR's "Marketplace" show.

And here is a response to this statement, from unknown source:

One would think that Mr. Reich is a pretty smart guy -- former Rhodes Scholar (same class as Bill Clinton), Harvard faculty, cabinet secretary. Now, why on earth would Mr. Reich believe that China can possibly keep behaving the way it does for another two or three decades? China faces energy starvation along with the rest of the world.

China has less oil left than the United States (and the US would have roughly four years worth of oil if we were deprived of imports -- 26 billion barrels used at the rate of 7 billion a year).
There is no way that China can put another one half percent of its population behind the wheel of a car without sending its army and navy out to seize foreign oil fields -- let alone continue manufacturing toasters and Christmas tree ornaments for Americans. And Americans are not going to have the the cash to buy those things, whether or not we are actively engaged in a war for the world's remaining oil. And all this trouble is going to play out in the next decade, not in "twenty or thirty years."

Near the end of the segment, Reich repeated this inanity:
"As China, over the next twenty, thirty years, grows and prospers, a lot of Americans are gonna say, now, wait a minute. . . ! The endgame, we hope, is more and more economic integration, a Chinese middle class that is more and more prosperous, that is able to buy things from the United States, that looks a little bit more like middle-class Americans live, and therefore is not so different from us."

An arresting fantasy, isn't it? A Beijing that resembles Atlanta, full of strip malls dishing out cheeseburgers and other interesting foreign foods to Chinese soccer moms hurrying back to Toll Brother's starter homes in Chinese knockoffs of the Ford Explorer.

Note to Mr. Reich and the rest of the people he is smoking opiated hashish with: you've got it backwards. Over the next twenty, thirty years America gets to be more and more like Chinese peasant life in 1949. Why? Because neither America nor China (nor anybody else) can continue running industrial economies the way we have been, or even a substantial fraction of that way, in an energy-starved world. Nor will anybody come up with a miracle technological rescue remedy to keep all the motors humming.

PS: For the record, China is on track to put up one new coal-fired power station - to service this new energy hungry economy - every week for the next seven years! It doesnt take a genius to figure what that's going to do to our CO2 levels and the associated warming of the planet.

Sunday, November 5


This was reported last year - Jan 06, 2005
Icebergs in New Zealand waters for first time in 57 years
New Zealanders complaining about unseasonal summer rain in recent weeks have received proof of changing climatic conditions after icebergs were sighted in local waters for the first time since 1948. The icebergs were see in the Southern Ocean, about 700 kilometres southeast of the South Island, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said Thursday.

Now - Nov 04, 2006
100 Icebergs Float 260km Off Invergargill

About 100 icebergs, in two groups, have been found south of New Zealand with the first group no more than 261km south of Invercargill. The size of the largest iceberg was about 2km by 1.5km and over 130m high.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3-K Orion aircraft on a routine fisheries patrol in the southern ocean spotted the huge sheets of ice. Orion captain Squadron Leader Andy Nielsen said it was not unusual to see icebergs in the southern ocean. "We were surprised by the number of them and by how far north they were," he said.

Friday, November 3

a crude awakening

Mark Oliver is blogging today (Nov 2) and tomorrow from the 13th Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival on some of the dozens of current affairs films that are showing.

"Oil is the excrement of the devil ... oil is the bloodstream of the world economy, oil is the blood of the dinosaurs, blood of the earth."

This is from the opening of A Crude Awakening: the Oil Crash, a Swiss-made documentary, and one of the most frightening films you are ever likely to see.

A parade of oil industry experts, politicians and academics outline in shocking detail just how badly life could be impacted after the world's oil reserves have peaked - and claim we are just about at the peak now. Standards of living - not just for the developing world but also for the West - could be forced to dramatically shrink.

There is little optimism that other energy sources can fill the void, especially as China and India grow. The film points out that there is a general ignorance about how many things are derived from oil, not least plastics.

Some believe a reduced, post-oil global economy will only be able to cope with pre-oil population levels of around 2 billion people - not the forecast 9 billion by 2100. More than one person in the film talks about a looming depression of intense severity.

Dr David Goodstein, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology, says: "A graduate student asked me 'will my children ever ride in an airplane?' It was a gripping question. The answer could well be no." Matthew David Savinar, of, says that only the mega-rich 0.1% might be able to travel by cars and planes.

Dr Goodstein says that it would take 10,000 new nuclear power stations to replace the energy created by oil but even then "the world's uranium would be gone in one or two decades".

Developing hydro cell cars is important but would only temporarily slow down the end of the oil. Wind and wave power is described as offering only small contributions. Dr Goodstein is most optimistic about solar power, but says developing this technology is a huge challenge - and nobody is doing enough research right now.

Terry Lynn Karl, a peak oil expert, argues that oil is a factor in more conflicts, beyond Iraq, than people appreciate. She says that the conflict in Darfur, often described as ethnic in nature, is also about the government trying to force a group of people away from oil fields.

She also paints a gloomy picture of what is happening in Saudi Arabia, noting that the average salary has dropped from $28,000 (£14,670) to $6,000 in 10-15 years. There are fears that the Saudi regime will collapse under pressure from Islamist militants and nobody seems to doubt that the US would intervene in such a scenario. Ms Karl says that in the future there could be "war after war" overtly about oil.

Roscoe Bartlett, a scientist and Republican congressman for Maryland, says a barrel of oil can produce as much energy as 12 human beings physically working all year. It can cost just $1 to get a barrel of Iraqi oil out of the ground. Never has so much power been achieved so cheaply.

At the Sheffield festival, David Sag, chief executive of Carbon Planet, said A Crude Awakening was an important film, like Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, but you may not want to watch them both on the same day, if you don't want to be terrified.

He agreed that climate change and peak oil are related but separate disasters looming in the future. "And one of the solutions for both of them is for a massive shrinking of the economy," he said. "But who is going to vote for that?"

Friday, October 27


Derrick Jenson: One of the primary fictions that governs our lives is that we are in any meaningful sense free. Our way of life is predicated on freedom, and is freer than any other way of life that has ever existed, we tell ourselves endlessly, drearily, compulsively, as sleep-deprived we look out the window at the concrete walls of a subway tunnel, on a cattle car carrying us too slow yet too fast toward a job we do not love to make money to buy things we do not want, in a life carrying us too slow yet too fast toward an end—death—for which we are not prepared, having never really lived.

A worthy article that prompts reflection. Read it here.

Tuesday, October 24

Australia pulling out of US

Costello seeks orderly $US withdrawal
John Garnaut Economics Correspondent

October 18, 2006

TREASURER Peter Costello has called on East Asia's central bankers to "telegraph" their intentions to diversify out of American investments and ensure an orderly adjustment.

Central banks in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong have channelled immense foreign reserves into American government bonds, helping to prop up the US dollar and hold down American interest rates.

Mr Costello said "the strategy had changed" and Chinese central bankers were now looking for alternative investments.
"Of course you can have an orderly adjustment," he told reporters. "And what I would recommend is that these matters be telegraphed well in advance. I think we should begin preparing ourselves for it."

Read full article...

Monday, October 23

habeas corpus - gone

It is amazing to witness a country descend into fascism before our very eyes. The only thing that seems to make such things possible, so that we only see them when we look back fom a vantage point in history, is that human beings seem to have a remarkably short memory. We consistently fail to connect the dots and see the changes as part of a big picture.

Yesterday marked the signing of the Military Commissions Act by George W Bush and the loss of Habeas Corpus. A silent America watched in cowed silence but many, including myself, felt the first cold breath of fascism chilling our bones and the fall landscape. Last night Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, marked the death of habeas corpus with an eloquent speech which spoke to the heart of the matter. As he noted we have suffered similar temporary loses of freedoms, but we have never lost the heart of our liberty - habeas corpus which dates back to the Magna Carta in 1215. - Allen Roland

Olbermann: And lastly, as promised, a special Comment tonight on the signing of the Military Commissions Act and the loss of Habeas Corpus.

We have lived as if in a trance.

We have lived. as people in fear.

And now - our rights and our freedoms in peril - we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid of the wrong thing.

Therefore, tonight, have we truly become, the inheritors of our American legacy.

For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.

Saturday, October 21

infrastructure not being maintained

Few people know that I truly began my career as an investigative reporter with the 4-1-1 Blackout (it occurred at precisely 4:11pm) of August 14, 2003.

Jack Casazza, lifetime member of the IEEE, told me in a phone interview in 2003 that the commission that investigated the blackout was effectively involved in a cover up. Casazza has been on six such panels investigating blackouts in his career. Not once was he asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. In stark contrast, every member of the panel investigating the 4-1-1 Blackout was sworn to secrecy.

What was the big secret?

It is possible (and I believe highly likely) that the 4-1-1 Blackout was a test for the inevitable – cascading blackouts across the country: The Olduvai Gorge. No one is investing into energy infrastructure because there is not going to be enough energy to make such investments profitable. I will be commenting more on this soon. – MK

Dark Days Ahead

By Jason Leopold
Tuesday 17 October 2006
t r u t h o u t | Report

...On Monday, the North American Electric Reliability Council, an organization funded by the power industry, and that was named by federal regulators in July as the new watchdog group in charge of overseeing the rules for operating the nation's power grid, issued a grim report that confirmed an investigative story first reported by Truthout in August: three years after a devastating blackout left 50 million people in the dark in the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada for nearly three days, and forced the closure of the New York Stock Exchange, nothing substantial has been done to overhaul the country's dilapidated power grid.

"The adequacy of North America's electricity system will decline unless changes are made soon," said Rick Sergel, president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Council. "Our economy and quality of life are more reliant on electricity every day, yet the operation and planning for a reliable and adequate electricity system is becoming increasingly difficult. The transmission system requires additional investment to address reliability issues and economic impacts. Expansion and strengthening of the transmission system continues to lag demand growth and expansion of generating resources in most areas."

Today, the US power grid - three interconnected grids made up of 3,500 utilities serving 283 million people - still hangs together by a thread. The slightest glitch on the transmission superhighway could upset the smooth distribution of electricity over thousands of miles of transmission lines and darken states from Ohio to New York in a matter of seconds, bringing hospitals and airports to a standstill and putting an untold number of lives at risk.

Thursday, October 19

America - From Freedom to Fascism

I first posted information on this film back in early June. Well it has just hit the public domain. You can watch the entire film here at Google. And if you dont have time for the whole thing, then enter the search "freedom to fascism" in Google Video or You Tube. It will bring up lots of short (4-10 min) clips from the film.

I will work to get this into the Waiheke Cinema very soon! Here is the entire film...

Tuesday, October 17

oil, smoke and mirrors video

The work to reveal the facts behind the events of 9/11 continues, and as this film points out, is a pivotal issue in understanding many world events. The introduction focuses on Peak Oil and helps us see why it is understandable that we slip easily into denial of the facts - the implications are simply too great. Highly recommended...

For those who prefer to read the information contained in this video, you can do so here, in an article titled: Energy Depletion & the US Descent into Fascism, by Dale Allen Pfeiffer. You can also download the article in PDF form for printing and sharing.

New Poll of US citizens October 14th - Many adults in the United States believe the current federal government has not been completely forthcoming on the issue of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 53 per cent of respondents think the Bush administration is hiding something, and 28 per cent believe it is lying.
[That's 81% of the population questioning and wanting to know the truth]

Source: The New York Times / CBS News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 983 American adults, conducted from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8, 2006. Margin of error is 4 per cent.


Friday, October 13

biggest bomb plot in UK history

But it doesn't make the news!

Why? Because the suspects are neither Arab nor Muslim. A retired Grange dentist is accused of being part of a bomb plot after a record number of explosives were seized in a Lancashire town. David Bolais Jackson, 62, of Trent Road, Nelson, was arrested on Friday in the Lancaster area after leaving his Grange practice for the last time.

Jackson was charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose. [Notice the absence of terrorism charges] However, it is unclear who or what the intended target might have been. Police found rocket launchers, chemicals, British National Party literature and a nuclear or biological suit [!!!] at his home. Read more...

Thank you to "The Truth Shall Will Set You Free" for this article.

Monday, October 9

mind over genes

Though mass consciousness is currently imbued with the notion that genes control the character of our lives, the results of the Human Genome Project completely undermine the long held concept of genetic determinism. Once thought to be in the domain of the genes, the control of health and behavior are now dynamically linked to the environment, and more importantly, our perception of the environment.

Though mass consciousness is currently imbued with the notion that genes control the character of our lives, the results of the Human Genome Project completely undermine the long held concept of genetic determinism.Dr. Bruce Lipton, noted lecturer and cell biologist, offers exciting new information on the molecular mechanisms by which animals, from single cells to humans, transduce environmental stimuli into physiological and behavioral responses.

The newly identified cellular mechanisms include master switches through which our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs create the conditions of our body and of our place in the world. These amazing advances provide a scientific foundation for the necessity of merging allopathic, complementary and spiritual healing modalities. Evolution of this molecular mechanism provides for human consciousness and contributes to our spiritual nature.

BRUCE H. LIPTON, PH.D., is author of the best selling “The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles.” As a scientist and lecturer, Bruce formerly served as an Associate Professor of Anatomy in the School of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, where he participated in the medical curriculum as a lecturer in Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology. His laboratory research on muscular dystrophy focused on the biochemistry of cloned human stem cells. Subsequently, as a Fellow in Pathology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, his published research on cloned human cells revealed how perception controls behavior and gene activity. Bruce has taken his award-winning medical school lectures to the public and is currently a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter on topics of conscious parenting and the science of complementary medicine. To learn more of Dr. Lipton, visit

There is also a torrent file here for a one hour presentation of this information that I can highly recommend watching.

Friday, October 6

when the water is gone?

India Digs Deeper, but Wells Are Drying Up

India is using groundwater so rapidly that some areas have already run out.
In a village in Rajasthan, above, the state sends in water by train.

crisis in the amazon

Taken directly from Earth Future's web site - September 2006.


I wish you didn’t have to read such news in a small newsletter like this, when it should be hammered across the front pages of the world’s newspapers. I wish I didn’t have to write it at all.

The Amazon rainforest, home to a fifth of the planet’s plant and animal species, 200 indigenous cultures, and 30 million people, is in danger of dying.

Once, there was a river

The Amazon is in the second year of its worst drought on record. Rivers and lakes have turned to sand and mud, and millions of fish have died. Brazil’s government has declared a state of emergency across all 253 towns in the region that depend on boats for food, medicines, and fuel.

The drought is being linked to record water temperatures in the south-west Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and the constant destructive logging.

But here’s the alarming bit. Starting in 2002, Dr Dan Nepstead from the world-class Woods Hole Research Centre did an experiment in which he covered 2.5 acres of the rainforest with plastic sheets to see how it would cope when deprived of rain, and surrounded the area with sophisticated sensors.

In the first year, the trees managed okay. In the second year, they dug their roots deeper in search of water. In the third year they started dying. The tallest trees crashed to the ground, exposing the forest floor to the sun. By the end of the third year, they had released 2/3rds of the carbon dioxide they had been storing, adding it to the atmosphere’s burden. The Amazon stores 90 billion tonnes of carbon, enough to increase global warming by 50%.

If the drought continues next year, Dr Nepstead expects mega-fires to sweep across the forest. "With the trees gone, the soil will bake in the sun and the rainforest could become a desert."

If the Amazon were to die, the impact would affect the entire planet, since the hot, wet Amazon evaporates vast amounts of water that rises high into the sky, drawing in the wet north-east trade winds which pick up moisture from the Atlantic. Without the forest to absorb the water and store the carbon, much of the world would become hotter and dryer. (Thanks to Geoffrey Lean, The Independent, July 23, 2006)

Once, there was a river

The speed of deforestation is a big factor behind the drought. About a fifth of the Amazon rainforest has been razed completely, but another 22% has been logged enough to allow sun to penetrate the forest floor and dry it out. That brings the total to 42%, close to 50%, which the climate models predict to be the tipping point for the death of the Amazon.

The Amazon in happier days

Wednesday, October 4

urban agriculture

A Growing Opportunity
Urban agriculture takes root in empty lots and abandoned spaces
Don Butler

The Ottawa Citizen
June 18, 2006

Argentina's 2001 meltdown hit the city of Rosario hard. Fully 800,000 of its 1.2 million residents were plunged into poverty because of widespread unemployment caused by the economic crash.

To cope, the city, located about 300 kilometres northwest of Buenos Aires, turned to a seemingly quixotic strategy -- urban agriculture.

It turned over public land, offered tax breaks to owners of vacant lots who agreed to let poor residents grow organic produce on their property, and began to supply tools, seeds and other supplies.

Before long, more than 800 community gardens had sprung up, supporting 10,000 farmers and their families. What they didn't need for themselves, they could sell in one of seven new farmer's markets established by the city. Read on...

mutual support

Hi Helen,

I was up at 6:00 this morning to meditate, and was drawn to spend an hour transplanting seedlings from a tray into pots of six seedlings in each.

I now have 60 healthy Loose Leaf Mixed Lettuce seedlings, and to my amazement I have only taken from one fifth of the tray! Just one of those packets you sent me held 300 viable seeds. What abundance!

It was delightful contemplating what a lovely gesture of mutual support that gift of seeds from you was.

Economics is everything people do for each other. Whether actions are taken for love, barter or money, they contribute to mutual provision. I use the phrase "mutual provision" synonymously with "economics" to make it clear that the whole process is, in essence, about people taking care of each other. This reassuring perspective is often lost in the shadow of the competitive economic model now in command. To the extent that the present model no longer serves the common good, it will change as conventional wisdom recognizes the deviation. - Mike Nickerson

I have been focusing on the money systems and looking for these wonderful human gestures which will ultimately transcend and transform the money system as we know it.

Thank you,


Friday, September 29

wise words indeed

We Don't Need Them
by Joe Carpenter
November 2, 2005

But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no reason to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves, like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose, they could blow the party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely, sooner or later, it must occur to them to do it? And yet . . .
-- George Orwell, 1984

I've never understood the idea of speaking truth to power. The truth, surely, is that in almost all countries of the world, political and economic systems are designed to benefit only the rich and powerful, at the expense of those with less money and power. This is how the world works, and I see no reason to think that the powerful don't already understand that. After all, they designed it; they maintain it. They steal our money, sacrifice our children in their wars, send the poorest and most victimized among us off to jail for petty mistakes, and crush those of us who might present a real threat to the arrangement.

They know we don't like it. They don't care. They don't need to care. They also control most of our avenues of dissent. It's a very simple, very elegant design.
Meanwhile, we get angry and toddle off to tell the truth to the powerful. We have been telling them the truth for centuries. We travel to their great palaces by the hundreds of thousands, to express our anger and despair. We shout and sing and stomp and whine. We threaten. We plead. Sometimes we're beaten up, or sent to jail. It's a tradition of great courage and personal sacrifice, no doubt.

We go to tell them to stop using our money and our children and our energy and intelligence to further rob and rape and murder us. We tell them to be more respectful and compassionate. We¹re like angry but terrorized children, anxiously scolding our stern, all-powerful parents. And, in the end, we look to the Democrats or to some congressional panel or to the Supreme Court and demand that they come to our aid. As my friend Harry puts it: We¹re left in the terrible position of trying to decide which elite group will be less likely to prey on us.

Well, the government and their pals are not going to stop using and abusing us. They're not going to stop preying on us. They cannot stop! Republican or Democrat, they are rich and powerful precisely because they prey on us. They are rich because they rob us. They're robbing us right this minute. They are powerful because they dominate every aspect of our lives, because they've taken control of all the major social, political, economic, and communication systems in the world. These systems were designed to increase their wealth and power by taking both from all the rest of us.

But, we are not children, and they are not our parents. We're not little people and they are not big people. We're not insignificant and they are not significant. In fact, we do not need them.
They are very few and we, here in the US alone, are roughly 300 million. We don't need to rush out to tell the few that they are abusing the many. They already know that. We need to stand upright and walk out to tell the many that they are being slowly devoured by the few, for -- incredibly, they do not know.

We need to look to our next door neighbors, and to their next door neighbors and to the folks all along the block. We need to tell the truth to each other -- for we are the answer. While hundreds of thousands of anti-war demonstrators gathered in Washington, DC, back in September, hundreds of millions of American citizens went about their business without even a vague awareness of the protests. The media to which most of them attend barely mention such things -- obviously. And, most Americans don't live in the DC area, so they didn't see a thing.

Most Americans live in my neighborhood, or in your neighborhood. Most Americans eat breakfast right next to you in the local café. Most Americans get their car fixed at the same garage as you and I do. Most Americans visit my library, my bookstore, my grocery store, my local park -- or yours. But the rich and powerful have convinced us that we cannot -- we must not -- communicate with the people we can see and hear and touch, right here, right now.

They have convinced us that we need to travel to some government office to persuade elected officials and bureaucrats to change our world for us. The government and media drone on, endlessly, hypnotically, and convince us that if we just elect the right leaders, they'll talk to our next door neighbor for us.
Government programs, they promise us, will fix that gaping hole in the pavement right out beyond your driveway. Government will help poor Mrs. Wilson, languishing in the old, dilapidated house right across the street. Government will settle your dispute with that family right down the block. Government will take care of your neighbors who can't escape the hurricane: It's OK, just hop in the SUV and go, we¹ll take care of everything! Government will help; government will heal; government will bring us together.

That's not going to happen, of course. The elites are too busy dividing us, setting us against each other, exacerbating every animosity, every misgiving, every anxiety, however slight. They insinuate themselves into every new crack and crevice and offer convoluted, expensive legislation and bureaucracies to bring us back together again. There oughta be a law, says the old complaint. Well, there will be, to be sure -- but it will just make things worse.

We're all looking in the wrong place for reason and compassion and justice. It's not anywhere to be found in Washington, DC. It's not in governments or state houses. It's not there in that prestigious gathering of experts and big brains.
It's right here. It's wherever you are, and it's right next door and it's everywhere along your street and all around your neighborhood. It¹s in the cars that pass you on the roadways and in the shops where you buy your dog or cat food. There's no need to travel a thousand or even a hundred miles. It¹s not necessary to make the climb up to the penthouse. Our hope, our possibility -- our only hope, our only possibility, lies in the ordinary people who compose our world, who are the very stuff of our lives.

Want to change the world? Tell the truth to the plumber. Begin with the lady who hands you the stamps at the post office. Talk with the checkout people at the grocery store. Chat with the waiter at your favorite café. Speak with the cops who sit down at the next table. Gab for a few minutes with the guy who changes your oil or with the elementary school teacher with whom you¹ve been discussing your child's future. Lean out of your window while stopped at the light and tell the truck driver some truth he's certain to recall and ponder.

Feel the need to march? Gather a bunch of folks and wander about your neighborhoods with signs and leaflets. When people walk by, stop and gab with them. When that huge guy with the Hemi-powered Ram pulls alongside and tells you to "love it or leave it," ask him to stay and talk. Smile, offer your hand, make nice. He's one of us. He'd make a wonderful ally. When a carload of high school jocks slows to offer some single-fingered communication, hand them some cold colas and tell them about the probability of a draft. They're our people, too. Convince yourself that this is so, then convince them.

Get together with like-minded people and think of simple, brief, meaningful ways to communicate with the folks all around you. Think about little things, easy things, immediate things. Think about what you can do together, and what you might accomplish alone. Think about your real day-to-day life, and how many opportunities there are to educate and enlighten, every day. Blab and babble and blunder and tell the truth, one ordinary person at a time.

We're all ordinary people, and we are our only hope. Tell the truth to the guy who pumps out the septic tank -- he's one of us! Forget about telling the government, forget about the hot shots.
To the extent that we believe we need them, exactly to that extent will we continue our dependence upon ruthless, murderous plunderers, people entirely opposed to our needs and deepest longings. As long as we believe we need them, exactly that long will we live life on our knees, begging -- as Mickey Z. says -- for crumbs from their table.

The depth of our apparent need is the measure of their height above us. The nightmare of our poverty is our dream that they have a right to take our money. The illusion of our impotence is the chimera of their monstrous strength. We shall be slaves as long as we're convinced that we have masters, and not one moment longer. Time to wake up, time to grow up. We're not children.

We do not need to ask permission to live like sane, reasonable, thoughtful, compassionate human beings. We do not need to beg or bow or kneel. We do not need to look to government or to experts or to the rich and famous. Whatever we need, we can get it ourselves. Whatever we want to stop -- we can stop it ourselves. Whatever must be done, we can do it ourselves. We do not need them; we need each other.
All else is distraction and delusion.

Joe Carpenter is a guy living in Southern Oregon who has traveled extensively and kept his eyes open. He can be reached at:

Monday, September 25

world trade centre collapses

This documentary, recently posted by its makers on google video, must surely be the most professional undoing of the official story. A calm, gently spoken female voice explains in easy to understand terms, each detail of the collapse of the three towers. 90 minutes of pure demolition evidence and analysis, laced with staggering witness testimonials. Moving from "the myth" through "the analysis" and into "the players," careful deconstruction of the official story set right alongside clean, clear science. Compelling viewing.

You can watch it here in small size, or go to this link at Google video and watch it at full screen size.

You will need a broadband link unless you are very patient. If you don't have broadband and want to have a cinema night in my yurt, let me know and I can set it up. I have watched so many different accounts of what happened that day, and still I am taken aback at the level and persistence of the cover up, that has mostly kept this story out of the corporate media.

By the time you have watched this, any lingering faith in those media sources will be be in tatters. Turn off the TV, do your own research. All the information is out there, the internet is a great resource as long as it lasts. I see growing numbers of people stepping off the treadmill and coming together to create a new society. Don't wait to be told what the truth is, or told what to do.

Be the change you want to see in the world. -
Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, September 23

why we will succeed

Why We Will Succeed at creating sustainable ways to live.

Creatures with far less capability than humans have lived on Earth for tens of millions of years. We should expect no less.

This link looks at qualities that should enable our kind to live on Earth until the sun burns out. It also identifies why our prospects sometimes look bleak.

Why Humans Should Survive:

  • Thumbs: our ability to hold, carry and otherwise manipulate objects enables a vast array of actions.
  • Observation: our senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste are well developed. When aided by telescopes, microscopes, geiger-counters, spectrometers, thermometers and other technical extensions, our ability to notice what is going on around us is extraordinary.
  • Pattern Recognition: we have a highly developed ability to recognize patterns in the observations we make. This leads to understanding and makes it possible to predict many consequences of events and actions.
  • Memory: we have a well developed ability to remember past observations which we can compare with present information for problem solving.
  • Communication: not only can individuals share observations and understanding directly with each other; through print and other recording media, information can be passed to large numbers of people. Recorded information has the added advantage of being able to pass knowledge forward through time.
  • Creativity: we can take the extraordinary amount of information available to us and use it to plan actions and to make things.

Read on...

Thursday, September 21

finance & petro collapse

I have copied the following in its entirety from Peak Oil News and Message Board - James

-- 0 ---

This post is about the coming social quake about to transform the entire world like nothing ever before.

I have often said that Peak Oil will go down as the biggest event in human history since Noah's Flood. And I have said that it is a paradox that hardly anybody noticed either one before it was too late. And I said that the big shift downwards will happen on the pin prick of public opinion because the fundamentals and the trends are already beyond the pale.

People have asked me when will that pin prick take place.

My answer, before today, was less clear. But today I say - "Very soon now, my evidence is in the newsletters of Stock Brokers!"

Thesis -

Stock Brokers get their money by watching trends. They capitalize on trends for a profit. The most profitable trends to watch are the big ones that are relatively not known.

So when popular investment newsletters from mainstream brokers like Martin Weiss started talking about Peak Oil last year, I understood that we are one step closer to awakening of Peak Oil in society. When they finish artificially depressing energy prices pre-mid-term elections, then we will see a continuation of that awakening as stock brokers give more advice, spreading their successful investment ideas and winning big in energy and commodity futures (all commodities are made with oil and gas energy). So this awareness will spread more quickly with the stock broker class involved and that's good news.

More good news - Stock brokers are talking about the obvious false flag 911 black op given to us by our terrorist government. Well, OK they aren't using that terminology yet but the newsletter I saw brought relevant issues into a sensible questioning process. Click here for the newsletter, scroll second story down...

And as most of you know by now, when you start questioning 911 authentically, you will start finding out who are the real terrorists. So this trend has been initiated and stock brokers can make a lot of money shorting the US currency and energy-intensive markets as this whole economic curtain of OZ... this wizardry of derivatives and baseless paper fascade goes bust at the seams.

What to watch next: As popular opinion begins to accept the possibility of Peak Oil and 911 false flag, then attention will go to economic fundamentals. But there are none. Zero. It is a cardboard box being propped up by paper and customer confidence and the plunge protection team and fractional reserve banking. All of these frauds are doomed to fail and fail they will on the pin prick of popular opinion. And I think the stock brokers will push popular opinion over the edge.

More good news for lovers of the truth... another VIDEO, yeah!

Alex Jones on INN discussing the new populist movement that has the elites running scared because their traditional divisions of left-right are being shattered by the truth movement. Good stuff.

"The Man" is shocked!

And now this... from the unstoppable Michael Chussudovsky of the respected "Global Research" in Canada.

Hide your children, lock up your gold bars, load your guns, run for the hills... the corporations and government are planning a prison economy in North America.

Don't believe me, just think about it.

Surely, our leaders won't just roll over and let a predictable situation cause them to lose their grip on power.

Don't read this if you want to think that Peak Oil crash is just about using less electricity and driving less miles.

My prediction is out there for everyone to see regarding commodities and society especially. Petrocollapse will include a massive effort towards consolidation power even as energy deficits categorically include a wipeout of what we call the middle class in the US, leading logically from our current surveilence state to the next stage: Police State and then finally to and a new slavery economy in the US, possibly spreading throughout much of the world.

Lesson: We didn't become civilized because of our enlightened state of mind. We just found out that taxing the use of energy-slaves was more profitable than having people-slaves. That trend will reverse. And I dearly hope I am wrong about this. But I regret to say that the trends are obvious, ominous and obnoxiously onwardly progressing.

Modern slavery in North America. A prison economy. Michael Chussudovsky helps lift the curtain on that rising beast.

This is not good news. But it is a fact that North America is trending towards a fascist plutocracy. Gauging the trends is step one. Implementing strategy is the goal. Developing a sound strategy is what you might want to do very soon.

Best wishes and God Bless - Tate


Further reading:
Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs and the Defense Establishment: Militarization and the Deconstruction of North America

by Michel Chossudovsky