Friday, June 30

local initiatives

Thanks to everyone for continued support to the community garden and the food exchange stall.

Roberta and Millicent attended the
food exchange stall last weekend and had a stead flow of produce being exchanged as well as a healthy volume of interest in the concept of sharing in our abundance. This week Robin is back on the stall, which will continue to be setup inside the hall for these winter months - though it will be nice to be back outside when the warmer weather returns.

Several keen volunteers who have been moving a large stack of donated bricks from a house in Kennedy Point to the community garden over the last couple of weeks.

Why bricks?

Initially we thought it would be fun to create some bordered areas - such as a spiral herb garden. Then I got in contact with Grant Steven, who refers to himself as a biological gardener working with intensive gardening systems on a large scale in the Bay of Islands. Grant has developed a system for raised bed gardens which is proving very effective, and has offered to use his moulds and help us to set up some raised beds in the community garden - which is where the bricks can be helpful.

You can meet Grant at the Waiheke Community Cinema on July 4th (7:30pm) when we are screening The End of Suburbia, a film that is a very clear introduction to Peak Oil. Grant is actively involved in helping to communicate about Peak Oil (he is well versed on this subject) and helping people to see that we need to be localising - growing our food much closer to home. The years of the 3,000 mile Ceaser Salad are coming to an end.

It feels good to use this garden as an example of different growing methods, and having some intensive raised bed gardens here, next to the market, will be an opportunity for more people to learn different methods of intensive food growing on any small piece of sunny ground they may have access to.

Dave from
Waiheke Couriers, who owns the land we are growing on, continues to be incredibly supportive of our work in the garden and is happy for us to develop these raised intensive beds, and such like. On behalf of all of us, many thanks to you Dave, your generosity does not go unnoticed.

Monday, June 26

grow food at home

The maturation of Matt Simmons, energy-industry investment banker and peak oil guru

Source and entire article

"Maybe the enemy is us... Grow food at home." - Matthew R. Simmons, June 20, 2004, at the Pentagon-sponsored seminar series Energy: A Conversation About Our National Addiction

It does not take long for people who study peak oil to see some heavy implications of the end of abundant oil. After a while some of the more realistic probabilities become clear and often become one's main topic of conversation.

The possibilities, dangers and opportunities start motivating one to change his or her life.
But it takes more than the few years that most students of peak oil today have under their belts for the stark picture to come into clear focus. It helps if one has grounding in the petroleum industry, but it's all too rare; people in extractive industries seldom seem to show they care for the greater welfare of the world. And those who don't want to believe there is now - or soon will be - an historic crisis regarding the peaking of world oil extraction are often 100% wedded to the status quo. It is left, then, for many a non petroleum professional to hold forth and help lead us...

...Matt Simmons is a man who has reflected on the waste of energy that ordinarily would be delightful for any businessman in energy. But he wryly complains of "blueberries in Maine imported from Chile even during blueberry season." Likewise for the nation’s infrastructure: "You can tear up the roads," he said, to stop the wasteful trucking and start barging on water, to save 35 times as much energy. He mentions rail also as a major replacement for our highways, as freight by rail saves 8 times the energy. He would know, however, that today’s volume of trade cannot fit on existing railcars and barges, and that there’s little likelihood that the nation’s infrastructure can change quickly enough for the peak oil timetable...

...And when is peak? "Realistically, we’re probably at peak now. If not, production will fall faster later" as a result of rising demand. This definitive conclusion is from a data specialist on the main assets of the petroleum industry: reserves and the whole industry’s ability to extract, refine and distribute at a profit. He is not surprised that peak is here, nor that we are caught unprepared. He offers his audiences instances of the public and leaders ignoring past warnings, such as M. King Hubbert’s on the peaking of domestic and global oil extraction...

...Given what Simmons knows, and speaking to a largely Pentagon audience sprinkled with Republicans from Capitol Hill, it was surprising to hear him confidently inform us that "A call to arms may be wrong. We may not even know who the enemy is. And maybe the enemy is us." In Simmons’ PowerPoint presentation he refers to "phony wars."...

...He concluded, "Grow food at home."

the paradigm is the enemy

“Perhaps the greatest flaw in the Peak Oil movement’s current operating paradigm is that, a part of the movement at least, instead of building lifeboats in the face of an immediate disaster, is delusionally focused on trying to build alternative-powered luxury liners that operate just like the paradigm we as a species need to be abandoning.

Not only is this a futile effort, it may well be responsible for killing or destroying the lives of people who at least partially understand Peak Oil and who are trying to find the best courses of immediate action for themselves and their families.”

Michael Ruppert, THE PARADIGM IS THE ENEMY, Speech delivered at the Local Solutions to the Energy Dilemma Conference, April 29, 2006

Sunday, June 25

CO2 - We call it life

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has produced two 60-second television spots focusing on the alleged global warming crisis and the calls by some environmental groups and politicians for reduced energy use.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of free enterprise and limited government. We believe that individuals are best helped not by government intervention, but by making their own choices in a free marketplace. Since its founding in 1984, CEI has grown into a $3,000,000 institution with a team of over 20 policy experts and other staff.

We are nationally recognized as a leading voice on a broad range of regulatory issues-from free market approaches to environmental policy, to antitrust and technology policy, to risk regulation...

Follow the money.

Friday, June 23

conversation and dialogue

From Transition Culture, yet another poignant article/interview. . .

What are the skills we need to learn and the training & education we need to put in place to respond to peak oil?

We really need to understand the value, and give a value, to loosening up our minds, becoming curious rather then certain, being interested beyond the polarities of the differences, being really interested in how someone else experiences this issue, or any issue. You can educate people into becoming more curious, but it's a serious process. We're certainly not doing in our schools, we're not doing it in our organizations where we just want people to make snap decisions, we want children to give instant simplistic answers…

If you are interested in the subject of effective dialogue, you can read an excerpt and download a full 80 page document here.

Thursday, June 22

food security

Unfortunately it may take catastrophic change before people ask themselves the most important question of the 21st Century: "“How are we going to eat" Michael Kane, a writer From The Wilderness

Does this look to you, like something
that will continue into the coming decades?

World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption:
Grain Prices Starting to Rise

by Lester R. Brown - Earth Policy Institute
June 15, 2006

This year's world grain harvest is projected to fall short of consumption by 61 million tons, marking the sixth time in the last seven years that production has failed to satisfy demand. As a result of these shortfalls, world carryover stocks at the end of this crop year are projected to drop to 57 days of consumption, the shortest buffer since the 56-day-low in 1972 that triggered a doubling of grain prices.

Further comment on this issue is very telling, and comes from Energy Bulletin, one of my favourite energy sites:

World grain consumption has risen in each of the last 45 years except for three—1974, 1988, and 1995—when tight supplies and sharp price hikes lowered consumption (See Figure). Growth in world grain demand, traditionally driven by population growth and rising incomes, is also now being driven by the fast growing demand for grain-based fuel ethanol for cars.

Roughly 60 percent of the world grain harvest is consumed as food, 36 percent as feed, and 3 percent as fuel. While the use of grain for food and feed grows by roughly 1 percent per year, that used for fuel is growing by over 20 percent per year.

Grain is one of the basic calorie crops which make up a large part of the Western diet. We have become used to shelves stocked with long distance foods. While we can relatively easily grow a few veges, learning to grow our food, in particular the larger volume of calorie crops will be the challenge in a low energy future. We will need to devote larger areas of land to organic production - this will mean more effort and labour especially in the early phase as we regenerate the soil which has been made effectively dead through the use of fossil-fuel chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers.

culture change

The Whole Human Being: a "new" and savvy citizen for our times
Written by Jan Lundberg
Culture Change Letter #133 - June 20, 2006

In this time of mounting threat to our species and the entire biosphere, our weakness seems to come down to individualism and materialism.

. . . Our idea of what is necessary to survive has broadened materially and technologically. So not only is happiness no longer achieved by pursuing selfishness as individuals and materialists, our very survival is in question if we keep going with today’s extreme forms of individualism and materialism.

. . . Meanwhile, amassing knowledge of sustainable living is only prudent in a time of overspecialization and high vulnerability to complex systems and unaccountable, distant authorities. Although consumers may be too dense and lazy today to change proactively to deal with the fact that local food production is wise when the average piece of food travels 1,500 miles, we may have to write off these unfortunate folks for the moment as we go about preparing our own closer relationship with nature. We are too fragile and out of touch, much like those in a 1960s song who have "arms that can only lift a spoon." We must also work on our relationships with each other:

The reforming of tribes has been going on right under consumer society’s nose since the 1960s; a few aware people are biding their time. So, we must continue trying to come together as neighbors, families, band members, comrades, and communitarians. The answers are not waiting for us on the desks of government officials, nor in corporate advertising campaigns or news programs.

Every decade the modern man is appreciably weaker. He is more dependent on technology and has less wild nature around him. He is less likely to use basic, traditional skills to accomplish something for himself. Instead, he can buy it. He has less family around to participate in an activity, as other family members can be elsewhere being good consumers, students, workers or soldiers. He is more likely to be alone and is surrounded by plastic claptrap. What he thinks he needs to know is less likely to be found in his head or in others’ heads such as his elders’; he gets it from a computer...

It goes on and I cut out a lot, but I gotto get out of this computer and go and grow some veges!!

waiheke cinema rocks

If you are in Auckland or Waiheke (New Zealand) you may want to diary these films that are screening on the 4th and the 18th of July at the Waiheke Island Community Cinema.

Three important and relevant films will screen two weeks apart, at the cinema. The first two address some of the problems associated with Peak Oil. The last film offers inspiring examples of some solutions and opportunities which will arise from it.

-------- Tue July 4th, 7:30pm --------

The End of Suburbia
We are witnessing one of the major
societal changes of a lifetime,

brought on by the end of cheap oil.
78 mins

-------- Tue July 18th, 7:30pm --------

Peak Oil - Imposed by Nature
Condenses a lot of important and
compelling information into a clear
introduction to the global oil decline.
30 mins

Followed by...

The Power of Community
Shows how Cuba responded to its
"peak oil" and economic collapse
which occurred suddenly in 1989.

60 mins

You can be certain of some lively disussion
following the screening of these films.

Wednesday, June 21

climate change is out

Investors Seek Climate Change Information

By The New York Times
Thursday, June 15, 2006

Investors worried about the possible financial fallout from greenhouse gas emissions have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that companies disclose their financial vulnerability to changes in climate.

Yesterday, a group of 27 investors who collectively manage more than $1 trillion in assets sent a letter to the S.E.C. chairman, Christopher Cox, asking that financial risks linked to climate change issues be included as part of routine corporate financial reports.

The letter, whose signers included several state officials, including the New York Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, defines risk broadly.

"Investors have a right to know if a company's buildings are in the path of hurricanes that might be exacerbated by climate change, or if it will face high costs when greenhouse gas emissions are regulated," said James Coburn, a policy adviser at Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups that sent the letter. "They need that information to reduce their portfolio risk."

Just as important, Mr. Coburn said, companies that are forced to quantify and disclose their vulnerabilities are far more likely to address them. "What is measured is managed," he said.

Mr. Coburn said Ceres faxed the letter to Mr. Cox, and sent e-mail copies to several staff members. It has also mailed copies to the chairman and commissioners.

A spokesman for the S.E.C., John Heine, said the agency had no comment at this time.

Tuesday, June 20

Shanghai surprise

Shanghai - with a population of 17,000,000 at 2000,
I can imagine why they might be getting nervous
about securing energy supplies.

At the one day annual summit of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on June 15, more limelight fell on the leader of an observer country than on any of the main participants. That figure happened to be the controversial president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Despite the lowly observer status accorded to his country, Ahmadinejad went on to publicly invite the SCO members to a meeting in Tehran to discuss energy exploration and development in the region. And the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, proposed that the SCO should form an "energy club".

While making a plea that his country should be accorded full membership of the SCO, the Pakistani president, Parvez Musharraf, highlighted the geo-strategic position of his country as an energy and trade corridor for SCO members. "Pakistan provides a natural link between the SCO states to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia," he said.

Given this, the old adage "money talks" ought to be modified to "oil talks".

Late addition to this story: The US has been refused observer status to the SCO.

It goes on, but you get the idea. The following comment to this article was rather succint, and I thought you might enjoy it...

Everybody's far too busy watching football or bashing Muslims. Meanwhile, Japan and the SCO are arm-wrestling for the destiny of 4 billion Asians and over $18 trillion of GDP. ASEAN countries are preparing for an Asian currency. By the time the US and EU finally tire of their crusade against Muslims, they will find that they have become largely irrelevant in world affairs.

We might be well advised to look at more
local currency options.

a new, healthy money system


The CES did start out as a new software package for a single trading group in Cape Town, South Africa. Its success soon attracted the attention of others and similar groups were set up all over South Africa. Later it got adopted in New Zealand and now it is operating in seven countries worldwide. Our vision is that CES should become a co-operative project and that it should do what its users want it to do.

Although I have prescribed above how LETS groups that have adopted CES should operate, there are no rules. CES can be used as a software package to run a single group in the traditional way, or we can develop it together to create a really effective, new money system.

This document is meant as an appeal to those attending this conference to adopt the grand vision of the founders of CES. That is, we are doing this because we believe the present global money system is at the root of most of the social, economic, political and environmental problems that confront us today. We can only begin to tackle these problems if we have a money system that places the ‘money power’ in the hands of the people who use it. We can build this new money system if we work together and share resources. That way we will ensure that we build something adaptable and scalable, that caters for all our needs and achieves the ultimate goal of creating a new, healthy money system.

Tim Jenkin, CES

Monday, June 19

politics or self help

A friend wrote last night expressing his, understandable frustration about the slowness of the political leaders to respond to the facts of Peak Oil,and their failure to begin paving the way for new means of providing for the necessities of life. It grew out of a conversation around some documentary films on Cuba (The Power of Community, and The Greening of Cuba), who had their Peak Oil moment back in 1989.

The films tell how the average Cuban lost several pounds of body fat before their food growing efforts yielded fruit, but they came through and met the challenge in creative and innovative ways. They moved away from fossil fuel dependent agriculture and turned to permaculture and organics. There is much we can learn from them. One of these films is being screened at the Waiheke Community CInema on July 18th.

This is my letter in response to my friend's outpouring of frustration:

The Greens, Labour, ACT, National, and any others that may come along are part of an old system that I have been saying for some time is broken and is not supposed to be fixed. It is based on old models of working which don't (work) anymore. They assume a top down management model that wont work.

I dont waste my energy supporting or fighting them, but prefer to channel it into creating the bottom up foundational systems which will grow and thrive as the old systems collapse. As people wake up and see the extent to which they have been lied to by their leaders, they tend to express anger first, but then they look for other ways to function, operate, interact, live and get their needs met.

I dont believe that pointing fingers at Bush, or Cheney, Clark or any other 'leader' does anything more than postpone the inevitable moment when we wake up and realise that we are the responsible party. Looking to someone in a 'leadership' position and demanding they fix things is a form of giving away power. Me weak, you strong, you big powerful person fix this problem for poor powerless me.

The entire system that is consuming the final supplies of oil is being encouraged by those people, yes to be sure. But it is we the people who are filling our tanks, buying the produce which has travelled around the globe to get to our table, after being fertilised and pesticided and packaged to get there. As we wake up and do things differently we buy out of that system and withdraw our suppport for it.

Now it could move faster if 'leaders' got on board and helped educate the masses, who are asleep, because they continue to be fed world cup football and told that everything is fine - just keep consuming. But then those people would remain in the same position of being manipulated by whatever the latest message is. And this moment seems to be about awakening from the slumber and becoming self-aware and aware of our inter-dependent place in the totality of humanity.

My reading of the situation is that there will be a significant die-off of the human population. We have found a food/energy source that has enabled us to explode our population - it has doubled in my lifetime. Now that food/energy source has peaked and we are on the downward slide, and with it will surely come a reduction in the population that depends on it.

Some realise this, and are stepping back from dependence on oil as an energy/food source, and I would rather put my time into supporting and working with those people, than struggle to wake up those who are fast asleep.

Good news about the thermette - thanks for the prompt, I will put this on my preparedness list.



Friday, June 16

circuses, fire and love

It began for me when I received a phone call from Daring Donna a few weeks ago, inviting me to co-create an event for 45 people who were coming over to Waiheke for some team building. This was followed by a couple more phone conversations, then the "serious" fun meeting 10 days before the event was to happen, at a cafe in Auckland. That was when the six of us agreed on the basic format of helping them to create a circus, which they would then perform at a free-to-public event. As we sat around the table, I imagined helping support this team by bringing a web based project software (Basecamp) into the mix, and showing how it could be used by everyone involved.

As the days passed, through the weekend and the days leading up to the event, I began to see the project growing and taking form. You can browse through this and a range of other projects by clicking here and logging in with the name: ccguest, and password: ccguest. When you get in, check out the various tabs at the top of the page. The event was huge success, due to a lot of different factors.

I was particularly delighted, in seeing how this collaboration tool was supporting the project that itself was occurring in an environment of a high level of trust, clearly evident between the co-creators. I choose to see this as an example of how we can operate when we have turned from Empire to Earth Community. From the assumption that the world is a place of competition, domination, top down management and scarcity, to the world as a place of conscious individuals, acknowledging inter-dependence, love, caring, celebration of life.

As the urgency of our situation (dependence on a finite oil supply) becomes more apparent, a wide range of responses will manifest, from denial, to panic, self-protection, anger, and for some - acceptance. Those who accept the situation can then begin the process of building the new society.

I spoke with a friend, in Nelson, who has been studying Peak Oil for almost a decade now and who understands very well the implications of it. As we talked I sensed his deep and understandable frustration that people don't get it - that denial is still so prevalent. How to move things forward? A section from Michael Ruppert's film "Denial Stops Here" came to mind, in which he expresses that in his earlier career as a policeman he had been in situations where he had to choose who was going to live and who was going to die. Some people will remain in denial and that is just the way it is. We need to work with those who have accepted the situation. These people are ready to make changes and herein lies the opportunity.

Imagine regional networks of people all making creative local changes, then feeding ideas for what is working in their area into a "Things that work place" from where they can draw more good ideas from other regions. Like starting a campfire on a cold winters night, beginning with the small pieces of dry grass, and slowly adding a few twigs as the flames start to take hold. It's important to give people small projects to begin with, and not to smother the fire by loading up too much material until it takes hold.

Here on Waiheke we have had a food exchange stall at the Saturday market. It is a simple concept, easy to embrace, where people bring the excess produce (fruits, vegetables, preserves) from their gardens and share it with others. Sometime people make donations if they wish, but money is not a pre-requisite for receiving from the abundance. The stall is also supported by the community garden, which people put effort into and from which we draw excess. This is one simple idea, which can be initiated in any community, and it can become a focal point for conversation.

There are other initiatives which I can describe - but my point is the process by which these ideas can be shared across regions. If you would like to share ideas that have worked in your region add a comment to this post, with your email, and I can send you an invitation to participate in a Basecamp project where we can share these ideas across the country and beyond.

Each of these new expressions of a healthy, caring society can, like the sticks and finally the logs on the fire, generate the heat which consumes our denial and warms us with vision for a brighter future.

why I remain an optimist

This is one of seven reasons that Elisabet Sahtouris offers to explain why she remains an optimist. You can download a PDF of the entire document here. And a 60 minute power point presentation of her key and liberating ideas are part of the documentary collection that can be found here.

The various emphasis are mine...

Every culture has a creation story that gives meaning, purpose, and guidance to its people.

While priesthoods of one sort or another traditionally told these stories, an experiment with secular democratic states has been underway for the past few centuries. Making these secular states work has been an ongoing experiment not only in achieving democratic governance but also in the even more fundamental experiment of having science, rather than religion, provide the great story of how things work in our universe and on our planet to guide people’s lives.
The scientific creation story we’ve known, at its simplest, has come from physics and biology. Physics gave us a nonliving, accidental, purposeless, and meaningless universe, running down to its death by entropy, and biology doomed us to endless struggle in scarcity as nature’s way of evolution—and thus our own human nature.

This soulless materialist science scenario must be the most depressing creation story ever told. Yet our culture has created our reality from it, practicing scientific opposition to religion, believing we must get what we can while we can (usually at someone else’s expense), building a now worldwide win/lose capitalist economy of cutthroat competition, and making material consumption the dominant lifestyle people have or aspire to have. What made us believe this story would lead to the glorious golden age envisioned by the founding fathers of science for more than
a handful of people?

It suggested exactly what we got:
things running down, ravaged environments, failure to eliminate grinding poverty, the continued terror of warfare, and amazing technological things that blind most of us to this overall picture.
Some of us, however, see the present situation as a huge opportunity, ripe for creating the future we truly desire, and our optimism comes from information that science itself has recently produced—information that is more compatible with the hopeful creation stories of other cultures, especially consciousness-based Eastern cosmologies.

This new story explains how the universe is not running down, because entropy is balanced by syntropy, and we point out that species can and do learn how inefficient and expensive competition is compared with the collaboration nature demonstrates in the abundance of unspoiled rainforests, prairies, and coral reefs.

Seen in retrospect, every crisis on our planet has created the stress that became an opportunity for further evolution. Whether a planetwide extinction, an ice age, or a locally destroyed ecosystem, disaster has always been followed by the sudden appearance of many new or previously suppressed species. Nature is conservative when things go well but radically creative when they don’t, and from my perspective, is far too intelligent to proceed by accident!

For my broader cosmic model, I begin with Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela’s definition of life as autopoietic (self-creating). By this definition, any entity continually creating and maintaining itself in relation to its environment is alive. The entire universe, from atoms to galaxies, is a self-creating living system by this definition, since all universal objects create and maintain themselves from the vacuum field, with planetary life the most complex result of this overall process.

There is no reason why the data of scientific research cannot be reinterpreted in this new framework composed of different assumptions about the basic nature of our universe. After all, the foundational assumptions of science that nature is nonliving, nonconscious, nonintelligent, thus purposeless and meaningless, are unprovable beliefs stemming from a particular historical context of reaction against religion, prior to which all nature had been seen as alive.

Changing these assumptions will enhance our understanding of scientific findings, as well as reduce the entirely unnecessary rift between science and spirituality. Moreover, it gives us the life-sustaining creation story we need—a story that inspires and encourages our rapid maturation, knowing that nature is on our side in this learning process.

Elisabet Sahtouris, PHD, is a member of the World Wisdom Council and a fellow of the World Business Academy. Her numerous venues include the World Bank, State of the World Forum, and the World Parliament. Her books include EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution, and her Web sites are and She is currently at work on a book about global warming. You can watch video clips of her speaking to this subject here.

Monday, June 12


My brother and I collaborated on a Preparedness Checklist over the weekend. We used a simple but very functional web tool called Writeboards, which are free and fun to use.

Then this morning, after a stormy night the power went out across Auckland. Some areas were out for a big chunk of the day. It was a reminder of how much we rely on electricity and a prompt to get a few things together to make life easier if the power goes out more often as we enter into a low-energy future.

I suspect the transition may not be smooth and graceful.

Sunday, June 11

wise women

In this urgent time - when the elite are destroying the life-giving planet in their blind rush to aquire the planet's resources and secure their fortressed retreats, and when people at the grassroots are stepping out of their isolation shackles and coming together to engage the real work of creating a new and sustainable way of living - we can use a little inspiration and vision.

The video is a few minutes clipped from a presentation in which she describes the previous major revolutions - Agricultural, Industrial and now The Great Turning and how we can participate in it.


Joanna Macy: Each of us can develop our own list of attitudes and actions that help us take part in this revolution. Here are five that have helped me:

Come from Gratitude
To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe--to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it--is a wonder beyond words. Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Furthermore, it is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world.

Don't be Afraid of the Dark
This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don't be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, for these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings. To suffer with is the literal meaning of compassion.

Dare to Vision
Out of this darkness a new world can arise, not to be constructed by our minds so much as to emerge from our dreams. Even though we cannot see clearly how it's going to turn out, we are still called to let the future into our imagination. We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished in our hearts..

Roll up your Sleeves
Many people don't get involved in the Great Turning because there are so many different issues, which seem to compete with each other. Shall I save the whales or help battered children? The truth is that all aspects of the current crisis reflect the same mistake, setting ourselves apart and using others for our gain. So to heal one aspect helps the others to heal as well. Just find what you love to work on and take joy in that. Never try to do it alone. Link up with others; you'll spark each others' ideas and sustain each others' energy..

Act your Age
Since every particle in your body goes back to the first flaring forth of space and time, you're really as old as the universe. So when you are lobbying at your congressperson's office, or visiting your local utility, or testifying at a hearing on nuclear waste, or standing up to protect an old grove of redwoods, you are doing that not out of some personal whim, but in the full authority of your 15 billions years.

Thursday, June 8

from freedom to fascism

"FOUR STARS" (Highest Rating).The scariest goddamn film you'll see this year. It will leave you staggering out of the theatre, slack-jawed and trembling. Makes 'Fahrenheit 9/11' look like 'Bambi.' After watching this movie, your comfy, secure notions about America -- and about what it means to be an American -- will be forever shattered.

Producer/director Aaron Russo and the folks at Cinema Libre Studio deserve to be heralded as heroes of a post-modern New American Revolution. This is shocking stuff. You'll be angry, you'll be disgusted, but you may actually break out in a cold sweat and feel a sickness deep in your gut."

--- Todd David Schwartz, CBS

rabbit mountain

I was thrilled to see this initiative! It speaks volumes to me, of the potential of human societies to meet our needs in a mutually supportive and creatives ways, that minimise our impact on this fragile planet'’s resources.

The Rabbit Mountain Relocalization Map is an experiment designed to support relocalization efforts by mapping local, sustainable business and organizations in Europe and North America (other regions are still under development). It is used by adding markers for farmerÂ’s markets, CSAs, organic farms, community banks, and other sustainable local businesses in your area, no matter where you live.

If you want to see a couple of examples from Waiheke Island (NZ), go to the locations tab, choose the "“collapse all" option, then drill down under New Zealand. Once you click on the organisation you want it will centre itself on the map. Once there you can move the slider to zoom in and change from Satelite to Map to let you view the streets. Simply click and drag on the map itself to move it around for a better view.

I originally stumbled across this concept on Paula'’s Blog.

By all accounts it was not a huge job to put this together. Paula has done most of the work herself, and there was minimal cost involved. It'’s a great use of technology. It could be helpful in finding our needs closer to home - something we'’ll be doing more of in the coming years.


Helen Dew (Living Economies NZ), sent me this news today.

The info stall at the Green Party AGM was very successful. I sold quite a few books and gave out lots of info. I was delighted to hear Russell Norman say in his speech that the party needs to promote green economics!

This was also echoed by the leader of the Young Greens. The level of interest in our books and message was significantly higher this year than it had been at 2004 AGM, when very few attended our power-point presentation or showed interest in our wares. This year lots of people stopped to talk and I returned home with 2 1/2 pages of contacts to follow up.

More evidence of The Great Turning!


Monday, June 5

global warming a big hit

The big production film on Global Warming, An Inconvenient Truth, is racing up the charts!

If you compare other films and how many theatres each film is screening in, this is quite remarkable. In only its second week of release, and playing in only a miserable 77 theatres, it has managed to climb to 9th position - based on last week's gross box office takings! Let's see how many cinemas try and grab for this one next week!

Update 23 June: It's at 12 place and now in 404 cinemas.

I'm betting the Waiheke Community Cinema will be getting this one as soon as it becomes available.

Sunday, June 4

my world for a garden

It turns out that having asked for permission from their US captives to have a food garden and having been refused, a group of prisoners have made their own garden, within the camp.

cracks in the cultural trance

In the prologue of David Kortens' new book he writes:
...the power of the institutions of economic and political domination depends on their ability to perpetuate a falsified and inauthentic cultural trance based on beliefs and values at odds with reality. Break the trance, replace the values of an inauthentic culture with values of an authentic culture grounded in a love of life rather than a love of money, and the people will realign their life energy and bring forth the life-serving institutions of a new era. The key is to change the stories by which we define ourselves.
This is the same trance that Richard Moore so eloquently detailed in his "Escaping the Matrix" that I reviewed back in February.

This week's NZ Herald World section offered a headline: "Coming Next: Fake news from the USA" - a wonderful expose of the Video News Clips being produced by government and big business which is being passed off as official news. See Orwell Rolls in His Grave for George Orwell's insight into this process.

In the same paper was a funny-if-it-wasn't-so-sad description of a new marketing tool being used to sell homes in America. The vendors employ actors to play out the perfect suburban husband wife and two kids scenario that some prospective buyers, while knowing it is an illusion, are so moved they want to buy the home - buy the illusion!

The illusion is delicious, consoling, comforting, and beguiling, but it keeps us in a trance. Let's learn the truth and then we can tell each other a different story - one about a culture with a different set of values. Values of love, nurturing, support, the arts, creativity, sharing, partnership. This is a culture that existed before, and which we must surely return to if we are to enjoy a future on this fragile planet we call earth.

Thursday, June 1

great nz telecom spoof

In case you read the NZ Herald this morning, here is a funny and rather hard hitting video which starts by quoting some outrageous but true words of the CEO (new Chairperson?) of this foreign owned company, which is stealing the countries money.

More interesting if you watch NZ TV (I don't) and are familiar with the original ad that this has been taken from.