Thursday, August 23

Changing orientation

I have moved my focus to bring forward more solutions information. If you have read enough of the extensive content of this blog, to sense that there is trouble afoot, you may appreciate some of the things I have found and posted at my main site: 

can we avoid iran being next?

As I sit here, far away from the madness of the US matrix, I feel I have a perspective advantage that would be difficult when being as close to the struggle as the makers of this clip are.

I watched this clip - and appreciate them putting it together.

However, will the plea to the other networks amount to much, if "another 9/11" false flag operation is played out on the people of America? An attack on the people (whether by outsiders, or factions within the country) has always been sufficient to drive the country to war. There is an election coming up - and further panic amongst the people would be a great opportunity to roll out more manifestations of the police state, that is already well developed.

If you haven't seen it, please do yourself the favour of watching Zeitgeist (in particular part three).

Good night and good luck!

Sunday, August 12

peak oil hits third world

Kim and I witnessed this in Zimbabwe last year, but didn't realise how pervasive it was until we read this...

By Chris Nelder

I've been watching and waiting for these signs for about five years now: Not just high prices and declining exports, but the slowing of commerce, interstate trucking and air travel, food shortages and similar indications.

But the actual feeling of peak oil didn't really hit me until this week, as I perused a page on Jim Kingsdale's excellent Energy Investment Strategies site, listing countries that are currently experiencing serious fuel shortages and grid blackouts.

Here in the first world, we still have the luxury of armchair theorizing about peak oil, and paying a bit more for gasoline, but the third world is actually feeling the pain of peak oil today. Rising oil prices are acting as a regressive worldwide tax, pricing poorer countries right out of the market.

Since their experience must to some extent herald ours as peak sets in, let's see how peak oil feels to those who are undergoing it firsthand.

Asia and Middle East

Nepal: Gasoline and diesel shortages are crippling the country. In July, the Kathmandu valley was hit with its worst energy crisis in history as the state-owned petroleum importer and distributor stopped supplies to gas stations entirely. Fuming taxi drivers subsequently parked their cars before the heart of the Nepalese government center to protest the shortfall. The Nepal Oil Company (NOC) has been facing cuts from its sole supplier, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), because of mounting debts owing to Nepal's subsidies, which force NOC to sell fuel below cost.

Pakistan: Chronic power shortages have led to riots in the streets in Karachi. At one point this summer, the gap between supply and demand reached a peak of 3,000 megawatts (MW). Due to chronic underinvestment in energy infrastructure, the country's Planning Commission estimates that its shortfall in oil supply will grow to 3.2 million tons of oil equivalent (TOE) in 2010, and 21.5 TOE in 2020.

Iraq: Iraq has suffered from an acute shortage of oil products since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. This week brought a report that Iraq's electricity grid could collapse any day now, due to sabotage, rising demand, fuel shortages, and provincial officials who are disconnecting their local power stations from the national grid (presumably in the interest of self-preservation). Constant attacks on pipelines have made it impossible for Iraq to meet its internal need for gasoline, forcing it to rely on imports to the tune of 1.3 million gallons per day. At the same time, it is being forced to reduce subsidies on gasoline in order to meet IMF debt-reduction requirements, even as it struggles with 60% unemployment and rampant poverty as well as chronic grid blackouts. Oil smuggling and a robust black market have sprung up to take advantage of an estimated 10x spread between the official subsidized prices and black market rates.

Iran: Chronic gasoline shortages have forced the government to impose rationing. Motorists can buy only 100 liters a month at the subsidized price of 1,000 riyals (about 11 cents) a liter (the cheapest gasoline in the world). Iran's program of oil subsidies--combined with sanctions from the West over its nuclear intentions--has proved disastrous, putting the government in an intense budgetary squeeze. Angry protesters torched 19 gas stations in response to the rationing in late June. Tehran currently imports about half of its gasoline, and absorbs a loss of nearly $2 per gallon on it, creating an intense drain on the national coffers. As in Iraq, rationing is expected to lead to a brisk black market.

Bangladesh: The shortage of electricity is acute, to the tune of about 2,000 MW a day, which is resulting in regular blackouts. Bangladesh's attempts to import electricity from India, Nepal and Bhutan have been fruitless, so in June the country obtained permission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to begin building nuclear power plants.

Sri Lanka: Severe shortages of fuel have led the UN to warn the government that it may not be able to continue providing humanitarian aid or preserve its supply of vaccines and essential medicines. The UN agencies have been forced to curtail the usage of generators and vehicles. Construction activity in the Jaffna and Wanni regions has all but ceased due to the lack of fuel.

Philippines: A deadly tropical storm hit the country this week, bringing an end to a three-month drought that had severely reduced the country's electricity output. Extremely low water levels were recorded at five major hydroelectric power dams, one of which was forced to shut down entirely. The shortage caused sporadic electricity outages in the country's capital of Manila, which turned to coal and oil-fired power plants to make up the difference.

China: A red-hot economy with rapidly growing industrial sectors has put China in a constant state of electricity shortages, with brownouts a common occurrence. Shortages of coal, power and oil have been reported. Top refiner Sinopec has stopped selling refined products to other companies and private filling stations in order to maintain supply to its own outlets, and some oil dealers are suspected of hoarding supplies. Now the world's second largest energy consumer (behind the U.S.), China's total energy consumption has risen by an average of more than 11% each year for the last five years, 70% to 80% of which is supplied by coal. Meanwhile, all of that coal is casting a shadow of soot around the world, dropping it in places like the west coast of the U.S., and causing acid rain that poisons lakes, rivers, forests and crops. It has been estimated that fully 77% of the black carbon emitted into North America's lower atmosphere comes from Asia.

India: Soaring temperatures as high as 122° F have caused hundreds of deaths and raised grid demand to a record 4,000 MW in the capital of New Delhi, where rolling blackouts and equipment failures have caused power outages lasting up to 15 hours a day. Chronic power shortages in urban and rural India are crippling industrial and agricultural productivity and discouraging foreign investment. The country is currently looking to nuclear energy to provide some relief.

Vietnam: Another red-hot Asian economy with electricity consumption growing at the rate of 15% to 20% annually, Vietnam is facing a 1,000 megawatt shortfall in peak power production. The capitol has ordered local governments to keep the thermostats set no lower than 77° F and to turn off air conditioners a half-hour before the end of the day--with a $1,250 fine for non-compliance.


Some 25 of the 44 sub-Saharan nations are facing "unprecedented" and crippling electricity shortages with common power outages, even in South Africa. In Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and other parts of West Africa, drought has slashed the generating capacity of hydroelectric dams, which is in turn crippling production of gold, aluminum, and other basic metals.

Uganda: Electricity shortages are frequent as the grid is strained beyond capacity, largely because drought has lowered the water level of the Nile River, reducing hydroelectric generation. Parts of the capital are blacked out for as much as a day at a time. The country has leased two 50-megawatt diesel-burning generators to compensate, reportedly costing the nation about as much as it would have cost to build two new hydroelectric dams. And in a horribly ironic twist, grid power shortages are shutting down a pipeline from Kenya, adding to the diesel shortages.

Zimbabwe: Critical gasoline and diesel shortages are ruining the economy, pushing the price of a liter of petrol to a staggering 120,000 Zimbabwe dollars. Fuel stations went completely dry in June, and there have been long queues at the few which had any to sell.

Ghana: Electricity shortages are causing load shedding blackouts, costing the economy on the order of US $5 million a day. Ghana, among others, has compensated by leasing huge gas generators to produce emergency power--at exorbitant rates.

Nigeria: An acute shortage of fuel occurred in June due to strikes by unionized oil labor over wages, a hike in fuel prices, and the sale of two refineries. Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to cripple the government of Oyo State if it makes good on its threat to eliminate some of the state work force. Abductions, killings and robberies have plunged the oil-producing parts of the country into chaos. Only 19 of 79 power plants even work, and blackouts are costing the economy $1 billion a year. In Nigeria, Angola and other nations, most businesses and many residents run private generators because the grid is so unreliable, adding to their economic and air pollution woes. Imagine: "I've been on the 20th floor of an apartment building in Luanda, and there would be generators on all the verandas, with the racket, the fumes."

Senegal: State power company Senelec has been unable to pay for supplies of fuel for its oil-fired power stations, leading to cuts in electricity supply. China has come to its rescue with a 370 million yuan loan to fund a new distribution network, in addition to its commitment to build a 250 megawatt coal-fired power station there.

Kenya: Gasoline and diesel shortages in Nairobi are grounding industrial and personal transport alike, and price hikes appear likely.

Gambia: Shortages of gasoline and diesel are taking an economic toll across the country, with many empty petrol stations and long lines at stations that have fuel to sell--but only to customers holding coupons from Shell.


Argentina: The country is facing its worst energy shortage in nearly 20 years. An increase in heating demand caused by an unseasonably early cold snap, combined with the failure of a power plant, caused the collapse of both the power grid and the fuel supply system. Electricity supplies have been severely curtailed, plunging entire districts into darkness and causing the layoff of industrial workers. Shortages of compressed natural gas, which powers many Argentine cars and 90% of the capital's taxis, are common. Argentina now has less than ten years' worth of gas reserves, and can no longer meet peak electricity demand.

Nicaragua: Electricity shortages have led to widespread blackouts, prompting the recently re-elected president Daniel Ortega to promise an end to the "energy bankruptcy" that has afflicted the country. The nation's energy deficit is running between 20% and 30%, forcing the power-distribution company Unión Fenosa to shut down whole cities for six to ten hours at a time. Ortega announced that nations such as Iran would help to build new energy plants to address the issue.

Chile: Reduced supplies of natural gas and lower-than-average rainfall have pushed electricity spot prices to record highs, prompting concerns of inflation and reduced valuations of the country's energy companies. The market took Chile's third-biggest power generator, Colbun SA (COLBUN CC), to the woodshed in early July.

Costa Rica: Beginning in April, Costa Rica began experiencing nationwide electricity blackouts, forcing emergency rationing. The country's hydroelectric capacity is strained to the max, due to a dry summer cutting power output by 25%, damaged turbines at oil-burning thermal plants, and Panama's decision to stop exporting electricity to Costa Rica. Blackouts are now routinely scheduled.

Dominican Republic: Electricity blackouts have become commonplace, apparently due to a lack of fuel and regular maintenance of power plants. Programmed blackouts have now spread from the barrio neighborhoods to the exclusive residential districts.

The picture is clear: the poor and undeveloped countries of the world are the first to fall before the remorseless price inflation brought by peak oil.

Claude Mandil, the head of the International Energy Agency, warned recently of a "catastrophe" for the world's poorest countries as they are forced into the suicidal practice of subsidizing oil just to keep their economies running.

Since we know that there is little point in trying to radically increase anyone's supply of oil, gas or coal at this point, there are only two paths left to choose: powering down or going renewable.

You know what our preference is. Who can turn his back on industries that are growing at the rate of 25%+ a year? While aging oil companies struggle to suck "the last days of ancient sunlight" from the ground, warily eyeing their incipient declines, there are young, agile companies eyeing the abundant and untapped solar, wind, geothermal and wave potential in most of the above countries--with the eager support of the World Bank and the IMF.

Oh, and us profit-seekers over here at Green Chip Stocks.

Until next time,

Thursday, July 26

the elders gather

ABC News

JOHANNESBURG — The Elders, a new alliance made up of an elite group of senior statesmen dedicated to solving thorny global problems, unveiled itself today in Johannesburg. The rollout coincided with founding member Nelson Mandela’s 89th birthday.

After a grand entrance, Mandela, the former South African president, announced the rest of the Elders.

The members include Desmond Tutu, South African archbishop emeritus of Capetown; former U.S. President Jimmy Carter; former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and Mohammed Yunus, the Nobel laureate and founder of the Green Bank in Bangladesh.

The group plans to get involved in some of the world’s most pressing problems — climate change, pandemics like AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, violent conflicts.

It was an extraordinary gathering; a who’s who of famous international leaders, with enough emotion to move some of them to tears.

Under a large white futuristic dome, British billionaire Richard Branson and rock star Peter Gabriel, who conceived the idea for the Elders, gathered enough star power to change the world, or at least that’s the hope.

“The structures we have to deal with these problems are often tied down by political, economic and geographic constraints,” Mandela said. The Elders, he argued, will face no such constraints.

Seven years ago, Branson and Gabriel approached Mandela about the Elders idea, and he agreed to help them recruit others. “This group of elders will bring hope and wisdom back into the world,” Branson said. “They’ll play a role in bringing us together.

“Using their collective experience, their moral courage and their ability to rise above the parochial concerns of nations, they can help make our planet a more peaceful, healthy and equitable place to live, ” Branson said. ” Let us call them ‘global elders,’ not because of their age but because of individual and collective wisdom.”

Calling it “the most extraordinary day” of his life, Gabriel said, “The dream was there might still be a body of people in whom the world could place their trust.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who moderated the event and will serve as its leader, was moved to tears after Gabriel sang an impromptu accapella version of his hit song “Biko,” written about a famous South African political prisoner.

Branson and Gabriel have raised enough money — some $18 million — to fund this group for three years.

Also onboard are names less well known in the United States, including Indian microfinance leader Ela Bhatt; former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland; former Chinese ambassador to the United States Li Zhaoxing.

The group left an empty seat onstage — symbolically — for an elder who was invited, but could not attend because she is under house arrest in Burma, Nobel laureate and human rights advocate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mandela and Carter emphasized the group’s ability to talk to anyone without risk.

“We will be able to risk failure in worthy causes, and we will not need to claim credit for any successes that might be achieved,” said Carter.

Carter said the group does not want to step on or interfere with other positive work that nations or organizations are doing but wants to supplement that work.

Several members acknowledged that the actual activities and actions of the group remain to be determined. There are no titles, no ranking of the members. And it is not clear if they will travel as a group, deploy individual members to global hot spots, or simply sit in a room together to develop strategies or assist those who are suffering find help.

But they certainly have high hopes.

“I didn’t like the title “elders,” because I didn’t feel like an elder,” said Yunus to laughter, “but I like the idea.”

Yunus said the world is without direction and he hopes the Elders can provide some direction.

Speaking of the Elders, almost in the way one would describe a cartoon about superheroes, Mandela said, “The Elders can become a fiercely independent and positive force for good.”

Annan added that the group does not “intend to go and take on Darfur or Somalia and resolve it singlehandedly. We don’t have a magic wand,” he said. But he argued that the group could intervene and perhaps force parties to honor agreements.

“There are certain crimes that shame us all,” said Annan. “We all have a responsibility, and I hope the Elders will take the lead in asking the question: What can we do to move the situation forward?

“Sometimes by saying ‘this is enough we can’t take this anymore it must stop,’ we are making a difference,” Annan continued

Mandela and Branson both celebrated birthdays today. At 89, Mandela looked frail. He walked with a cane and Carter helped him to the podium. But once Mandela got there, he stood tall and easily delivered some 10 minutes of remarks.

“He, as you know, walks sedately,” Tutu joked.

Saturday, July 21

energy descent plan

An inspiring story

Rob Hopkins of explained to Global Public Media's Andi Hazelwood about the UK's Transition Movement towards relocalization. Includes great discussion on local currency.

On, check out the new Google map of groups.

Watch it on YouTube.

Wednesday, July 4

Zeitgeist the movie

ZEITGEIST, The Movie - Official Release

"They must find it difficult...Those who have taken authority as the truth,
rather than truth as the authority."- Gerald Massey

The definition of the title, Zeitgeist, is "the spirit of the age," This film (1hr 56min) pulls together many valuable ideas, and questions some basic assumptions about our society with research and logic that is compelling, confronting and liberating.
This single film makes much of my film library obsolete. It offers excellent quotes from well known characters both dead and alive, and you can get a flavour for this film from its one line teaser that is often used to promote it:

"What does Christianity, 911 and The Federal Reserve have in common?"

I was aware of most of the information offered, but something I was not aware of is the development of the Amero - a currency of the North American Union - the already signed and agreed upon Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America , the Union of Canada, America, and Mexico.

Using any bit torrent software you can download a quality .avi version of the film here.

Thursday, June 28

taking care of business

From Harvey Jones:

The article below was in our local newspaper last night. Eketahuna is a small town of only about 1,000 or less people, nearby my home town of Pahiatua (pop 3,000).

There has been a running down in New Zealand of various local services.
At Eketahuna the local community are taking things into their own hands. A few years ago the petrol station burned down and none of the oil companies wanted to be part of any rebuilding.

The town created a community trust which all local members were invited to contribute to. From this, they funded the building of a new service station. Now there is no need to travel 25 kms to fill the tank.

A hardware store was similar funded.
There is no doctor in the town so they organised a community nursing service to provide a front line service and reduce travel needs. Now a banking service as well.

I noted that there is no history of
their previous accomplishments in the article below. Now we have to find ways to grow the movement and share the expertise.

Original source URL:
Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Do-it-yourself banking arrives

The small Tararua town of Eketahuna is taking Do It Yourself to whole
new levels.

It didn't have a supermarket, so it created its own. It didn't have a
petrol station, so it set one up.

Now, the town is taking banking into its own hands as well.

After all the major banks refused to put either a branch or automatic
teller machine in Eketahuna, locals decided to set up a money exchange. The exchange was the brainchild of Tararua district councillor Claire Matthews, a banking studies senior lecturer. She said Eketahuna's population of about 500 made it too small for a bank. "It's purely a question of profit. It would not be economically viable." An exchange was the obvious solution, after seeing similar systems in other small towns. "A bank branch is only of use if you are with that bank, and an ATM really only allows withdrawals, which may attract higher fees for customers of other banks. I suggested a money exchange, as I had seen in Northland." Mrs Matthews said not having banking services was frustrating for people in Eketahuna, where the nearest bank facilities were 25km away in Pahiatua.

The exchange will be run by staff in the council's service centre and
will aim to break even rather than make a profit, with the council subsidising the operation for the first six months on a trial basis. It will provide access to cash through an eftpos machine, change for businesses, cash or cheque deposits, and cheque cashing for approved customers. Deposits will go by courier to banks in Masterton. It is expected to be up and running by August.

Thursday, June 14

Willits Economic LocaLisation

Kelpie Wilson Interviews Jason Bradford

Jason Bradford is a PhD evolutionary biologist who studied the effects of climate change on cloud forests in the Andes under the auspices of the Missouri Botanical Garden and other institutions. But in 2004 he switched his focus from study to action by initiating a remarkable community organizing effort in his new home town of Willits, California, called Willits Economic LocaLization (WELL).

Kelpie Wilson: Jason, in a nutshell, what is the mission of WELL?

Jason Bradford: The official WELL mission is to foster the creation of a local, sustainable economy in the Willits area by partnering with other organizations to watch for opportunities and vulnerabilities, incubate and coordinate projects, and facilitate dialogue, action and education within our community.

The greatest challenge we, as a species, face right now is to create a way of life based on the energy flow of sunlight, not fossil or nuclear energy, to do so without destroying our soils, and to enroll others in this transition. We are under no illusion that Willits can tackle this alone, but hope that Willits can be an inspiration to others. If we can do it here, it is possible elsewhere.

Kelpie Wilson: How did you make the decision to switch from a career in climate change and biodiversity research to this hands-on engagement with sustainable living?

Jason Bradford: I became really frustrated and disillusioned as a researcher. I would sit in my office and read the flood of data about the climate system, habitat loss and extinction, soil and fresh water depletion, and the impending peak of global oil production. Then I would listen to the radio or look at the newspaper and these issues were basically ignored, meaning my work was being ignored...

Kelpie Wilson: In his Labor Day speech, President Bush addressed our "oil addiction" and said that the problem is that "dependence on foreign oil jeopardizes our capacity to grow." In your view, is the energy crisis mostly about our dependence on foreign oil from "people who don't like us," as the president said? Or is there a deeper problem?

Jason Bradford: It is extremely important right now to give people heartfelt honesty. The lies of Bush and Cheney make them bigger threats than those swarthy people they like to scare us with. Cheney said the American way of life is non-negotiable. In a bizarre sense that is true. The laws of physics and ecology won't negotiate and can't be unilaterally ignored. And those laws are telling us we need to change how we inhabit this planet very quickly or we may not be around that much longer.

I have an idea. Let's stop blaming others for our problems. The deeper issue is our addiction to growth. Oil has permitted astounding economic growth, and we have become dependent, both structurally and psychologically, upon not just the oil but the growth process itself. Instead of questioning our assumptions, we are going to war for oil and we are looking for substitutes that are very dirty, like coal, tar sands, and nuclear. And while I am in complete favor of developing renewable energy systems as quickly as possible, I don't believe it is either possible or wise to grow our economy using renewable energy.

The problems with growth are easy to understand, but the implications are hard to face. For example, I have two children, twin boys who are seven years old. For now and over the next dozen years or so I'll be happy if they grow. During certain phases of development growth is perfectly good. But our economy is now beyond any reasonable limits, and we are making ourselves sick with more growth - as a society we have obesity and cancer, and the vital organs are starting to fail. Suburban sprawl, highway expansion, military build-up, air pollution, climate change, and mass extinction of species - these all stem from our drive to grow the economy.

Ironically, there exists a counter movement to slow down in life. Enjoy quality rather than quantity. Many are finding that the pleasures of a beautiful home, neighborhood and community are rewarding enough. Spend time building relationships where you are instead of traveling afar and spending money on things. Less is more. Now that is truly economical.

Full article...

Friday, June 8

Economics 101

I have passed this to a few friends and they all found it to be helpful in understanding the con that is the present economic system. Check it out and see if it doesnt change the way you look at banking and the entire social structure that is built on "modern day economics."

Wednesday, May 16

solar at half the cost

A new mechanism for focusing light on small areas of photovoltaic material could make solar power in residential and commercial applications cheaper than electricity from the grid in most markets in the next few years. Initial systems, which can be made at half the cost of conventional solar panels, are set to start shipping later this year, says Brad Hines, CTO and founder of Soliant Energy, a startup based in Pasadena, CA, that has developed the new modules.

Concentrating sunlight with mirrors or lenses on a small area cuts the costs of solar power in part by reducing the amount of expensive photovoltaic material needed. But while concentrated solar photovoltaic systems are attractive for large-scale, ground-based solar farms for utilities, conventional designs are difficult to mount on rooftops, where most residential and commercial customers have space for solar panels. The systems are typically large and heavy, and they're mounted on posts so that they can move to track the sun, which makes them more vulnerable to gusts of wind than ordinary flat solar panels are.


Tuesday, May 15

the Elephant in the Room

The author of the following piece describes himself as follows:

I am a Canadian activist who is concerned about interlocking environmental issues.

My environmental interests began as a skeptic (I describe myself as a "Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Bjorn Lomborg School of "Don't Worry, Be Happy"), but I've become alarmed by the number of interconnected resource, environmental and social crises that seem to be converging on humanity all at the same time. My primary focus is on the interactions of Peak Oil, Global Warming and food security within the context of a human population in ecological overshoot.

In my opinion, Peak Oil is the near-term precipitating factor that will destabilize other human systems including the global economy and food production and distribution. Oil depletion will also greatly constrain our ability to solve other problems such as climate change, alternative energy development, pollution abatement and species extinctions.

Here is an introduction to this well considered article.

Peak Oil, Carrying Capacity and Overshoot:
Population, the Elephant in the Room

Paul Chefurka

May 13, 2007

At the root of all the converging crises of the World Problematique is the issue of human overpopulation. Each of the global problems we face today is the result of too many people using too much of our planet's finite, non-renewable resources and filling its waste repositories of land, water and air to overflowing. The true danger posed by our exploding population is not our absolute numbers but the inability of our environment to cope with so many of us doing what we do.

It is becoming clearer every day, as crises like global warming, water, soil and food depletion, biodiversity loss and the degradation of our oceans constantly worsen, that the human situation is not sustainable. Bringing about a sustainable balance between ourselves and the planet we depend on will require us, in very short order, to reduce our population, our level of activity, or both. One of the questions that comes up repeatedly in discussions of population is, "What level of human population is sustainable?" In this article I will give my analysis of that question, and offer a look at the human road map from our current situation to that level.

Read on...

Friday, May 4

US presidential candidate Mike Gravel

Former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska won Best of Show at the Presidential Debate in South Carolina. To quote Richard Moore, "How rare to hear real sense from a politician in the mainstream media."

Thursday, May 3

just remember...

Here are visuals with the original soundtrack - very uplifting . . .

Whenever life get you down, Mrs. Brown

And things seem hard or tough
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft
And you feel that you've had quite enu-hu-hu-huuuuff

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour
That's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned
A sun that is the source of all our power
The sun and you and me, and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at 40,000 miles an hour
Of the galaxy we call the Milky Way

Our galaxy itself contains 100 billion stars
It's 100,000 light-years side-to-side
It bulges in the middle, 16,000 light-years thick
But out by us it's just 3000 light-years wide
We're 30,000 light-years from galactic central point
We go round every 200 million years
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whiz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
Because there's bugger all down here on Earth

Europe in Spring heatwave

PARIS, April 26, 2007 (AFP)

Much of western Europe is seeing record temperatures for April which has led to a growing drought threat in many countries. With temperatures in northern France well into the upper 20s Celsius (70s Fahrenheit), the average is more than 10 degrees Celsius (15 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal for April, according to Meteo France, the national weather office. Belgium is having its hottest April since 1830, Germany is having record amounts of sunshine for April and the British Met Office said the first 23 days of the month were the warmest since 1945.


building 7 on Italian TV

Darn it - this one just wont go away. The official story is being shot full of holes. The world must wake up soon, or dive deeper into denial - what a hard choice. The trouble with waking up is that it comes with responsibility for doing something about what we learn.

Ignorance or denial are easier - carry on, no need to change or confront things we don't want to believe.

Sorry to have to do this to you, but I can't let you sleep...

Monday, April 9

capitalism and other kids stuff

I just watched this one tonight. Happily I found it has already been posted on Google video, so I didn't have to.

From the Indy site where you can buy the film: It explains how the world's economic system operates in terms of a crazy and very unfair game that children are playing, and so it captures the imagination of its viewers.

A fantastic video to help understand the politics and economics of our global society, with an aim to establishing an alternative society based on meeting needs, on cooperation rather than competition, and on democratic forms of decision-making intead of top-down hierarchies.

This is a video on the forefront of those who wish to save this planet from worsening global warming, incessant wars, and either widespread physical poverty or profound feelings of spiritual poverty despite our rapacious consumerism. Its alternative is a very realizable future ready for the taking, not a hodge-podge dream.

Perfect for showing to groups of people, including high school or college students, the politically minded, and pretty much anybody who wants some answers, as a very unique economics lesson that won't be quickly forgotten!

From the Google video page: It was made by four socialists on
one freezing Saturday afternoon in a church hall at Hebburn in the north east of England. On a budget of £80 which was spent on travel expenses the cost of hiring the hall and some cold cheese pasties the film may be rough and ready but it's hoped that it says something real to you. The ideas it proposes are one's you're unlikely to see on any TV show, art house play or even the news networks.

individual wealth and power

A quote from David Holmgren's recent book:
Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability

Because of the high-energy nature of the modern world, each person, especially in rich countries, has much greater power and impact on nature and society than any previous -- or probably, future -- generation. Estimates of the resources that a person in the rich world commands are in the order of 100 energy slaves. Even the majority of citizens of poor countries today have the equivalent of several energy slaves. During the lifetime of an American baby-boomer born in 1950 and dying in 2025, over half the conventional oil reserves of the United States (the second-richest oil nation after Saudi Arabia) will have been consumed. The relative power between individuals and groups within generations is naturally the focus of economics and politics. Thus we are constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, but we have many more abstract and vague concerns about future generations. Further the culture of growth assumes that future generations will be more powerful than we are.

Rapid energy descent means that our individual behaviour today may be more potent in determining the future than the behaviour of whole communities in that future.

Much of this power is expressed through our purchasing decisions in the monetary economy. In this way, it is the billion or so middle-class people around the world who are the engine of
global destruction, rather than the numerically small elite, or the relatively self-reliant but increasingly destitute majority.

The rise of individualism in the modern world makes possible personal expression and action through lifestyle choice, even if few choose to do so in any more than superficial ways. This empowerment of the individual provides a unique opportunity for bottom-up change.

Friday, April 6

solar power breakthrough at Massey

New solar cells developed by Massey University don't need direct sunlight to operate and use a patented range of dyes that can be impregnated in roofs, window glass and eventually even clothing to produce power.

Researchers at the centre have developed a range of synthetic dyes from simple organic compounds closely related to those found in nature, where light-harvesting pigments are used by plants for photosynthesis.

"This is a proof-of-concept cell," said researcher Wayne Campbell, pointing to a desktop demonstration model.
"Within two to three years we will have developed a prototype for real applications. The key to everything is the ability of the synthetic dyes to pass on the energy that reaches them - something that mere coloured water could not do.

"This particular technology does not require the large infrastructure required for silicon chips and the like," said Professor Partridge. It lends itself to being taken up by local and New Zealand industries.
Professor Partridge said the next step was to take the dyes and incorporate them in roofing materials, tinted window glass and wall panels where they could generate electricity for home owners.

The aim was to develop a solar cell that could convert as much sunlight as possible to electricity.
"The energy that reaches Earth from sunlight in one hour is more than that used by all human activities in one year."

Full article here.

Sunday, April 1

Globalists Love Global Warming

This makes for a very interesting read. I am not sure where I stand with this information, but it is a view not often expressed. However I did find the following quote via this article:
Everyone, regardless of your position on global warming or the environment, must take into consideration the solutions that we are being given, as well as the forces behind them which seek to create a global system of domination and control.

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A common charge leveled against those who question the official orthodoxy of the global warming religion is that they are acting as stooges for the western establishment and big business interests. If this is the case, then why do the high priests of the elite and kingpin oil men continue to fan the flames of global warming hysteria?

The Trilateral Commission, one of the three pillars of the New World Order in alliance with Bilderberg and the CFR, met last week in near secrecy to formulate policy on how best they could exploit global warming fearmongering to ratchet up taxes and control over how westerners live their lives.

At the confab, European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberger and chairman of British Petroleum Peter Sutherland gave a speech in which he issued a "Universal battle cry arose for the world to address “global warming” with a single voice."

Echoing this sentiment was General Lord Guthrie, director of N.M. Rothschild & Sons, member of the House of Lords and former chief of the Defense Staff in London, who urged the Trilateral power-brokers to "Address the global climate crisis with a single voice, and impose rules that apply worldwide."

Allegations that skeptics of the man-made explanation behind global warming are somehow doing the bidding of the elite are laughable in the face of the fact that Rothschild operatives and the very chairman of British Petroleum are the ones orchestrating an elitist plan to push global warming fears in order to achieve political objectives.

We have a similar situation to the Peak Oil scam, which was created by the oil industry as a profit boon to promote artificial scarcity, and yet is parroted by environmentalists who grandstand as if they are in opposition to the oil companies.

In his excellent article, Global warming hysteria serves as excuse for world government, Daniel Taylor outlines how the exploitation of the natural phenomenon of "global warming" was a pet project of the Club of Rome and the CFR.
"In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991) published by the Club of Rome, a globalist think tank, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself."

"Richard Haass, the current president of the Council on Foreign Relations, stated in his article "State sovereignty must be altered in globalized era," that a system of world government must be created and sovereignty eliminated in order to fight global warming, as well as terrorism. "Moreover, states must be prepared to cede some sovereignty to world bodies if the international system is to function," says Haass. "Globalization thus implies that sovereignty is not only becoming weaker in reality, but that it needs to become weaker. States would be wise to weaken sovereignty in order to protect themselves..."

Full article is here.

Something to think about.

Thursday, March 29

tidal power

The project is applying to use part of the tidal mouth of the Kaipara Harbour in northern New Zealand to generate electricity using submerged marine turbines. Crest Energy plans to generate power for 250,000 NZ homes, or 200 MW, by harnessing about 2.5% of the power of the tidal flows in to and out of the Kaipara Harbour.

For a rapid understanding of the Crest Kaipara Energy Project watch their slide show.

The Kaipara Harbour is a source of pride and the spiritual heartland of the Ngati Whatua people of northern New Zealand. It is one of the largest harbours in the world covering 900 square kilometres with 3000 kilometres of shoreline. The Kaipara extends for 60 kilometres north to south: halfway along its length it has a five kilometre mouth to the Tasman Sea.

Tidal turbines follow the same principles as wind turbines: the faster the current, and the larger the blades, the more power is generated. There are perhaps a dozen companies constructing tidal turbines and others joining the industry.

Crest Energy will develop infrastructure to place 200 turbines in the mouth of the Kaipara. We will offer the turbine locations, with connections to the national electricity grid, to turbine manufacturers, electricity generators and investors. The project should generate over 3% of New Zealand's supply.

Tidal and wind power generation have many similarities and some differences :

  • Sea water is 830 times denser than air which means that a tidal turbine can generate much more power for the same flow
  • Tidal power works for over 16 hours a day in all seasons
  • Tidal turbines are totally submerged and therefore invisible
  • Tidal turbines are silent

Monday, March 26

changing climate, changing minds

I was so impressed by this, that I have posted it here in its totallity.
This is not my work. Please visit Richard Neville's site for more...


Journal of a Futurist

By Richard Neville - Mar 7, 2007

Cans Seurat, 2007 - Digital C print, 72x110"
Depicts 106,000 aluminum cans
the number used in the US every thirty seconds.

16 reasons to be cheerful

1. The public has long been ahead of politicians in recognising the danger of toxic emissions and will remain the driving force in rescuing the future. Everyone on Earth can play a role, irrespective of age, income or clout. Such a challenge can be strangely empowering, like the Blitz Spirit. (The wrecking of nature is more of a threat than the Luftwaffe). The outcome will redefine what it means to be human.

2. Shopping will cease to enthral. Buy Nothing Day has evolved to Buy Nothing Month. Recovering shopaholics are exchanging pledges to abstain. Some families refuse to buy anything new until something old is given away. But every so often a bright idea will win hearts, such as this 100% biodegradable, solar powered, I-Pod charging, naturally dyed hemp handbag.

3. No longer master of the universe, the “economy” will be its servant. Today's hi-flyers in Ferraris will get mud on their Armani's, as they plant acres of fruit trees and turn weeds into diesel. A new economics promotes the “good life without money stress, overwork and joyless consumption.” The bean counters will lose their status, unless the beans are certified organic and fairly traded. You will be able to discuss communes, creativity and consciousness with you bank manager.

Partial Zoom of the cans, Chris Jordan

4. To think and act both locally and globally will become second nature. Already there is a push for a Global Marshall Plan to restore the environment and to close the poverty gap. In the face of an array of threats, people are asking what can we do for our planet … and for our own community (growers markets are more fun than supermarkets). Today's passive spectators are tomorrow's activists.

5. Failing to own a house with a water view is no longer a matter of regret.

6. The urgency of global repair will unleash a boom of innovation and imagination that will dwarf the Renaissance. Tomorrow is about connecting, collaborating, creating. Solutions depend less on finding a Leonardo or an Einstein than on motivating millions of thinkers, dreamers, inventors.

7. Wind surfers will achieve terrifying speeds.

Actual size

8. The quest for carbon neutrality will transform the built environment. Architects have abolished the need for air conditioning by copying the airflows of termitaries. How did train manufacturers in Japan put an end to the sonic booms caused by engines when entering tunnels? By imitating the design of a Kingfisher's beak. Bio-mimicry is more profitable than bio-rape.

9. New kinds of leaders will emerge. The left/right dichotomy will be transcended by a global mind shift, incorporating intellectual fluidity, empathy, adaptability, foresight. Farewell to actor-politicians mouthing platitudes while secretly colluding with lobbyists. (And Farewell to so-called “intellectuals” who write about global warming but never have time to sort their own garbage - Mrs Neville. RNRubbish!).


Prison Uniforms, 2007
Archival inkjet, 11x23 feet in six vertical panels

10. The boom in renewable energy will ease the West's addiction to oil and its need to pillage the Middle East. When the human and environmental cost of war is fully revealed, there will be widespread revulsion. Politicians who promote invasions will be run out of town. Tanks will be turned into ploughshares and the only valid mission of tomorrow's military will be to repair the ecosystem.

11. Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib , Bagram, etc, will be re-tooled as renewable energy factories, the labour provided by former war criminals.

12. Fast food will slow down. Vegetarianism will globalise. Obesity will decline.

13. In the race against Global Warming, youth will be the key participants, driven by the knowledge that the future lies in their hands and the joy of Making a Difference. The age of apathy is over.

Actual Size

14. Mass media will play a role in bringing climate change issues home to huge audiences. Instead of entertaining us all to death, they can save species from the brink of extinction. Old warlords are changing their tune. Rupert Murdoch's media empire has long equated environmentalists with reds under the beds, but its editors have been ordered to back flip. News Corp has switched from a state of denial to a state of confusion, which is progress. Murdoch's sons are carbon neutral and the patriarch is learning yoga.

15. Involvement with a cause greater than oneself eliminates depression.

16. Countless uplifting initiatives are happening beyond the orbit of Governments. The change of climate is changing the workplace. Corporate foresight is stretching beyond quarterly reports and limited electoral cycles. People are taking into their workplace what they're discussing at home, such is mapping out a new role for business. Even in toxic industries like cement and waste management, there is a determination to be emissions free. No more greenwashing. Despondency is giving way to resilience, daring and a shared sense of purpose. Blitz Spirit 2.

Finally, a goal for humanity beyond getting rich quick by despoiling our environment - both physical and mental - and calling it income.

Plastic Bags, 2007 - Digital C print, 72x86"
Depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds.

Send comments and suggestions to:

Saturday, March 17

Morons and Magic

I continue to post the occasional piece on this subject because it seems that there is an opportunity here to show that like the emperor who wore no clothes, the dominant media is naked and struggling to maintain its legitimacy.

Despite the glaringly obvious flaws in the official story (myth) of 911, the media is hanging on desperately to its original and flawed position of supporting the quickly conjured up explanation of what happened on that fateful day.

There has
recently been a wave of cheap attempts at character assassination of anyone who does not tow the official line. The cracks are opening and they are getting desperate.

Time will tell.

Morons and Magic: A Reply to George Monbiot
By David Ray Griffin

03/07/07 "
ICH " -- - In “Bayoneting a Scarecrow The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a coward’s cult.” (Guardian, February 20), George Monbiot accuses members of the 9/11 truth movement of being “morons” and “idiots” who believe in “magic.” Having in his previous attack---“A 9/11 conspiracy virus is sweeping the world,” Guardian, February 6---called me this movement’s “high priest,” he now describes my 9/11 writing as a “concatenation of ill-attested nonsense.”

If my books are moronic nonsense, then people who have endorsed them must be morons. Would Monbiot really wish to apply this label to Michel Chossudovsky, Richard Falk, Ray McGovern, Michael Meacher, John McMurtry, Marcus Raskin, Rosemary Ruether, Howard Zinn, and the late Rev. William Sloane Coffin, who, after a stint in the CIA, became one of America’s leading civil rights, anti-war, and anti-nuclear activists?

If anyone who believes that 9/11 was an inside job is by definition an idiot, then Moncbiot would have to sling that label at Colonel Robert Bowman, former head of the U.S. “Star Wars” program; Andreas von Bülow, former State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Defense; former CIA analysts Bill Christison and Robert David Steele; former Scientific American columnist A. K. Dewdney; General Leonid Ivashov, former chief of staff of the Russian armed forces; Colonel Ronald D. Ray, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense; all the members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, Veterans for 9/11 Truth, and Pilots for 9/11 Truth; and most of the individuals listed under “Professors Question 9/11” on the “Patriots Question 9/11” website.

One of the reasons these people reject the government’s conspiracy theory is that, if they were to accept the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Centre, they would need to affirm magical beliefs.

A few examples: The Twin Towers came straight down, which means that each building’s 287 steel columns all had to fail simultaneously; to believe this could happen without explosives is to believe in magic.

At the onset of each tower’s collapse, steel beams were ejected out as far as 600 feet; to believe that these horizontal ejections could be explained by gravitational energy, which is vertical, is to believe in magic.

Virtually all of the concrete in the towers was pulverized into extremely fine dust particles; to believe that fire plus gravity could have done this is to believe in magic.

WTC 7 and the towers came down at virtually free-fall speed, meaning that the lower floors, with all their steel and concrete, provided no resistance to the upper floors; to believe this could happen without explosives is to believe in magic.

Pools of molten metal were found under each building. Because steel does not begin to melt until it reaches about 1,540°C and yet the fires could not have gotten over 1000°C, to accept the fire theory is to believe in magic.

Monbiot, regarding the 9/11 truth movement’s conspiracy theory as a wrong-headed distraction, fails to see that the obviously false and truly distracting conspiracy theory is the official 9/11 myth, which has been used to justify imperial wars and increased militarism, thereby distracting attention from global apartheid and the ecological crisis.

We focus on the 9/11 myth because, until it is exposed, getting our governments to focus wholeheartedly on the truly urgent issues of our time will be impossible.