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 B├╝low, 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.

Monday, March 12

America at risk?

Total U.S. debt is 3.5 times GDP, a level never seen before. The second highest level was 2.9 times in 1929 [does this date ring any bells?]. Read more...

And for a longer article on the current level of US debt, go here.

Friday, March 9

the clash of civilisations

This was sent to me by a couple of people yesterday. It is brief and very well done...

Talk is rising of a ‘clash of civilizations’. But the problem isn’t culture, it’s politics – from 9/11 to Guantanamo, Iraq to Iran. This clash is not inevitable...


Individuality and Democracy

Individuality and Democracy: A Way of Life

Sudbury Valley School, students from preschool through high school age explore the world freely, at their own pace and in their own unique ways...

Through self-initiated activities, they pick up the basics; as they direct their lives, they take responsibility for outcomes, set priorities, allocate resources, and work with others in a vibrant community.

Trust and respect are the keys to the school's success. Students enjoy total intellectual freedom, and unfettered interaction with other students and adults. Through being responsible for themselves and for the school's operation, they gain the internal resources needed to lead effective lives.


Students of all ages determine what they will do, as well as when, how, and where they will do it. This freedom is at the heart of the school; it belongs to the students as their right, not to be violated.

The fundamental premises of the school are simple: that all people are curious by nature; that the most efficient, long-lasting, and profound learning takes place when started and pursued by the learner. Read more...


The school is governed on the model of a traditional New England Town Meeting. The daily affairs of the school are managed by the weekly School Meeting, at which each student and staff member has one vote. Rules of behavior, use of facilities, expenditures, staff hiring, and all the routines of running an institution are determined by debate and vote at the School Meeting. At Sudbury Valley, students share fully the responsibility for effective operation of the school and for the quality of life at school. Read more...

This is the sort of school I would like my daughter to grow up in. Thanks Richard, for the link.

Thursday, March 8

careful what you wish for

For two years we had been blessed with an amazing clifftop home on the sunny side of an equally amazing island. We have been enjoying sunrises and sunsets all year round.

While there, we were gifted with the arrival of our baby Zuva - born in a yurt we erected on the edge of the cliff as a birthing room.

It would be reasonable to ask, why would we move? Well, we had both sensed that it was time. It was partly motivated by the fact that this was a rental house, and since neither of us have a steady income stream our savings, from a house sale and a business sale, have been dwindling.

One day Kim wrote down a wish, that we find a way to live, rent-free in an ethical way. Three days later I was at a meeting of islanders who came together to discuss the possibility of establishing local power generation that could reduce the island resident's dependence on electricity that presently reaches us via a cable from the mainland. In the discussion a friend mentioned he knew of someone who was looking for somebody to housesit for them, in their very nice home in Church Bay.

I expressed keen interest and we soon had ourselves a new home. We knew it was on the market, but didn't really expect it to sell in the first week - oh well, next time we will be more specific and wish for a longer term situation :)

We are now looking again, as the settlement date is fast approaching. I wonder what the universe will offer next?

Sunday, March 4

WTC7 collapse reported too early


What happened here?

Here's the claim:

"On September 11th 2001, BBC World reported at 4:57pm Eastern Time that the Salomon Brothers Building (more commonly known as WTC7 or World Trade Building 7) had collapsed. (4:30)

This even made the 5pm EST headlines, what is bizarre is that the building did not actually collapse until 5:20pm EST.

9/11 was unusual enough, without BBC World being able to foretell the destiny of WTC 7.

What is even stranger, is that the women reporter is telling the world that the building had collapsed when you can see it in the background over her left shoulder. (14:40)

Then at 5:15pm EST, just five minutes before the building did actually collapse, her live connection from New York to London mysteriously fails. (21:15s)

So the question is, on 9/11 how did the BBC learn that WTC7 collapsed 23 minutes before it actually did.

Building Seven was 47 storeys, modern in design with structural steel throughout, yet symmetrically collapsed in 6.5 seconds, was someone leaking information.

No steel framed skyscraper has ever collapsed due to fire, before or after 9/11, most people who find out about WTC7, believe it was brought down by a controlled demolition, even demolition experts agree."