How To Get There 17/2/19

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 am, February 17th, 2019 - 145 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

How To Get There is an Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

Let us know what you think!

145 comments on “How To Get There 17/2/19”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    “There are two ways to grow a movement,’ said Sophy. ‘ You push outwards and expand the number of people involved. Or you go inward and deepen the core.”
    https://dark-mountain.net/in-search-of-a-lexicon-for-the-deep-core/

  2. WeTheBleeple 2

    I penned this in an effort to lift understanding of the mess we find ourselves in. While answers are not attached I will restate: we cannot move forward without knowing where we stand. Reality is required and basic truths about the broken system illustrated.

    This obsession with growth.

    We’ve all heard and read it repeatedly from politicians, accountants and business advocates ad nauseum – growth. Like broken records. Why this obsession with an obviously flawed system aka endless growth on a finite planet. Where does this growing urge for growth grow from?

    The gold standard was dropped, and money is now made from thin air – almost. What happens is Mr Jones heads to his bank to buy a house, the bank takes the deposit, and loans you the ‘thin air’ money. Thin air money isn’t backed by gold, it’s backed by the generation of new assets namely Mr Jones house and all the goods and services utilised in the economy to build it. This “invisible hand” of loans matching assets/activity steadies the economy as cash is being injected into it.

    Alternately, if you are a tinpot dictator and try making money out of thin air to pay for something not of economic value, say your rebel army, and the extra money causes inflation, you can just print more for their next week’s pay check. But then there’s hyperinflation and economic collapse, and the gun totin’ now angry unpaid workers issue… So when the revolution comes, don’t do that.

    I digress, and you may wonder, what’s all this to do with the growth obsession?

    Mr Jones gets charged interest on his home loan. The money in circulation at the time of (all) the loan(s) is enough to pay for the loan(s), but not the interest. Growth is required to meet the interest payments. Mr Jones needs to produce more than the loan.

    Every dollar loaned into existence comes with debt attached in the form of interest. When GDP, which is directly correlated with CO2, doesn’t grow, there’s not enough money being generated to pay for the interest, then widespread defaults and the economy tanks. When GDP does grow, we all cook our own goose raising CO2 emissions.

    This is being stuck between a rock and Hell.

    But oil and coal are stocks. They deplete. They cost more to extract through time as the easy to get at stuff goes first. Most of the easy stuff has already been got at. It’s a death spiral as economies are addicted to and driven by fossil fuels yet they cost more and more to get at and they are depleting and non-renewable. So even without climate change – growth is a broken model.

    Modern agriculture actually loses large amounts of energy when one considers oil used vs production.

    Folk are either blissfully unaware or wilfully ignorant that the raw goods for continued growth don’t exist. We live in a Golden Age, a carbon bubble. Now everyone’s consumed so much everyone owes money on the never-ending treadmill hoping THEY don’t fall off. We could maybe if we’re lucky do another decade or two with our heads in the sand burning coal and oil and cutting trees then splat, a meteoric crash after a meteoric rise. No more carbon stocks (military only I’m guessing). Everyone defaults. Chaos. Again, that’s a scenario without climate change.

    When you add climate change to the mix you can clearly see that economic growth is nothing short of a recipe for disaster. Yet governments keep talking about growth as they are simply terrified of degrowth. You tank the economy you lose the election. Gradual economic slowdown won’t tank the economy, but it’s not a catchy slogan.

    So how about: Your money or your life.

    The answers are with degrowth. A calculated withdrawal from oil and into renewables without tanking the economy. It is possibly too late for such moves but pie in the sky is not actually an alternate option…

    We will retract economically whether you want it to occur or not. Will it come through a massive crash and chaos, or a coordinated plan and adjustment?

    Climb on board the reality train. It’s a little shaky and the destination is unknown. The alternate has glossy brochures, gilded rails, and the destination is Hell on Earth.

    • francesca 2.1

      Pretty good WTB
      I like it!
      And if we are going to decouple from the juggernaut, our society will be a lot more stable if we have guaranteed housing, health and education for all , and food security
      Our domestic economy supplying our needs, and not so much reliance on imports
      Cuba did it with medicine, fuel (sugar cane crops turned into fuel also meant less sugar related health issues)and really innovative organic garden techniques, as they couldn’t import oil based fertilisers
      I couldn’t agree more about prescribing psychotropics!
      Even just once

    • Pat 2.2

      The powers that be can see that clearly…and as you note degrowth will occur regardless….the hope (Id suggest increasingly forlorn) of those driving it is that it will not occur in their lifetimes and selfishly care not of the future. It is not a lack of knowledge, it is a lack of desire for a diminished role.
      There is no convincing that mentality otherwise short of wresting control from them…and that is fraught in itself.

      • WeTheBleeple 2.2.1

        I’d suggest the things we discern are not typical fare. Politicians might know the spiral they’re in, maybe… what alternative is there for them (of the left)?

        Case scenario: we heavily regulate polluters overnight. Massive backlash, election lost. Nats get in, deregulate everything they are prompted to.

        It’s another rock – hard place scenario. I don’t see Jacinda or Winston or James as folk willfully riding a gravy train to the bottom, I see them trying to negotiate a storm in an ocean full of rocks with no lights and a meteor bombardment going on.

        I see them as giving a shit. Am I simply naive?

        • Pat 2.2.1.1

          I think it was Jenny who said the other day that the politicians that are advocating a change to the status quo need the support of the public ….its currently not there, and so the political courage is also missing….chicken/egg.

          CC and degrowth are linked but where is the public discussion on degrowth?…the media continue with the growth mantra unquestioning and no political party has degrowth in its policy platform (certainly not in NZ, though I think there are some overseas)….it is not even considered as an option and until it is there is no reason for the public to consider it nor a vehicle for its support…that may change but as with CC time is disappearing fast.

        • JanM 2.2.1.2

          I agree with your assessment of this governments motives.
          There is no point in doing anything that will have them railroaded out of office. They really have to do softly softly crèepy mònkey

        • Drowsy M. Kram 2.2.1.3

          Thanks WtB, good thought-provoking analysis.

          Less NOW, for their future.

          On RNZ’s Sunday Morning programme:
          Josh Cohen: renewing the feeling of joy in not doing anything

          Professor Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst and a professor of modern literary theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. His new book is called ‘Not Working. Why We have To Stop‘. He believes that people have stopped enjoying not doing anything. He thinks people have stopped just chilling out and have lost the ability to simply stay at home not achieving anything in particular. He says many people feel guilty when they’re not busy going out or filling their days with appointments or binge watching televisions series. He explains why people need to get off the treadmill and learn to enjoy doing nothing.

          https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018682867/josh-cohen-renewing-the-feeling-of-joy-in-not-doing-anything

        • patricia bremner 2.2.1.4

          WTB, No you are not naive, you are hopeful. We have chosen three good people. All of them have determination and a wish for a more equal future.
          That climate change is further forward than scientists thought is becoming a certainty, and at some stage we will be required to move to a “Fight for Life” situation, where we have to cooperate or perish.
          Can you see “Shouty Simon Leading?”

    • Ad 2.3

      Since most of New Zealand’s growth is fueled with access to foreign credit, we are shortly going to find ourselves much more growth-constrained. Banks are simply putting NO on applications a lot more.

      Cameron Bagrie points to this sharp decrease in banking credit in the NZHerald this morning.

      The first answer to decreasing meaningless growth is to stop property speculation. The steps that this government has taken have already stopped property speculation dead in its tracks.

      • Pat 2.3.1

        We have a growth target of 1-3% p.a…..its the basis of our economic system and all levers are pulled to maintain it.

        • Ad 2.3.1.1

          Not all growth is the same.

          Growth generated through property speculation – the assumption that mortgage debt can be paid off because house prices will continue to go up – those days are now gone.

          Economic growth through greater efficiency and productivity is a good idea.

          • Pat 2.3.1.1.1

            You correct that not all growth is the same, but we are dealing with aggregates and the end result is that growth equates to more resource use….and that is the limitation, not the concept of monetary value but real resources….we apply the wrong measure.

            The challenge is to design a system that recognises the real limitations and operates within them, not the current system we have which pretends they dont exist.

          • greywarshark 2.3.1.1.2

            Ad
            Economic growth through greater efficiency and productivity is a good idea.
            But doesn’t that mean using more machinery to replace humans who can’t match the efficiency of the machinery? This negates society as we know it; respect is given through your official work category. No work category, drop-out dad, mum, youth – condemned to sneers and dog-ends of everything.

            That is not a satisfactory world. Humans being forced out by other humans’ obsessions with productivity and making stuff for less and less cost, calculated by an arbitrary financial system that is man-made and can be altered if people have a concept of what life actually is.

            Indeed ‘ Do your best and enjoy the ride down’. Or change what can be changed and seek out an alternative society that is more humane and humanly creative.

            • Ad 2.3.1.1.2.1

              Technological improvement is in our genes and has accelerated our dominance. We are also good at choosing which technology to discard.

              Find good people and commune as tightly as you can.
              Change just a little bit in one’s immediate network.
              That’s as good as you can hope for now.

              This is not, indeed, a satisfactory world
              It is what we have and will have.

              • greywarshark

                Yes those parameters are obvious to us. Can we change, snip, conserve the good, transfer vital information to at least pilot models that encourage others?

                They could then make changes from what would otherwise be full force winds to passing storms that we can batten down under. And commune tightly. And work at being cohesive and doing the WH Auden 1 September 1939 thing -keeping alight and in touch and caring about our world. It will make things less hurtful and grey. Practical with kind as possible and co-operate.

                • Ad

                  In 1939, the year World War 2 broke out, instead of facing the crisis, he boarded the first ocean liner he could get to and set sail for the United States. After that, US citizenship.

                  Anyone can go all retrospective from the safety of having cut and run, as he does in

                  “1 September 1939

                  I sit in one of the dives
                  On Fifty-second Street
                  Uncertain and afraid
                  As the clever hopes expire
                  Of a low dishonest decade:
                  Waves of anger and fear
                  Circulate over the bright
                  And darkened lands of the earth,
                  Obsessing our private lives;
                  The unmentionable odour of death
                  Offends the September night.”

                  I don’t take much comfort from Auden; he’s good at expressing anxiety and sorrow but that’s about it.

                  • greywarshark

                    Auden obviously decided that he needed to get away and look at UK from a different angle, and perhaps transfer some money, get a writing job, to USA so he could make a living if necessary. You make hard and fast decisions, I don’t know if you know all about his motives or just condemning things out of hand.

                    UK was a dishonest bunch that couldn’t stand up to scrutiny, lost in their own decadence.
                    As the clever hopes expire
                    Of a low dishonest decade:

                    They had been refusing entry to Jews, had been sucking up to Hitler, the King had to step down ostensibly because of being involved with Wallis Simpson, but also and unspoken, he was too close to Hitler himself. What a position for a supposedly proud country of good values. I don’t look down on Auden so quickly.
                    The end two verses of the poem –

                    All I have is a voice
                    To undo the folded lie,
                    The romantic lie in the brain
                    Of the sensual man-in-the-street
                    And the lie of Authority
                    Whose buildings grope the sky:
                    There is no such thing as the State
                    And no one exists alone;
                    Hunger allows no choice
                    To the citizen or the police;
                    We must love one another or die.

                    Defenseless under the night
                    Our world in stupor lies;
                    Yet, dotted everywhere,
                    Ironic points of light
                    Flash out wherever the Just
                    Exchange their messages:
                    May I, composed like them
                    Of Eros and of dust,
                    Beleaguered by the same
                    Negation and despair,
                    Show an affirming flame.

                    • Ad

                      Anyone can rail against imagined gods when it all turns to shit.

                      For philsopher-poets who are prepared to stand and face environmental catastrophe rather than cut and run in pure self interest, I’d prefer Wendell Berry or even Heidegger in his postwar The Question Concerning Technology phase.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Though I may sit, may fear the dark
                      May cringe the moonless night
                      Black shrouded cloud and hidden stars
                      From home a lifetimes plight
                      The stars are there above the clouds
                      And mornings light will burn
                      And never in my deepest doubt
                      Shun the eternal return

                      For not a mortal shell in vain
                      To blow in windswept ways
                      But of the Earth a single grain
                      Shall form a million same
                      The mother Earth she turns the wheel
                      I formed of clay, an urn
                      To be filled throughout my years
                      Then broken to return

                      From dusk to dust I chase the light
                      Though tried I do not learn
                      To sit and rest inside the night
                      And wait the days return
                      The wind of change may take me far
                      And feed the fires that burn
                      But ashes they will turn to dust
                      The eternal return.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      “I’d prefer Wendell Berry”
                      Me too.

                    • greywarshark

                      Ad
                      You do good, and stand, turn and fight from your position. How many of you are there, I think you and others with your approach are a more common mould among men than that of W H Auden; you are pragmatic and determined.

                      In years to come will people be remembering your deeply thought, well-wrought words when they try to pick up the diamond fragments that have persisted beyond the new Holocaust?
                      If you looked at Auden as a sort of sniper firing thought arrows that penetrate, change, but do not kill, you could be closer to his worth.

                      Sun Tzu could outhink and outflank opponents, and write poetically as well, so perhaps your treatise on how an individual can best use his talents to defeat opposition with a good result is to be written.

                      But according to Sun Tzu, it is helpful to be a bit tricky, not too
                      predictable.

                      Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

                      The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

                      All warfare is based on deception.

                      Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.

                      Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. Sun Tzu

                      Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/sun_tzu_402522

                      https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/sun_tzu

                  • rata

                    @AD.
                    “I don’t take much comfort from Auden;
                    he’s good at expressing anxiety and sorrow but that’s about it”.
                    To be fair Ad you offer nothing better.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      To be fair, rata, your comment is an ad hom directed at Ad and quite unnecessary, imo.

                    • rata

                      To be fair Robert talking about ad hom is silly intellectual snobbery achieving nothing except point to your preference for intellectual snobbery.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Is it?
                      I thought it meant that personal attacks for no good reason are unwelcome and a sign of a poor argument. Or no argument at all.
                      Am I wrong?

      • Nic the NZer 2.3.2

        The moment you link growth to credit like that you already messed up.

    • Ant 2.4

      A great article!
      The tired old mantra ‘economic growth’ is synonymous with ever-spiralling means to purchase the myriad items we have been misled to believe constitute good living. Brain Science 101 emphasizes we all have the capacity to explore/uncover aspects of the mind that thrive on inwardness, where subtleties of delight in the simplest things are awakened, – where we discover how little we need not how much. The clamour of advertising and collective hype we buy into (are mesmerised by) is difficult to overcome especially when we look around and note “everyone’s doing it.” Widespread depression and substance dependency underline the ‘”material route” is not only destructive of the planet but in many cases of the individual as well. What could be more desperate than discovering loads of the green stuff fails to still the inner longing?

      • Incognito 2.4.1

        What could be more desperate than discovering loads of the green stuff fails to still the inner longing?

        You don’t mean “psychotropics”, do you?

        • Ant 2.4.1.1

          I meant cash but sure, include the crop 🙂

          • Incognito 2.4.1.1.1

            Oh, I see, my apologies. That “green stuff” does do weird things to the brain, it changes people, and it has a funny smell too … Nevertheless, people are allowed to drive a car under the influence of it, go figure.

            • Robert Guyton 2.4.1.1.1.1

              And in America, if the police stop and search you and find some in your pockets, they don’t send you to jail at all, so long as you’re willing to share.

              • Incognito

                If I ever heard a better argument against cashless society and more taxes, of course, to share around …

    • One Two 2.5

      You’re ‘on the credit’, wtb…

      Lack of hard truth and honesty is at the very heart of the issues…

      Truth and honesty lead to formulating real and workable solutions, because when the gavitas of the problems is exposed openly, it offers better opportunity to attract more brainpower and desire into the remediation process…

      To your comment 2.2.1…

      Do they give a shit?…Are they ‘allowed’ to give a shit?…

      IMO, its appropriate to treat politics and politicians as gatekeepers preventing/stalling the action for what needs to be done…

      If ‘we’ are to have any chance…it will be despite the politics…not because of it…

      And if politics becomes a functional part of the solution process…remedial activities are already in motion…

    • left_forward 2.6

      Thanks WTB.
      As Schumacher says in Small is Beautiful, coal and oil and the other raw materials of the planet need to be considered as assets in our accounting systems as they are owned by the ‘commons’ (in my view this is not only humans, but nature itself). As it is not accounted for, the extraction industries are not contributing to the transaction (and thus neither are the consumers). This is tantamount to theft. Therefore when we consume them, we are not contributing to the true value of the raw materials that have been extracted on our behalf from the Earth. It is this that is driving so called growth – we are simply not accounting for the value of the raw materials that are being taken and consumed.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    “Climb on board the reality train”.
    What’s it powered by, WTB?

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    We have friends living nearby, on a couple of hectares of what was pasture grazed by a few sheep. They’ve generously invited their friends to create gardens and grow vegetables there and cultivated “terraces” along the contour to make it easier to get underway. Several couples and families have taken up their offer, even though they have space for gardening at home, as we have, so that they can contribute to the development of a shared space. We were there yesterday, earthing up our row of heritage potatoes. Children of some of the gardeners were playing amongst the rows and with the wheelbarrows and watering cans. A young woman, working along her row, paused from applying fresh seaweed to her pumpkin plants and said,
    “I love gardening with other people”.
    It’s not a community garden, run by a committee, on council land and lauded as a great community initiative. It’s just a good thing.

    • WeTheBleeple 4.1

      Nice one. I love sharing my garden for sure.

      I researched last night if gardens were useful therapeutic tools for Aspies as it really seems to help me, turns out they are. ‘Sensory gardens’ are a thing for people on the spectrum (and normies) to explore and enjoy.

      And there’s even a TV series The Autistic Gardener

      I pondered the aspergers-garden connection as I listened to all these plant experts Pete finds on you tube… they often rattle off plant names oblivious of the length of the list… off on a roll lol…

      My Dad was a trainspotter. Not a lot of internet back then. We both like slow tv of train journeys through snow online now. Bring back dem trains.

      A train tour of sensory gardens. Now we’re talkin.

    • One Two 4.2

      Robert, it is so wonderful to read that kind of pure loving, sharing interaction…

      It is a dream…to create a shared environment…a place where sustenance and nutritious organic edibles can be grown, harvested and savoured with family, friends and those we have yet to met in this life…

      If you were to advise a few steps for a novice to begin on a learning curve, for developing ‘how’ to create such a place…what might they be?

      At this stage I mean in a theoretical sense through reading/learning…such that when the opportunity presents itself to get hands on…some knowledge has been onboarded…enough to make an informed start…

      Trust this make some sense…

      Thank You…

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        Hi, One Two – thanks for your comments. Your question is central to what we are trying to achieve here, I reckon. How to do it; there’s the rub. It’s easier, perhaps to talk about what not to do and so far as creating the situation I described, my advice would be; don’t try to make it happen, instead, be watchful and expectant. When you see the germ, warm it with your good intentions, water it with your encouragement and support those who have generated it with your words. Trying to build an organic structure like this “gardening family” I was writing about is counter to the ways such organisms germinate and grow. It’s similar, I think, to the way a naturally deposited seed will grow into a sound tree that will live a full tree-lifetime, compared to one bought from a plant shop or even sown at home in a tray. There’s a huge amount of vigour in wild plants and also in naturally-generated “communities”. Advertising for like-minded people, seeking funding to buy land, inviting speakers to advise on operating a community garden or neighbourhood market garden is like growing in a glasshouse; results can be spectacular, but it suits annuals, rather than perennial, last-a-lifetime plants; in other words, the real ones will self-generate and be strong. This is all very wordy, I know, but what I’m trying to do is mimic the process I’m describing; that is, one that can’t be purchased off the shelf, a site-specific, hard to pin down development that has intention and alertness at its core 🙂
        You did ask for “theoretical” 🙂

        • One Two 4.2.1.1

          Thank You, Robert…

          I’ve been reading and following posts such as yours, and the appreciated comments from all commentators, for some duration at this site regarding your wild forest and permaculture et al…

          These such posts are an absolute favourite…they give oxygen to ‘the dream’…

          Specifically, your response built on those you have posted, ‘natures garden’ so to speak and how all layers , soil, foliage and creatures work in perfect unison and harmony…as it is designed to be…as it has developed over [however long its been]…

          Crucially earths frequencies and harmonics which are responsible for ‘life’…indeed they are so important that without earths healing frequencies….’life’ as we understand it to be…would not be….

          Juxtaposed ..the antithesis even… are man-made frequencies…the mesh of interference by enveloping planet earth with unnatural frequencies, or more correctly the creation of technology and infrastructure which facilitates existing spectrum to be used to modulate and transmit digital information…

          In my option, one of the most important endevours which we can all contribute to, is taking action which will lessen, ideally prevent further deployment of technology which has been, and is altering the well being of all inhabitants of this planet…from the very smallest, upwards…

          DMK – 2.2.1.3 gets to how this can be achieved…peace and quiet…step away from the life stealing noise which passes itself off, as life…and listen…

          Get back to using our innate senses which have become dulled in modern times…stop using chemical sprays and lotions on the body…feel the sense of smell return like never known, and then the body will really begin to feel the harm that is being done to the environment…it is in the air…It can smelt it everywhere…

          Lessen , stop using commercial toothpastes, they steel the sense of taste from the body… there are endless natural options for oral health care…

          Lessen and stop use of computer equipment and unnatural to touch items…get our hands onto and into nature and feel as the sense of touch returns…

          We must reaquaint ourselves with our senses…I genuinely believe that is a starting point to reconnecting with the planet that sustains life…as we know it…

          They are simple achievable actions which can be taken…immediately…and it would have an immediate impact…for the better…

          • gsays 4.2.1.1.1

            I agree, and one of the key differences between this wee thread and above is money/finance/markets are irrelevant to this other ‘economy’.

            Growth in this non fiscal environment is good, for maturation of plants, trees and fruit and also to share the bounty as the surplus expands season by season.

            I am firmly of the mind that sharing must be the basis of any economy that emerges after this brutal neo-liberal experiment is over.

            Sharing is natural, it resonates with our nature. It feels good to share and it feels good to be shared with.

            Bill says it better: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gRY_cjBCpTs

          • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1.2

            I’m with you on all that, One Two. The model we need is already operating and has always been right in front of us, only as we surround ourselves with “alterations” to our surroundings, we simplify that model and come to believe that the “revised edition” is the full story. Your suggestion that we “get back” is the right one and it’s not difficult. I don’t think though, that even the multitude of awful things we have made; DDT, plastic and so on, are “unnatural”; I think it’s impossible to be outside of the “natural” envelope, but many things now inside of it that weren’t there before, are toxic and threaten life. We can and demonstrably have, created almost anything that can be thought of, but now our challenge as a species must be showing restraint around, self- moderating, governing our behaviour. It’s a matter of scale. We can do anything we want to, but should we? As a species we find ourselves at the development stage of a 3 year-old child, learning about ego and consequences. It’s a somewhat sad state of affairs really, for those of us who are not 3, but there we are…the likelihood of us “growing up” in time to “settle the farm” is not especially high, it seems, but the only way to approach the situation is armed with hope, in my opinion.

            • One Two 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I’m not so sure ‘we settle the farm, either, Robert…the status quo has so many levels of protection built into its design…so many gatekeepers…

              But hope must remain…a smile on the face, a kind word…a simple gesture of kindness, look others in the eye…relate to them…allow them to relate to us…

              Be around younger ones…your own or not it doesn’t matter…they are hope…they are motivation…they are truth…and they are the future…

              We can each take the responsibility to sincerely maintain hope, and to propagate it any way we possibly can…the wild forest is beautiful thing…of course not the thing ‘you do’…but my goodness…what a beauty…

              Do you still do public viewings, so to speak ?

              • Robert Guyton

                I’ve just come inside from showing a group of young parents and their toddlers (and a babe in arms) through the forest garden. Most were Maori, pleasingly, and all had a strong interest in the health aspects of the plants that grow here; kawakawa, comfrey, Chinese hawthorn, elecampane etc. and the spiritual value of spending time among the trees, in the dappled light and soothed by birdsong 🙂 We ate apples, plums, raspberries and Cornelian cherries as we wandered around, French sorrel and Florence fennel too. They invited me to visit their garden, where I know a special hop vine grows, having been there in earlier years when others owned the land. A couple of days ago, a Polish family, travelling the country in search of “how to get there” visited and though their English wasn’t strong, we swapped ideas easily. The husband was a medical doctor and asked if we needed a GP in the village. Many people are looking toward New Zealand for sanctuary. We get a lot of visitors to the forest garden.

            • WeTheBleeple 4.2.1.1.2.2

              I’m entirely with you on a return to a simpler life and forest gardens for miles. In the interim the concept of slowing down has been met with derision and fear. It does need to be discussed for those (of which there are many) who don’t understand why the treadmill we’re on is ultimately broken.

              Then the slowdown is in context. Slowdown is inevitable. Do we do it with a harsh crash, chaos and hardship? Or community, retrofitting, and forest gardens.

              There is a method to my madness. It returns to garden meandering. But now folk know why I’m dead set on pushing gardening.

              In gardening design, after making plenty of design mistakes, I learned this gem:

              Get the edges right first.

              If I had this advice when I started my project out front I’d have a significant amount more productive space. Though it is aesthetically pleasing and highly productive for what it is (trees and annuals underneath), that’s a lot of unused space, namely, I put paths bordering the space rather than plants as borders and paths internal.

              For some the edge will require considering wind, noise, fire, light – and something to eat. Contrary to popular belief plants mostly love other plants company just mix up their niches as Robert describes for his garden.

              Seven forest layers may not be doable in NZ, where solar energy is lower than the tropics – where seven layers is common. But we can get five.

              • Robert Guyton

                Many visitors to my garden comment on the lush understory beneath the walnut trees, saying; walnuts are renown for killing off everything that grows near them. What’s going on here .
                I don’t know.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I like the idea of the conga chain – for gardening with each other. Have never done it but for people to have friendship, community and good veg & flowers as a basic, it would be good for a group with commitment to each other to give each other practical help.

    So five people over 5 days, spending a half-hour gardening and the rest of the hour in getting there/from and having a drink and a biscuit. Also they give just the amount of help and know what plants are to be yanked and what the person owning the garden wants. Groups forming all over the town would be great. And always having a conga line if possible at community events as well, great for getting people having fun together.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC42AwsOjKY

  6. greywarshark 6

    Some hints on what to do to discourage fires from burning down your home and wanted buildings. And hint: it’s the flying embers that set your home alight.
    Buildings can get hot and not flame. And eucalypts on fire can shoot embers high in the air.

    Flax can present a green challenge to a fire. Other fire-resistant plants will have
    moist, supple leaves and low level of sap and resin – deciduous trees such as poplar, birch, maple and willow are generally fire-resistant.

    Keeping the area tidy is also crucial, such as regularly mowing lawns, removing debris like twigs and pine needles, and pruning (and the prunings).

    Flammable plants to avoid such as pine, eucalyptus, manuka and kanuka, often have fine leaves, loose bark and have a gummy, resinous sap.

    Houses close to rural areas, steep slopes covered in things like gorse, broom manuka/kanuka drives out quick and even in winter there can be extreme fire activity in gorse after it dries out in a few days of fine weather.

    Note that parts of the world where forest fires were common are risky for choice of their pants/trees – “In Australia and North America the ecology of the forests rely on fire to reproduce”.

    And angle of slope makes a large difference, say for each 10 degrees of slope the fire goes twice as fast as on the flat. With 20 degrees of slope that’s four times faster, more if a wind comes from behind it. In Nelson with the steep slope and the high winds, the fire went “off like a rocket”.
    (Nelson Mail Weekend in Trial by fire are you ready? 16 Feb 2019)

    • WeTheBleeple 6.1

      Finds list…

      Least flammable: Hangehange, five finger, fuschia, mapou, lombardy poplar, flax, coprosma(s), kohekohe, kowhai, supplejack, papauma, karaka, poroporo, puka, lancewood, kawakawa, putaputaweta.

      Skip the poplar and use the above species plus earthworks to create fire resistant riparian edges gulleys and breaks in forest blocks. Bring in experts from tasmania with a history of fire experience to consult with local experts on size and frequency of breaks in relation to topography. And some earthworks experts to teach their ways to foresters. If we can keep these plants hydrated via earthworks they’ll make a fire slow right down despite surrounding drought.

      Ideally we rehydrate whole catchments, but starting somewhere is a start.

      • WeTheBleeple 6.1.1

        There is also the non-Pinus Pinaceae species, that are rare in producing non-flammable litter.

        Litters flammability appears largely to do with packing density. The less gaps between litter particles the less flammable the litter is. But only the above mentioned types (of those tested so far) can suppress a fires potential in a mixed plant community model.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5108272/

        Foresters can bring chippers in at times of pruning to convert pruning to mulch under their trees. This helps retain soil moisture for the trees, discourages weeds, feeds the soil, and has a packing density far less than that of branches.

        • WeTheBleeple 6.1.1.1

          Must note in 6.1 I am not saying our local fire experts are not experienced, but that the Tassie crews can add their experience for the good of all. I have massive respect for our local firefighters and acknowledge the close trans-tasman ties already forged.

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.2

          Interesting about chippers. If those of us who have them could bring theirs out for emergencies and chip green prunings to gather into truckloads to lay as firebreaks say around Wakefield and have roofs watered and blocked, full gutters, a small town threatened could be saved.

          Making that preventive effort with constant loads being carried piled and spread, could be useful as an adjunct to the constant truckloads of water required for monsoon bucket-filling against the fires that have got started.

          • WeTheBleeple 6.1.1.2.1

            Well, the chippings are actually fuel wood in a drought situation, just not as bad as brush piles of prunings or loose branches everywhere. The logistics would be prohibitive for emergency procedure and completely untested.

            But in typical forestry operation, both low and high pruning, the pruned branches are often either piled up or discarded in situ. This is more problematic, a fire hazard, and not really useful to a forest it just sits mostly in the air till fire finally comes to get rid of it.

            Chip mulch has many benefits. The application of mulch to soil helps retain moisture and nutrients, and soil food chains can flourish where worms and other critters begin the transformation of mulch to heal degraded land making topsoil with mulch as fuel. This is turn provides better water penetration into the soil and the organic matter transported into the soil via food chains and water provides better soil water retention.

            Bryce Courtenay wrote a great novel ‘Four Fires’ describing fire ecology and behaviour in the Australian bush setting in some detail. A stunning work worth reading as much for its information as entertainment value.

            • greywarshark 6.1.1.2.1.1

              For general information. Trademe has a copy of Four Fires starting at $3,
              If you want to get it while its cheaply priced.

  7. Sabine 7

    visited a friend yesterday in tauranga and enjoyed the scenery of the brown baked hills of NZ
    while sitting in her house with a cuppa i realized that should there be an emergency or even just a tiny little fire the whole suburb would go up in flames in less then five minutes and the fire fighters could do nothing but stand by and watch it burn.

    oh well. soon it will rain. right?

  8. Jenny - How to get there? 8

    What a better future looks like is electric cars, They cost less to own and operate, they break down less often because there are fewer moving parts.

    What the better future looks like is free public transport, trains, buses, ferries. Catch a train into the Britomart Centre and then explain how much more modern it is to sit in a traffic jam.

    The better future doesn’t come for free

    But the cost will be cheaper than the hellish future we are currently paying for.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Those electric cars – sharing? There needs to be a template of how to own a car by multiple owners. How to schedule likely use and need, how to co-ordinate, how to divide and fairly pay for running costs and maintenance and legal requirements. There would be cost-benefit to consider; some might pay more than others because they personally feel it was worthwhile for them. Someone will have drawn up a plan or know of one. If someone has, would they like to scan it and put it up to illustrate their thinking?

      • Tony Veitch [not etc.] 8.1.1

        I wonder if Lime Scooters is pointing the way?

        Imagine if a city introduced a hundred or more electric cars (and driverless versions at that) which any citizen/person could access from a phone app?

        They could ride this transport home, then the car would navigate itself back to a central city hub for the next user.

        You could dial up a car to pick you up from your door, take you to your destination and then return to take you home. In the meantime, it would return to its hub where it would plug itself in to recharge.

        If we have enough future left, this could be part of it.

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.1

          Yes convenience. However it would be a one person trip as you describe it, and then a no person return. Could do that better and be viable. But it would be better to have people movers being phoned and negotiate time to be picked up or not, and when 2/3 full min it would collect everyone, a small bus. Good for in between the main bus lanes.

          Lime scooters are going to be a pain in the neck, and have been causing serious injuries with their automatic braking when not required causing falls. If there was a flock of them they would be unmanageable. They want to be treated like pedestrians on the footpath though they are machines, and on the road they want to be treated as machines and yet receive pedestrian treatment.

          Register all these machines scooters, bikes etc. and they can start to pay for some of the costs they incur, in their airy fairy fantasy land of ‘modern, green’.

          • Tony Veitch [not etc.] 8.1.1.1.1

            It’s early days for Lime Scooters yet, gws. They do need to be better regulated, and perhaps, as ChCh is doing, confined to the cycle lanes which the city is building. (building the cycle lanes, I mean.)

            Most cars sit idle for most of the day. Owners have to pay registration costs, maintenance costs etc for a machine which is used, say 3 hours out of 24.

            That’s not a sound business model! (God, I sound like a National politician!)

            Much better for a city to own all means of transport, both bulk movers (electric buses and trains/trams) and small group transport, like driverless electric cars.

            Transfer the costs to the city and pay when you use them.

            Much as I hate the uber business model – the software writer is a billionaire while most uber drivers struggle to make a living – taken out of the corporate grip, the idea has merit.

            • greywarshark 8.1.1.1.1.1

              You are on the ball and not sounding just like a National – they don’t know about sound business models – they are completely unsound!

              It’s a fact that cars sit a lot. It would be good to able to not have one and phone one up if I belonged to a low-cost transport ‘Octobus’, how’s that for a name.

              I belong to the AA and pay a reduced fee for being a long term member and gladly pay it for its reliability even if I haven’t used its services, though I have had occasion to more in the past. I could do that for an Octobus membership which would be set for a year, or six months (with no more than a 5% rise over the latter part of year) – whatever. It then becomes a co-operative with the city or town system managed by the council.

              Would that be viable.?

              • Tony Veitch [not etc.]

                I like the name – Octobus! – it reaches out to all corners of the city!!!

                But the crucial part is ownership of ALL transport by the city – the citizens,
                not some anonymous foreign based conglomerate of selfish self-centred elites.

                Transfer the costs back to the people who use the transport, but the profits (or not) to the collective.

                Fewer cars, far more buses (and as close to free as makes no difference) with just a flash of a mobile phone on entry, and a guaranteed set fee for a month or whatever, and all electric!

                That’s got to be a win-win for all concerned?

          • alwyn 8.1.1.1.2

            “and when 2/3 full min it would collect everyone, a small bus”.

            I offer you a hypothetical, but quite possible, scenario.
            I want to travel from Auckland to Melbourne and, in order to get a full day there I take the 6.10am flight.
            Thus I need to be at the airport by 4.00 am and therefore I have to leave my home in Epsom by about 3.20am at the latest.
            How long am I going to have to wait until there enough passengers to have a 2/3 full bus?
            Wouldn’t small AVs be a more practical proposition then a bus?

        • alwyn 8.1.1.2

          “then the car would navigate itself back to a central city hub for the next user.”

          Why would you bother to go anywhere? Just let it stay more or less where it is until it gets a call for another trip? After all, if you used it to return home from work there is a pretty good chance that the next person may want one to go from the suburbs into the city to go to dinner.

          You don’t need a single hub for recharging either. Just spread them around the way we have petrol stations at the moment. Indeed as electric AVs take over from other forms of personal transport we can use the land now occupied by petrol stations as recharging and temporary parking sites for the AVs.

          It will also mean that we won’t require the mad expenditure and waste that is the tram to the airport in Auckland. You won’t really need any form of short distance bulk mover. Small AVs will be vastly more convenient and are the way of the future. Nobody will need to own a personal vehicle. They can get one from a pool to transport them whenever they need one.
          Much the way that Taxis do except you won’t have the enormous cost of a driver.

  9. Jackel 9

    Greetings, my name is the Great Ego, I’m your local politician alive and well in your heart. I come up with rather vague answers that might just might improve my support base’s livelihoods and definitely appeals to their base passions, but really solve nothing. But really I’m just an entertainer of the masses, while me and my rich mates make an obscene fortune out of suckers like you. Well you know what else is an ego supposed to do especially one as great as me, me and our good friend me.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Great Ego > GE > Genetic Engineering. Is this subliminal stuff from you Jackel?

    • Incognito 9.2

      Do you wear a cap with MEGA (Make Ego Great Again)?

      • Jackel 9.2.1

        To be honest neither genetic engineering or MEGA even entered my mind. It’s satire and a caricature of neoliberalism’s real end goals. I don’t recommend trying to read between the lines in anyone’s writing.

        • Incognito 9.2.1.1

          It’s my turn to apologise again. I thought you packaged the sub-liminal message very cleverly in your comment. In fact, I could hardly read the actual lines of writing, so strongly did it jump out at me …

    • alwyn 9.3

      Well, well. I didn’t realise that Phil Twyford spent time contributing to this blog.
      Probably quite a good idea of course as he probably does less harm doing this than he does in Parliament.

      • Jackel 9.3.1

        I’m in awe of your ignorance. Can I have some?
        So who is to blame for the mess our building industry is in? Can’t be the Ardern government, they haven’t been in long enough.

        • Incognito 9.3.1.1

          You are ignorant! You’ve asked Alwyn the one question that you shouldn’t have asked, never ever, under any circumstances. Never ask him about Census 2018 and James Shaw. Please!!

          • Jackel 9.3.1.1.1

            Indeed, some questions are just too raw for some people. But I don’t think you can blame Phil Twyford. His numbers aren’t that much worse than previous housing ministers and on some measures are better at this early stage.

  10. greywarshark 10

    How to be?…while you are working out How to get there…

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018682867/josh-cohen-renewing-the-feeling-of-joy-in-not-doing-anything
    11.04: Josh Cohen: renewing the feeling of joy in not doing anything
    Josh Cohen
    Professor Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst and a professor of modern literary theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. His new book is called ‘Not Working. Why We have To Stop’.

    He believes that people have stopped enjoying not doing anything. He thinks people have stopped just chilling out and have lost the ability to simply stay at home not achieving anything in particular. He says many people feel guilty when they’re not busy going out or filling their days with appointments or binge watching televisions series. He explains why people need to get off the treadmill and learn to enjoy doing nothing.

    • Incognito 10.1

      Does the professor make a case for a UBI?

    • WeTheBleeple 10.2

      I want to ‘stay at home and not achieve anything in particular.’

      Stupid planet, chill out.

      • greywarshark 10.2.1

        The new way to chill out – Group Chill Outs? Just sit around drinking cold non-alcoholics in summer and warm in winter and yap, and swop jokes and be old-fashioned and talk uno to uno. Don’t have a cellphone or screen in sight or on site unless you’re on call.

        Should be a time for reflection too, how often do busy people do that especially in a group? Discuss adult things of importance to test each others opinions and learn stuff – would be good. I think we should reflect on what we need at chill out sessions, and make a plan for the next week, and listen to some music, have a little dance, be refreshed.

        We have had our adult childhood where we expected our parent-replacement, the government, to do what it received more than adequate money to carry out. (Some kid in the USA filed to divorce his parents! Inadequate care he cited I think.)

        Doing nothing is good but can’t for very long these days. But lying down and learning how to relax your heart rate, start from the toes, up to legs, torso, arms – it is quite a trick for driven, uptight people. I had to have an ECG once, had walked quickly to be in time, my heart was up, technician was disappointed – no good. I asked for half a minute, did my relaxation thing and brought it down to normal, all okay, and that shows how it can work.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    On page 60 of The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World (2017) there’s a photo of a grain of sand, magnified until it measures 3.5cm horizontally and vertically, and on the flat face of it you can see a line drawing. It looks like one of those hillside Tibetan buildings with five levels, and on one level you can see at least a dozen windows in a row. Here’s the brief text reference:

    “Using a focused ion beam, artist Vik Muniz etches nanoscale artwork on grains of sand.”

    One of the authors, David Eagleman, is a neuroscientist at Stanford University. He’s been published in Science and Nature, and is also writer/presenter of a BBC/PBS tv series about how the brain works. The other author is a Professor of Composition and Theory of Music. Their book is as much about the cultural interface of art and craft as creativity itself. Techne.

    Derived from an ancient Greek root, it “is often translated as craftsmanship, craft, or art” according to Wikipedia. “Techne is a term in philosophy which resembles epistēmē in the implication of knowledge of principles, although techne differs in that its intent is making or doing as opposed to disinterested understanding.” The kiwi equivalent is `know how, can do’.

    “As an activity, techne is concrete, variable, and context-dependent… For the ancient Greeks, it signified all the mechanic arts, including medicine and music… Socrates also compliments techne only when it was used in the context of epistēmē. Epistēmē sometimes means knowing how to do something in a craft-like way. The craft-like knowledge is called a technê. It is most useful when the knowledge is practically applied, rather than theoretically or aesthetically applied.”

    This focus on the utilitarian value, or application, produces technology. The authors devote the first part of their book to ways in which novelty is generated via invention. Their chapter on blending has this nifty wee story on the wizardry of gene-tech:

    “Genetics professor Randy Lewis knew that spider silk had great commercial potential: it is many times stronger than steel. If only the silk could be produced in bulk, one could weave apparel such as bullet-proof vests. But it is difficult to farm spiders – when confined in large numbers they turn into cannibals, eating each other for lunch. On top of that, harvesting silk from spiders is an arduous task: it took 82 people working with a million spiders several years to extract enough silk to weave 44 square feet of cloth. So Lewis came up with an innovative idea: splice the DNA responsible for silk manufacturing into a goat. The result: Freckles the spider-goat. Freckles looks like a goat but she secretes spider silk in her milk.”

    This blending of invention and techne has been powering capitalism for centuries. Mutual benefits produced by the blend get monetised via business enterprise and employing workers. If benefits outweigh costs, and get distributed throughout society, that produces socialism. In the climate-change era, we can’t afford to allow profits to be captured by a few while costs are socialised – yet business as usual operates as a syndrome to maintain that status quo. That’s why we must shift into an innovative economy based on stakeholder design. Sustainability is impossible without a consensus of most (if not all) stakeholders.

    To solve the global problem of climate change requires a global solution. Some designs operate at different scales. Transformation into a stakeholder-design economy is the best example we have of such scaling utility. This is optimal techne. It incentives everyone on the basis of consensus that wealth-sharing and wealth-generation must be synthesised rather than polarised. To make the synthesis real, stakeholders in all societies ought to accept the generic design as a general principle, then work towards consensus on how to apply it in the context of their nation. This is a project the UN can mandate, so we can start by encouraging our politicians to advocate it there. Let’s do this!

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      The obvious question, Dennis, from your post must be: Does Freckles eat flies?
      Secondly, and perhaps more obscurely, Have you read The Glass Bead Game?

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        A further question – does Dennis eat flies? They probably have a lot of protein in them. The onward march to new discoveries, the playing with genes, where will it end? What about the children? Don’t know whose – it has become a cliche’ but that itself is an example of how bold and senseless we are. Let’s stop inventing and start conserving – maties.

      • Incognito 11.1.2

        Das Glasperlenspiel, an all-time favourite of mine although Demian made a much bigger impact on me. Probably because of its near-perfect alignment with my personal circumstances at the time …

        • Robert Guyton 11.1.2.1

          Likewise. Did you read the German original?
          I have a very tidy hard-back copy (in English) that I’m dipping into/re-reading when I have time…
          Reading Demian at age …17? 18?
          Abraxas and Santana’s version – I missed all that, just a title too young or at least in a world that wasn’t sophisticated in that way. My friend’s older brother listened to Canned Heat though…

          • Incognito 11.1.2.1.1

            I read it neither in German (tried) nor English 😉

            For years, it literally stared me in the face from my parents’ bookshelves, as did Demian. I was in my early 20s when I read Demian; I grew up slowly, shall we say. Nothing much has changed, I can tell you.

            I was not aware of the links with Santana and Canned Heat; the world is full of those wonderful ‘connections’ and it makes perfect sense (to me) that I find out here, in this post on TS. It makes you think even more about connectedness, etc.

            Many thanks, Robert.

            • Robert Guyton 11.1.2.1.1.1

              Us late bloomers should form a club. Sometime in the future 🙂

              • Incognito

                No hurry 😉

                • greywarshark

                  I have wondered though. Is the ability to understand our complexity but express it in simplicity, the application for intelligence that we need?
                  Understanding ourselves and conquering our curiosity or channelling it in some ordinary way would be the highest level of perception we could reach. Perhaps just enjoying the whole range of things that produce each minute that each of us have and our being and location and interactions with others.

                  The glass bead game requires high abilities in a number of spheres to conclude it. It could be an intellectual hobby, and a lot of our scientific stuff would be dabbling, interesting but not exploited. Not doing it would be an exercise in self and society limitation that would be harder than making discoveries. But we have to stop or lose our very selves in senseless tinkering. (I think I may set up as a guru. Like in the Simpsons – the Kwik E Mart one.)

                  • Incognito

                    Very interesting comment but given the time I’ll have to come back to this at another time. It deserves a proper answer, or at least an attempt at it …

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Is that like going shopping with a camera, rather than a credit card?
                    Hunting with a Canon, rather than a gun?

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    In that nexus where enterprise blends with techne to generate the economy, there’s an interface with governance. Not just tax. The law. So inventions, to protect the money flow from them, have to be copyright-protected. Thus governments operate a patent office. Ours is here: https://www.iponz.govt.nz/

    Einstein was a patent-office clerk when he transformed western civilisation, so it’s unwise to discount the function! It’s part of the leading edge of the economy.

    Take the invention of new types of umbrella, for instance. What, you thought umbrellas are stale tech?? “In 1969, Bradford Phillips patented the design of the modern folding umbrella. Phillips’ model has enjoyed considerable staying power. Still, it is not the end of the line: The US Patent Office continues to receive so many patent applications for umbrellas that it has four full-time examiners to review them.”

    Taken from p69 of the book I mentioned in comment 11, this creative ferment in umbrella-reinvention derives from the fundamental relation between endeavour, profit and employment. When folks are incentivised to be clever they power the economy and change the world. So, to make the economy sustainable, we need an incentive that works as well as profit. Leftist political thought has yet to focus on the necessity.

    • Ad 12.1

      Patents also stifle innovation, and stifle people.

    • Incognito 12.2

      Often, the innovator/inventor/discoverer is not one and the same as the one who brings it to market and (thus) makes profit. That’s a capitalist meme/myth. For example, Big Pharma rely heavily on academic research funded from the public purse. Guess where the billion dollar profits are made? At the expense of the public purse, again. And that includes the huge publishing houses that control/dominate the scientific literature market.

    • solkta 12.3

      Don’t you mean “naxus”.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 12.4

      Look at me: episteme, techne, phronesis, praxis and projects all in the same sentence.

      https://prebenormen.com/uncategorized/episteme-techne-phronesis-praxis-projects-sentence

      • Dennis Frank 12.4.1

        Cool. “Strangely, phronesis has no analogous contemporary term.” Too sophisticated a notion for most punters?

        “Phronesis makes us view the learning process in terms of context-independent and -dependent factors. In addition, we now also specifically consider values and ethics. This means that an outcome that may look desirable from a strictly rational analytical point of view may fail when we bring in ethical considerations.”

        Right, so using democracy to defeat climate-change was rational 20 years ago. After the ongoing failure, ethics compel us to switch to a better method. Ta da! 😎

    • KJT 12.5

      The right assume that people are only motivated by money.

      If that was really the case their would be no Teachers, Nurses, research scientists, and many other necessary but poorly paid jobs.

      In fact many of the most useful inventions, came from public employees and academic researchers, and employees, who gained little material profit from their innovations.

      Often the for profit motive restricts rather than improves innovation, as the drug industry shows. And the cell phone manufacturers spending millions on fights over “rounded corners”.

  13. Sabine 13

    i wish we would be more forward thinking when designing out subburbs.

    this is a project i quite like, a car free living quarter where once used to be a part of military installation from the french in the french occupied territories of west germany. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauban,_Freiburg

    • Ad 13.1

      New Zealand is one of the most car dependent countries on earth.

      Even doing a Wellington cycleway is enough to demolish the career of a local politician.

      We are doing slightly better in Auckland for trips not taken by car over the past 3 years, but we’re always going to be catching up to 60 years of solid motorway investment.

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        this is true.

        we can also invest or at least look at car share on a community based system. I .e. community center purchases cars, people subscribe to the system, and user fees pays for the maintenance and rego for these vehicles. And people can book in to use these cars.
        Not everyone needs a car full time. Literally 80% of our cars drive to work – park for 8 – 10 hours, drive home – park for another 8 – 10 hours.

        That has got to be the most wasteful tool we could possibly use to get us around, never mind hte amount of space that needs to be concreted over to park these boxes.

        Every residential area now developed should come with cycle lanes next to pedestrian boardwalks, there should be communal green spaces, corner shops etc. Not just these bed burgs that millions only use for 10 hours at night time and a few hours over the weekend.

        we need to stop finding excuses for why we are not doing things and start understanding that unless we get out of hte box, we are just bullshitting us and our kids.

    • A 13.2

      I think we should have a place like that with these> https://bikerumor.com/2017/02/17/podride-wild-enclosed-3-4-wheeled-e-bike-looks-like-micro-car/
      …Which looks cute but around here you’d be taking your life in your hands on the road unless the city were purpose built.

      Yeah, let’s build a town and order a hundred of those babies to start us off.

      • Sabine 13.2.1

        the point is not to use this or that.

        you just want a car 🙂 , the point is that any method that does not involve fossil fuel is a better method then what we do now.

        So we need to build cycle ways, walk ways, link towns via their green spaces – i.e. Holland – I can cycle to Amsterdam from Hilversum, – 35 km via nice green areas (i can also run/walk if i am so inclined), i can take the train, or i can take the car and pay a fortune for parking.

        The point at this stage is to make opting out for those that want to possible, and heck if we can stop people from opting in by providing hte required infrastructure its even better.

  14. Janet 14

    PAT : “I think it was Jenny who said the other day that the politicians that are advocating a change to the status quo need the support of the public …”

    The politicians; the government , HAVE to lead the way on this one. First to generally educate the general public to make them more aware of their planet destroying/consuming ways and its consequences,. Then as people catch-on give them the information on the many, many ways they can help by changing their ways without too much pain. ( Just like anti litter campaigns )
    To this end, there should be, for an example, many many more documentarys in this genre – like “Tomorrow” – on TV instead of the crap that there is.
    The government has to lead the way and
    the government HAS to regulate to stop all unnecessary products coming into NZ. Forget about Free Trade, we need lots of Import Control.

    OR is it a done deal? A huge loss of human life by one means or another in a world that is fast becoming served, controlled and upheld by AI replacing “not needed” humans.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 14.1

      +1

    • greywarshark 14.2

      Janet
      Your comment on what is important makes me think – Truth. Rationality. Stark possibilities. Forward-looking (bearing in mind past history and the policies that have served us – well or badly?).

      There is a need to make those forward-looking and uncomfortable points to us all by government. It has to explain to us what is, what will be, how to make changes; I think needing to hold constant meetings, travelling up and down the country, appealing to different ages, ethnicities, making points in all ways, from different approaches and encouraging Q & A sessions – with time controls to prevent monopoly of ‘verbiage’.

      This clever ditty from Charles Bowen illustrates how respect for others’ property and welfare breaks down with much callous dishonesty as times get harder.

      ‘The rain it raineth on the just
      And also on the unjust fella;
      But chiefly on the just, because
      The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.’

      and another attributed to him:
      When I hear of an ‘equity’ in a case like this, I am reminded of a blind man in a dark room – looking for a black hat – which isn’t there.

      Charles Bowen — trained in the law and went through all the steps to having a seat in the House of Lords.
      In 1893, Baron Bowen presided over the commission looking into the Featherstone pit riots.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bowen,_Baron_Bowen

      Featherstone, its pits and riot and its decline into poverty has relevance to us. We are going backwards towards the same conditions, but we do not appear to have the mass of people in one sector concentration who are as committed to each other. (Note how Pike River Mine community have persevered in their claims for fair treatment.)

      This about Featherstone and note the last line:
      While we are remembering the victims of Peterloo and Burslem (Letters, 23 August), we should not forget those who died in the Featherstone Massacre of 1893. Two people were killed when soldiers fired on Yorkshire miners who were attempting to prevent the movement of coal during a dispute. This was the last time British citizens were killed by British troops on English soil. At the inquest it was reported that when the magistrate announced he was about to read the Riot Act and the crowd must take the consequences, a voice was heard to shout: “Read it, you old b—, and don’t talk so much about it”. When, further, the crowd was told the soldiers were about to open fire, there were cries of: “We’d rather be shot down than hungered to death.”
      Tony Hufton Norwich

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/23/featherstone-massacre-shouldnt-be-forgotten 8/23/2017
      https://www.pontefractandcastlefordexpress.co.uk/news/your-say/featherstone-massacre-will-not-be-forgotten-1-5992473

      Featherstone recently has followed NZs trajectory and responses:
      Starting in the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, the area went into an era of sharp decline in the residents’ quality of life. Historians and social scientists have put forward many factors. The gradual loss of the coal industry coupled with poor housing and education.
      This has begun to improve in recent years with new housing developments, better schools and plans to breathe life back into the local business community via various climate friendly projects.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Featherstone#Toponymy

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