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We will always have Paris

Written By: - Date published: 7:09 am, December 27th, 2015 - 56 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, Environment, global warming, sustainability - Tags: , ,

Casablanca we will always have Paris

In the movie Casablanca, Rick says to his twice-lost love, “We’ll always have Paris”. Meaning, that romance was amazing, but it’s just gone. The Parisian response of internationalist unity was a perfect riposte to terrorist attacks in that same City only a few weeks earlier. Statist optimism. Call it a little glimpse of the Statesman’s Anthropocene Era; diplomacy as symbolism and unenforceable goal triumphant.

Then, in the ‘Good Capitalocene’ version of Paris 21, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, no-one believes that politics is enough. But private capital will remake the world. As US Secretary of State John Kerry said straight after the COP 21 signing: “It won’t be the governments that make the decision […] it will be the genius of the American spirit. It will be business unleashed.” Capitalism forms the path towards its own salvation.

Hmm. Maybe.

Naomi Klein’s recent writing is hoping for a great revival that unites from below. The Democratic Anthropocene. In this version of the future, intensified climate movements unite their strength and pivot major parts of the global economy towards renewable energy and start reworking life towards a greener, fairer, and more secure world. Great blocs of protest coalesce to force change. While the international agreements help, the primary targets of the great protest bloc remain national governments while they still have the power to alter economies.

But one march isn’t enough. To compare it to the entire Marxist movement and its derivatives over the 19th and 20th century, the global movement to change the world has not coalesced. There have been wins: Keystone pipeline is dead. Shell has withdrawn from extreme-area drilling. COP 21 is signed. Some institutions have divested of fossil fuel investments. But actually turning whole industries into pariahs need sustained victories.

Nor has some climate version of the Marshall Plan emerged, to support the Statesman’s version.

So I’ve been perplexed by the limits of all three: the COP 21 Statesman’s Anthropocene Era, the optimistic Good Capitalocene Era, or the hopey-changey Democratic Anthropocene Era.

I’ve seen more change on the ground operating in smaller groups.

So I’ve got a request. Can we please set down the groups we are aware of, or active in, that are Doing Good to alter the world? Particularly Doing Good other than as parliamentary parties.

My challenge to you, gentle reader, is to set out a great list of the environmental trusts, community garden networks, local initiatives, alternative power retailers, and earth-changing work that we know of or are active in. A line or two and a link about why we like them.

Keep adding to them throughout the holidays as you bump into more good people doing good things.

We’ll always have Paris.  It’s not enough.

56 comments on “We will always have Paris ”

  1. sabine 1

    Save our Kauri.
    Currently very busy, but might not be successful in saving the tree.
    Yeah, Capitalism unleashed, cause the world needs more car parks.

    • Ad 1.1

      That is going to be an almighty fight if the local politicians can unite activist groups for good.

      Good on you.

  2. Marie 2

    Paris does seem a little small, hun?

    You are just so sceptical and unsure of yourself, it is a good thing I am here, isn’t it?

    Soon enough you’ll be ‘eyeing up’ the stars.

  3. weka 3

    The Transition Town movement in NZ has morphed into something else. Some groups are still using the formal term Transition Town, but because the movements in NZ aren’t very well organised online (the national site is pretty defunct) it’s easier to pinpoint locations that are doing well. Let’s call it Beyond Transition Town (BTT).

    In the South Island there are communities out ahead of the pack. Off the top of my head I’d name Dunedin and Golden Bay as exemplars, for quite different reasons. Golden Bay has always been full of hippies and they knew early on that the shit was going to hit the fan, so look to Golden Bay for a high percentage of the population that are ready to do the changes that need to be done and have already been doing them at the personal and family levels for a long time, sometimes decades (eg Tui Community).

    Dunedin had strong small TT groups (North East Valley in particular I think), but the whole wider area is thriving around transition activism. Look to Blueskin Bay and other north coastal communities,


    Blueskin Bay

    http://www.transitiontowns.org.nz/dunedinnorth (check out the degree to which council supports them too)

    but also the fact that the Dunedin City Council has produced an actual report on Dunedin’s Peak Oil Vulnerability and it was written by Susan Krumdiek, who leads the way in Transition Engineering.


    Add to that the fact that Dunedin is going to be the first place in NZ to have large scale CC displacement (thousands of people, I decided to stop calling them refugees), and I expect that the city will lead the way in terms of large scale formal transition. If I lived there, I’d be focussing on action that motivates council to do the right things.

    There is also a strong CC activist group in Dunedin (from what I can tell), and solid community networks around sustainability (haven’t looked for links, but as with many places, putting up websites isn’t necessarily the priority. Maybe try Facebook).

    Waiheke Island is a good place to look for community resiliency and sustainability initiatives that are based in the TT movements.

    So that’s just a bit of link dropping of sustainability/resiliency activitism, because I think it’s important to know that there are communities that are already preparing for both surviving CC but also transition. One thing that I would love to see is more networking and collaboration between the resiliency movements and traditional political activists. Mostly they keep each other at arms length and tend to view each other with suspicion (based on perceptions of conflicting ideologies, which we really need to get over fast).

  4. johnm 4

    I Love Paris Lyrics
    Nat king cole
    (cole porter)

    Every time I look down on this timeless town
    Whether blue or gray be her skies.
    Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
    More and more do I realize:

    I love paris in the springtime.
    I love paris in the fall.
    I love paris in the winter when it drizzles,
    I love paris in the summer when it sizzles.

    I love paris every moment,
    Every moment of the year.
    I love paris, why, oh why do I love paris?
    Because my love is near.

    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GZuvQG8TnQ )

    However! back to reality… Even if we stopped emissions 100% today 400 ppm CO2 plus methane and other gasses have baked into the cake exponential climate change towards a new hot Planet. The rate of change is accelerating as we speak, to put it mildly we’re stuffed as a species. It is hard and bitter to realise it.

    • johnm 4.1

      Paul Beckwith says:

      ” What if I had fallen asleep for 20 years? What type of world would I awaken to? The answer to that question depends on what we do NOW. Not tomorrow, or in the next year, or in the next 5 years. But NOW.

      Door A:
      If we carry on business-as-usual and continue to burn fossil fuels, the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans will continue to change, trapping more heat in the former and destroying the marine food chain in the latter.

      The enormous Arctic warming has already disrupted Earth’s heat balance from the equator to the poles causing global circulation patterns in the atmosphere to go haywire, and now recently the ocean currents and surface heat patterns are completely changing. Extreme weather events around the planet are wreaking havoc on our cities and infrastructure and global food sources. If continued, with abrupt climate change, first cities will drop like dominoes cascading to nation state failure and even societal collapse.

      Door B:
      We accept that we have an unprecedented global emergency on our plate from abrupt climate change. We realize that this emergency threatens to take out our societies, and our technologies, and our subsidence and our humanity. Not only that, it threatens to remove all of our structures and science and historical signatures and achievements that have been accomplished on the Earth throughout human history.

      Once we realize this, we must ACT, in concert and with all our resources and capital to fight this. We may fail in the end to reverse our course, but we must try. Nations of the planet must declare a global emergency, and act in unison.

      To do what, exactly?

      What we must do is simple; we must metaphorically provide stability to a three-legged bar stool.

      Leg 1 is slashing fossil fuel combustion down to zero. Not by 2050, which is what many countries at the COP21 in Paris proposed to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees C. Not by 2035, which they say may keep that temperature rise less than 1.5 C. We must slash emissions immediately, as that is the only option that we have to start arresting the abrupt climate change that is underway. The Paris Accord gets the ball rolling on this, but absolutely must be followed by action on reductions and quick acceleration. But this is only one leg of the stool, and is not alone sufficient.

      Leg 2 is carbon dioxide removal (CDR). We have changed the chemistry of our atmosphere and oceans. The former completely changes the heat balance and thus circulation, and the latter threatens to wipe out the base of the marine food chain, and thus most marine life. My Norwegian colleagues and I at Gaia Engineering are designing practical systems to rapidly implement CDR, but are lacking funds.

      Leg 3 is equally important to the first two legs; all three are needed to stabilize the bar stool and our global climate system. Leg 3 is developing and implementing practical methods of Solar Radiation Management (SRM) to cool the Arctic. This is essential to restore Arctic sea ice and spring snow cover to restore the equator-to-Arctic temperature balance and thus halt the ever accelerating increases in frequency, severity and duration of global extreme weather events. My colleagues and I at Gaia Engineering in Norway are also working on practical devices to achieve this.

      We have no choice. Balancing a bar-stool with less than 3 legs is impossible. Let’s get a move on with rapid design and implementation. ”

      We’re stuffed but we ought to try!

      • weka 4.1.1

        I agree, we ought to try!!

        I’m not willing to rely on Carbon Capture and Storage tech that doesn’t even exist yet. We have other, immediately implementable, practical options.

        My reading of the post is that we’re being asked to look at extra-parliamentary Democratic Anthropocene Era actions that are going to cause enough people to change. We’re not stuffed. We have an opportunity to do the right things and make a difference. When we push messages of doom (as opposed to urgency) there will be many people who will either not believe and not change, or will believe and won’t change because what is the point. Better IMO to push messages of urgency and offer solutions that people can do now.

        • Ad


          Any group or groups you enjoy activating in?

        • Naturesong

          I’m not willing to rely on Carbon Capture and Storage tech that doesn’t even exist yet. We have other, immediately implementable, practical options.

          We already have Carbon Capture and Storage tech.
          They’re called forests.

          To my mind pinpointing and replanting areas in the globe that used to be ancient forests but are now barren will be one of the easiest and most effective way of carbon capture and storage.

          We can start here with some of the ill-advised dairy conversions and converting some of the monoculture radiata forests to mixed native forestry.

          Imagine being able to buy Kauri and Puriri, two of the best woods in the world, for a reasonable price and without having to investigate it’s provenance?
          Imagine building houses with Rimu and Totara as the standard instead of Radiata soaked in poison?

          • weka

            Completely agree about the need to plant trees, and that we need to be doing native forestry (as well as letting wilding pine forests establish in appropriate places 😉 )

            The thing about CC/S is that it’s a form of denial when generally talked about. ‘We can transition to renewables and have BAU because CC/S’. I don’t believe that’s true, because the technology doesn’t exist (high tech) and because the numbers don’t add up to support BAU. We are in overshoot no matter what tech we use. (I also don’t trust the people and systems that got us into this mess to get us out without making it a whole lot worse).

            To my mind the huge value in reforestation is that it re-establishes natural carbon cycles, and the planet gets multiple benefits from that. Reforestation is a fairly short term (in CC time) carbon sink (once forests reach climax there is no more sequestration) and so we still have to powerdown. But you are right, there is an opportunity to make use of that intitial sequestration. I think it’s helpful to talk about that as a separate thing from CC/S, which is basically a techno-fantasy.

            • RedLogix

              To my mind the huge value in reforestation is that it re-establishes natural carbon cycles, and the planet gets multiple benefits from that.

              Yup. Something I passionately believe in myself. The entire Biochar and BECS process is absloutely fascinating. Not only is the science sound, but it has an authentic and intuitive quality I find very appealing.

              But as usual it is not a lack of technologies which holds us back. It rarely is.

              • weka

                I just watched one of Monbiot’s videos on trophic cascades, and how whales change the climate (or are part of the climate). We can look at that and then try and calculate whether an x increase in whales will give us significant carbon sequestration (or won’t, so let’s not bother about saving the whales), but really that’s about looking for a way we don’t have to change. It seems to me that the way through this is to restore the natural cycles and place ourselves within them. Everything else is hubris.

                Ae, to not lacking technologies, or even solutions. Biochar is awesome!

            • Naturesong


              Though the initial sequestration effect from native forestry (wild) and managed mixed native forestry is likely to last for only several hundred years.

              It will require not only political will, but the commitment of generations of people who will actually do the work.
              Hurray! Employment that is meaningful and produces positive outcomes for everyone (not just those paid or seeking a profit).

              And like all solutions to CC et al. it’s not a silver bullet, but one of many ideas that will have an incremental effect.

    • johnm 4.2

      We’re Doomed. Now What?

      ” We stand today on a precipice of annihilation that Nietzsche could not have even imagined. There is little reason to hope that we’ll be able to slow down global warming before we pass a tipping point. ( Actually we’re well passed about 47 tipping points, all causing accelerating climate change refer to Guy McPherson ) We’re already one degree Celsius above preindustrial temperatures and there’s another half a degree baked in. The West Antarctic ice sheet is collapsing, Greenland is melting, permafrost across the world is liquefying, and methane has been detected leaking from sea floors and Siberian craters: it’s probably already too late to stop these feedbacks, which means it’s probably already too late to stop apocalyptic planetary warming. Meanwhile the world slides into hate-filled, bloody havoc, like the last act of a particularly ugly Shakespearean tragedy. ”

      ” Accepting the fatality of our situation isn’t nihilism, but rather the necessary first step in forging a new way of life. Between self-destruction and giving up, between willing nothingness and not willing, there is another choice: willing our fate. Conscious self-creation. We owe it to the generations whose futures we’ve burned and wasted to build a bridge, to be a bridge, to connect the diverse human traditions of meaning-making in our past to those survivors, children of the Anthropocene, who will build a new world among our ruins. ”



    • Ad 4.3

      JohnM, what local a tivism do you most enjoy being a part of?

      • Robert Atack 4.3.1

        Flash back to 2000 – 2005

        SNIP I started writing to Politicians, which was a big stretch as I couldn’t type or spell to save myself. So maybe you can’t blame ‘them’ for ignoring this barely literate mad man. I got the normal idiot replies from the letter openers, except one from Jeanette Fitzsimons: «You’re quite right. Shell Oil International is working on the assumption that between 2005 and 2010 world oil demand will outstrip the capacity of the wells to supply.» March 23 2000, so Shell Oil knew it and a politician knew it also.

        This amazed and frustrated me, the Government were saying 2037 at the earliest (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/hodgson.htm), and planning accordingly while all I was reading said 2005–2010. Most of the authors were independent so maybe more free to write the truth?

        I’ve pushed my comfort zone from then on, believing the only way to address these problems was educating society (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/alerting.htm), with one of my first one man actions being handing out about 3,000 Running on Empty leaflets around Wellington. I eventually had 10,000 copies printed, I gave out all but 500, and some friends gave those out at a Green Party convention (love in or what ever they called them?) in Nelson in around 2001.

        I’ve personally handed several Politicians copies of the Running on Empty leaflet (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/running.htm) as well as posting 5 copies each to every Politician in the 2001 government. I am not the only person sending mass mailings to our Politicians, I know of several people who have sent a lot of similar information to all Politicians over the past ten years, if nothing else there must be a lot of secretaries and so called public servants who have been well informed. I’ve sent over 600 DVDs to Parliament, all individually addressed to Politicians. Others have given selected members several DVDs. The Maori Party have distributed about 150 DVDs within Parliament over the years, which I supplied them with, and have called for a cross party commission on peak oil and climate change, their request has been ignored 4 times.

  5. Philj 5

    The Wellington group ‘Island Bay World Service’ have recently posted a series of short videos about the serious matters that face us all from a New Zealander who has studied this for over 40 years. Check them out and let’s all roll up our sleeves.


    • weka 5.1

      Very interesting, thanks PhilJ.

      I’m watching the Ep 3 ‘What to do?”. He’s naming the dilemma of what to do when society gets to say who is insane but is itself insane. His first point is very similar to one that Naomi Klein made a few months ago, that we have to find like minded people to be around. Thankfully the standard is one of those places (despite our differences, heh), and I find it hopeful that we can have conversations like this one when only a few years ago it was all about the denial.

  6. One Two 6

    John Kerry referring openly to the private corporations pretending to be public interest serving goverments

    It will be local people taking control of their local environment, not waiting for a corrupted, rigged and destructive ideology to provide the path to salvation

    Conversations such as this pave the way and bring others on board for the journey

    Step aside Kerry, the world is moving on from you and your ilk

    • Ad 7.1

      Seriously excellent people.

      Gave Auckland Council’s entire 2015budget process a real shove.

  7. johnm 8

    In all Humility! 🙂 Far be it from me to try and impose on people. But it astounds me that the real issue that CC will extinct us is simply ignored and deflected to irrelevant minor side issues,! 🙂 . Fine! I understand this fact is devastating and I’ll never be able to accept it myself! I’m with you! 🙂

    basically I’m Weka with the blinds and obscurantism removed, but emotionally still a weka! 🙂

    • weka 8.1


      Put up some actual evidence that extinction is set in stone (as opposed to being one possibility) and I’ll take you seriously. By evidence I don’t mean linking to a MacPherson video (he also confuses belief and evidence).

      In the meantime, the rest of us here are getting on with doing what can be done just in case it turns out you are wrong. It’d be a bummer if you were and we followed you down that cul de sac and then realised too late we could have saved the planet but for the doom merchants.

      • johnm 8.1.1

        Hi weka

        The evidence is irrefutable but I honestly don’t have the energy to spell it all out. Just confirms to me that The standard is a provincial expression unconnected to the knowledge freely out there on the internet as to reality. Keep dozing sleepy hobbits led by ignorant Key accept when it comes to making money! After all making money is the supreme virtue here not truth and reality! I understand! I was a sleepy hobbit before the internet! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        [lprent: I guess if you can’t provide the logical steps, then you don’t understand it. This sounds like a vast inflation of the wee dong technique.

        We should ignore whatever you are waffling about – both the boasting about your dick AND your ability to understand other complex theories. ]

        • weka

          You obviously haven’t been paying attention then. Many of the people haere have in fact gone and looked at the evidence. We just came to different conclusions than you (and each other). I’ve never seen evidence that we are definitely past the point of no return (and yes, I used to read Macpherson etc).

          Which begs the question of why you even care. If it’s too late, what does it matter to you if we are all ignorant or asleep?

          It also begs the question of what your strategy is. Because every time I point out to a doomer that the doom message will stop people from acting, they have no useful or meaningful response to that.

          • Pat

            It will depend on your definition of ” the point of no return”….those that have been studying it (climate scientists of various disciplines) appear to be in agreement that the likes of the ice shelves and glaciers will disappear irrespective of what we do in the short term….the modeling (and evidence) to date has provided likely scenarios from those events alone…that aspect I would suggest is “at the point of no return”
            However, as the same experts studying this (and lets not kid ourselves, that ANYONE has a handle on ALL the complexities involved, especially members of the general public ) in their more upbeat moments have directed a course of action that MAY mitigate the worst effects for the greatest number…..that is somewhat different than stating that we can prevent massive change.
            As has been noted within many the linked articles (generally sourced/quoted climate scientists) it is not a question of IF but when and how bad….Dr John Robinson’s call for a realistic appraisal of the practical implications, planning and adjustment required is both sensible and likely to be ignored.

        • johnm


          What you’ve just written there is utter insulting rubbish. You really are an up yourself ignorant computer programming bore. It’s obvious you live in your own wee world of blinkers and blinds! Probably time you gave it away mate!

          ——the wee dong technique.

          We should ignore whatever you are waffling about – both the boasting about your dick AND your ability to understand other complex theories. ] What unbelievable crap!!!

          • Ad

            I can see you feel hopeless and all is lost.

            Lots of people were like that at the height of the Cold War nuclear scares.

            It’s your right to retreat from acting. But don’t get in my way.

          • johnm

            I don’t have a photographic memory:
            This has all the detail 100% you could possibly want. Proving we’re in dire straits climate wise: http://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/
            The human tragi/comedy continues:

  8. John, we just have to sit back now and wait (not for long) for the – I told you so’s.
    About 15 years ago I was called a Troglodyte, by Lindsey Perigo (?) on his talk back show, because I was insane enough to say the world was going to run out of potable water …. hmmm )
    It’s frustrating that we are surrounded by simpletons, who can’t work out that 400 ppm CO2 and at the very least 200 ppm CO2e (going on IPCC #) = the end of all mammals?
    But that is human, ‘we’ are not programmed to accept unpleasant truths, except maybe people who commit suicide ?
    I guess you and I might also be living on hope ) we hope everyone else keeps ignoring us, so we can ‘enjoy’ our last few years/months )
    I hope to enjoy my hot showers and crisp clean sheets for a little longer, so go TPTB, go BAU, go the hope addicts, go the denialists, and go the Kiwi Savers.
    Lets all hope for full human rights, full employment, and everyone living in warm dry houses …… happy happy joy joy, lets all look forward to a new flag, and cop 22- 50.

    Humans are dumber than yeast.

    transition towns was our best and last shot, it was a joke when it started, and still is LOL )

    • Marie 9.1

      Darling, stop worrying. You really are worrying for nothing. I said I would ‘protect you’ didn’t I?

      I don’t dodge bullets just to die, sweetheart. It just ain’t my style.

      Read the signs.

      You are destined for greatness, and I will hold your hand, guide you, protect you and love you THE WHOLE WAY.

      Just relax.

      You really are a youngin (but I find this so sweet and cute).

      You really are just so cute.

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        Marie – I’ve read a lot of comments on this blog – your one above is one of the most bizarre and weird I’ve read for a while – well done you 🙂

  9. How Did We Get Into This Mess? Episode 1
    Published on 8 Dec 2015
    A series of ‘chats’ by Dr John Robinson about matters of significance. He is an author of several books including, ‘A Plague Of People’, ‘The Corruption of New Zealand’, ‘ Cars at the end of an era’, and ‘ Excess Capital ‘
    He maintains a blog at http://www.ibayworldservice.blogspot.com
    and is active in ‘The Island Bay World Service’

    • Pat 10.1

      I expect his forecast is pretty much on the money….sadly I also expect his observation of humanity’s collective wisdom is equally accurate

  10. Gavin 11

    The effect of new research findings on some climate scientists has caused them to move their families to colder, remote climates, or to go off-grid, and to be reluctant to speak to the press in case they are persecuted. The USA seems to be one of the bigger sources of climate change deniers and lobbyists. Here’s the story of one climate scientist.


    We might not individually be able to do much to turn the scale of these changes around, but I’d prefer to have politicians in place who have some idea of what might be around the corner in the next decades. We need policy changes immediately, a complete re-look at how we do things here in NZ. From 2016 onwards, Labour and the Greens need to stand powerfully side-by-side, and every person connected to those parties needs to understand that a united effort will be the surest way to defeat National in 2017. The aim won’t just be to wrest power off the current bunch of neo-liberal lunatics, but to try and save part of our way of life.

    • Expat 11.1

      “From 2016 onwards, Labour and the Greens need to stand powerfully side-by-side, and every person connected to those parties needs to understand that a united effort will be the surest way to defeat National in 2017.”

      I couldn’t agree more Gavin, if they can support one another and unite against a common enemy then there is credible opportunity for positive change, something NZ deserves.

    • Ad 11.2

      Any specific activist groups you enjoy working with?

      • Gavin 11.2.1

        I’m involved with my local Labour Party, and while I haven’t been there for many years like some, I realise that funding is our biggest issue. National buys their votes – we’re a bit toothless until we can market ourselves. I’m working on that locally, easy enough to fix, and in 2016 onwards, we’ll hopefully link up with the Green Party in our electorate, start some joint projects to raise awareness of CC policy settings. In turn, assuming a left coalition gets in from 2017, that would help all the on-ground activists, with funding and/or political support.

        • Ad

          That degree of determined bridge-building has my full admiration and respect.

          It’s a great example for me in the new year.

  11. gsays 12

    Hi all, I trust y’all making the most of yr family, friends and the weather.

    I am of the opinion that we are up for massive changes.
    Food security/resilience, energy in ‘other’ forms(wood, methane).
    Collecting stone age know-how. How to make a basic furnace, to make bricks to make a kiln, beekeeping, beer, cheese.

    There is a great group in feilding that has developed a shared garden opposite the high school.
    I value this because of the sharing.
    The immediate benefit of receiving food.
    More importantly, it demonstrates an alternative economy that helps our evolution.

    As said above, the real value is the coming together of people.

    Scouts can always do with help, especially fund raising and committee roles.

    • Ad 12.1

      We helped form a community orchard just down the road.

      In doing so we were linked into a vast network of proper community gardens. Immensely invigorating. Glad you feel the same.

      Really glad you mentioned Scouts one of the few powerful youth movements that introduce young people to nature and to dealing with it with safety and cooperation.

  12. As an example of pissing in the wind ———————-

    About 10 years ago I heard a website mentioned on the radio, the conversation went something like “Want to view a radical website? Have a look at this one http://www.vhemt.org”.

    From there I went to http://www.dieoff.org also known as Brain Food, this is a description of the site: «I doubt it’s humanly possible to read every one of these outstanding works – at least not without suffering mental illness». This lead me to many many hours of reading and self education, as prior to then I hadn’t heard of things like peak oil, climate change, economic collapse, over population, or the many problems we now face.

    I was deeply concerned about climate change and was convinced that to bring a child into a world so badly damaged and getting worse would be a mistake, like buying a flat on the top floor of a burning high rise, and that if my child was alive 40 years hence it would be having a hell of a time surviving. This thought made me have a vasectomy, and change my middle name to ‘Thankyoufornotbreeding’, as a publicity stunt and in the hope that I would get some value from the $96.00 it cost. Over the years I’ve had 1 radio interview and at least 2 newspaper articles about my name, so maybe value for money?

    I wasn’t overly worried about my own situation until I started to understand peak oil.

    I would drive around Lower Hutt thinking how dependent we were on oil and how it was hard to see anything wrong with life, with all the lawns mowed and everything in order.

    I started writing to Politicians, which was a big stretch as I couldn’t type or spell to save myself. So maybe you can’t blame ‘them’ for ignoring this barely literate mad man. I got the normal idiot replies from the letter openers, except one from Jeanette Fitzsimons: «You’re quite right. Shell Oil International is working on the assumption that between 2005 and 2010 world oil demand will outstrip the capacity of the wells to supply.» March 23 2000, so Shell Oil knew it and a politician knew it also.

    This amazed and frustrated me, the Government were saying 2037 at the earliest (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/hodgson.htm), and planning accordingly while all I was reading said 2005–2010. Most of the authors were independent so maybe more free to write the truth?

    I’ve pushed my comfort zone from then on, believing the only way to address these problems was educating society (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/alerting.htm), with one of my first one man actions being handing out about 3,000 Running on Empty leaflets around Wellington. I eventually had 10,000 copies printed, I gave out all but 500, and some friends gave those out at a Green Party convention (love in or what ever they called them?) in Nelson in around 2001.

    I’ve personally handed several Politicians copies of the Running on Empty leaflet (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/running.htm) as well as posting 5 copies each to every Politician in the 2001 government. I am not the only person sending mass mailings to our Politicians, I know of several people who have sent a lot of similar information to all Politicians over the past ten years, if nothing else there must be a lot of secretaries and so called public servants who have been well informed. I’ve sent over 600 DVDs to Parliament, all individually addressed to Politicians. Others have given selected members several DVDs. The Maori Party have distributed about 150 DVDs within Parliament over the years, which I supplied them with, and have called for a cross party commission on peak oil and climate change, their request has been ignored 4 times.

    I’ve never liked putting myself in the public view, I always hoped the so called leaders would have shown some backbone and started preparing New Zealand instead of carrying on this charade that we can continue to grow on a finite planet.

    I’ve spent the best part of $25,000.00 on this campaign, along with giving away about 14,000 DVDs. I’ve asked several times for financial help from the Government, one such request – http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/concernd.htm.

    Along with several friends we have had 2 meetings with the Ministry of Economic Development, I gave them enough information for them to hold a week long seminar, or at least give the Politicians a full and frank explanation of the facts, yet as is patently clear by the past 10 years of inactivity the MED has clearly under performed as a taxpayer funded entity, their advice and actions can only be described as treason.

    This from Harry Duynhoven September 2001: I understand from Caroline Parlane in the Ministry of Economic Development that you are in regular communication with her and have sent her a wealth of information? Articles, CDs and tapes on the issue of oil supplies. She has undertaken to let me know if she finds anything in that information of which I am not currently aware or of which she thinks I should be informed. (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/duynhovn.htm)

    I have also had 2 x 30 minute meetings with Darren Hughes, at our last meeting he showed a glimmer of acceptance that such things as Kiwi Saver were a joke and that most ‘investors’ will get zero return on their deposits. Also at our first meeting he stated that the global economy was cyclical and New Zealand would see a reverse of it’s abysmal balance of payments some time soon, well 7 years later it is looking worse … funny that?

    Nathan Guy has also received a lot of information, but holds to the idea that having children is one of his life’s ambitions, feeding them and watching them grow old is secondary it seems? Nathan is a big supporter of Transmission Gully, the Western Link Road, and any other project his masters want him to push. Nathan has also received many DVDs from me.

    John Key (along with many of New Zealand’s so called top decision makers) was at the Al Gore ‘Inconvenient Truth’ presentation in Auckland on November 14th 2006, where I gave him (and 99 others, including Tipper Gore) 16 documentaries on 4 DVDs (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/algore01.htm – this cost me $900.00).

    I handed Bill English a folder full of information when he was leader of the opposition, at a meeting in Waikanae, asking him to view the information through the eyes of his youngest child. This was at the same hall that Nathan Guy’s campaign manager threatened to shoot me and my dogs a few years later (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/natnl_01.htm).

    This is an incomplete list of some of the people I’ve informed: http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/whatinfo.htm.

    In one act of insanity (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/natnl_01.htm) I attacked 2 of the National Parties billboards and spray painted “www.oilcrash.com” across the billboard and “traitor” across Helen and Don’s chests, this ended up costing me $1,600 paid to Steven Joyce as the then National campaign manager, (so yes the current man responsible for building fool hardy structures, such as these new mega roads has also had the opportunity to look into peak oil). I also had to do 50 hours community service. On my way out of town I saw another National Party billboard, I nailed about 5 small oilcrash.com signs near, but not on, the bill board. This cost me another $100.00 (to cover the cost of removal of my signs) and another 100 hours community work …. With this comment from the fool judge “Mr. Atack this might teach you how to help the community” … kind of what I’d been putting my heart and sole into the past 5-6 years (at the time).

    I then fell off a ladder and fractured my back, I was left unable to work for about 8-10 weeks so, in desperation to bring some reality to the political debate, I ran in the 2005 Elections. Another opportunity the other candidates missed to become informed, and again I ran in the Kapiti local body Elections for Mayor or Local Body Councilor, I was never interested in an elected position and was only using the election system to push the real issues we face, not the petty things, like will we get Transmission Gully this side of 2100? I find it a shame that KCDC can’t accept the truth and start to prepare this community, as a true leader should do?

    Jenny Rowan, who claims to understand a few things about the environment, has shown no change from the previous mayor Alan Milne, whom I spent over 30 minutes discussing the issues back in 2003 (ish) and whom I gave maybe 15 to 20 DVDs to while he was Mayor. Once I even lent him a DVD player and offered to hire him (handing his secretary a $50.00 note for his time), she gave me the money back and I collected the DVD player a few weeks later. Did it do any good? Well as an Orwellian joke he became an Environmental Adviser to the Waikanae North mega (environment killing) subdivision, after leaving his mayoral position. He thanked me for the loan of Jeremy Leggett’s book Half Gone «This was my bed time reading for December. I found it very illuminating. Thank you for the loan» (Alan 24/01/07).

    During the election period for Mayor I handed most candidates peak oil information, and many DVDs. At the first public meeting I gave each Mayoral candidate a copy of the September 8-14 issue of the Listener with an article subtitled ‘The global oil crisis will hit home in just five years. How will New Zealand cope?’ This article highlighted the IEA’s 2007 energy report which stated ‘oil production had stagnated and in many regions, declined’ …. That is long hand for peak oil.

    Within the first 2 weeks of becoming Mayor, Jenny Rowan turned the first sod on a new stop bank in Otaki, which coincidentally will allow the building of 5,000 new houses adding 20,000 more water users to the drought affected ‘Nature Coast’.

    And at her very first Council meeting, KCDC approved the construction of a burnout pad for the Lawton memorial burnout competition, this involves using lots of fuel to make car tyres spin fast to in effect cause them to burn, even though it is against regional council bylaws to burn tyres or anything that causes excessive pollution.

    Jenny has since stated New Zealand needs a change of leadership at all levels of Government due to the abysmal actions she and her peers have taken on environmental issues.

    I finished school at the end of the forth form, I was bottom of the class in nearly every topic. For most of my life I’ve looked up to politicians, teachers, police, and the older generations. It has been extremely frustrating to see my so called superiors so closed minded, when it only took me a few weeks to work out how dependent we are on oil and all resources and how we needed to prepare for this moment. Yet even friends of mine have made the ultimate gamble and had children. I am not against children, I just think there is a good chance most born today will be facing very different lives than what we have had, and I am not talking better. I think not having children is the best way to reduce future suffering; this is where our leaders and teachers need to be helping to educate the country, all the information is available, to those with a mind to look. Our future looks bleak, and ignoring this message will only make it worse.

    I don’t know my HT from my ML and have had a lot of help from friends with my website, specifically Aldo in Italy, without whom my site would have never turned out so well. In the beginning I just took things from another site and as I improved my meager skills, I (via Aldo) started filling the site with letters to and from our Members of Parliament, also highlighting mine and others actions of trying to inform the general public and the politicians, as long as the internet survives (which is dependent on the power grid), there is a record of who knew what and when.

    «If you see a problem in the world and you have the ability to do something about it – then it’s your duty to take action». [Don Brash – National Party leader 2005]

    Unfortunately the people do not want to know, our so called leaders know this also, or are part of the happy ignorant, so my efforts and those of many others has been pointless. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlYTJ9JHY4A)

    • I wrote the above page in about 2009.
      It’s just one example of getting nowhere.
      I know of another 4 people who have lists similar to mine,

      • Ad 13.1.1

        You illustrate why I asked for good activism other than direct political engagement.

        What local groups give you encouragement?

    • One Two 13.2

      It may very well transpire that your position is correct, but no human being knows what the future holds

      What did you discover about geo-engineering while you were covering the bases ?

  13. johnm 14

    Afewknowthetruth says:
    December 28, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    ‘the grim reality that the planet is now experiencing rapid climate change and that the measures agreed to will do nothing to stop us hitting tipping points.’

    Actually, abrupt climate change is already underway and we are witnessing the early stages of the very rapid transition to a largely uninhabitable planet, courtesy fossil fuel use, over population and overconsumption. I and others have been warning of this for over 15 years….and the warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

    No one knows how fast the transition to a largely uninhabitable planet [for humans] will take: best estimates range from 15 years to 50 years. Certainly, nothing agreed to at COP21 will make slow the rate if meltdown.

    Of particular significance is the melting of the last remnants of Arctic sea ice. Once those melt (almost certainly within the next 3 years) the rate of climate change will accelerate markedly.

    ‘What we witness here are both climates and weather features changing before our eyes in the form of what to us may seem a freak event — but what is actually part of a dangerous transition period away from the stable climates of the Holocene.’


    Kevin Hester says:
    December 28, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Paris signified the moment when all the complex life forms on this planet we cast under the abrupt climate change bus ensuring near term human extinction in the not very distant future.
    200 species go extinct every day, to think we are not on the list is typical human hubris.

    Posted by Kevin Hester on Thursday, 24 December 2015


    And flooding in England: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3376073/David-Cameron-heckled-flood-hit-York-angry-residents-demand-action.html

  14. nzles 15

    I belong to 2 organisations which are following Naomi Klein’s path, http://www.mtedenclimate action.org and aucklandcoalaction.org.nz . The former aims to declare Mt Eden a carbonfree suburb along the lines of the nuclear free suburbs of the seventies. The difference is that now people need to make sacrifices in their lives, but then they only needed to take a political stand. ACA has done many protests in order to stop all coal mining and use in NZ, especially targetting Fonterra’s use of coal to dry milk powder.

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