Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Five Zombie Economic Ideas That Refuse to Die - By John Quiggin | Foreign Policy

Five Zombie Economic Ideas That Refuse to Die - By John Quiggin | Foreign Policy


The ideas that ruined the Western World.

Five Zombie Ideas.

"Trickle-down economics was conclusively refuted by the experience of the postwar economic golden age. During this "Great Compression," massive reductions in inequality brought about by strong unions and progressive taxes coexisted with full employment and sustained economic growth".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

mars 2 earth: living well - a Bolivian view

mars 2 earth: living well - a Bolivian view


"Living Well means living within a community, a brotherhood, and particularly completing each other, without exploiters or exploited, without people being excluded or people who exclude, without people being segregated or people who segregate.
Lying, stealing, destroying nature possibly will allow us to live better, but that is not Living Well. On the contrary, Living Well rather means complementing one another and not competing against each other, sharing, not taking advantage of one’s neighbor, living in harmony among people and with nature. It is the basis of the defense of nature, of life itself and of all humanity, it’s the basis to save humanity from the dangers of an individualistic and highly aggressive, racist and warmongering minority."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Energy and the Economy.


Copy of my comment on Frogblog on energy.

“We have so many good options in NZ or renewable power that compared to most countries we are spoiled for choice.

Unless we are invaded for energy, food and living space which would be a strong possibility. I do not see the people who happily murder just to become richer sitting put and starving while countries like NZ and Australia are available.

I agree with Kevin. Apart from bigger schemes that work on already degraded areas like Stockton. Reducing demand with green buildings, energy efficient transport and lower energy technology is one strand.
Renewable energy. Distributive generation, bio-mass solar water heating, wind, geothermal, solar tidal and run of the river hydro are the other.

I gave an example above of how the timber industry. (To build Green houses) can produce all its own renewable energy from the waste stream.

These are only very approximate numbers to get the idea. I have some, but do not have the time to wade through all my papers at the moment. Orders of magnitude are close enough to show the theory. Changes in technology may mean more or less contribution. Bio fuels from sewerage are now looking more promising than first thought. Especially for farming which produces lots of it. :-) . Those tractors will be run on bio-methane produced on site.

Electric urban transport. (Trains and cars). Reduce transport fossil fuel demand by 50%. 100 PJ saved. Green buildings in California reduce demand by 15% 20 PJ saved.
All houses with solar heating. 40 PJ saved.
Ships and trains for long distance transport another 50 PJ saved.
Distributed generation by households on a smart grid. 50 PJ.
Council woody waste 4PJ. Bio-mass (Sewage plants) 10 PJ.
Forestry waste stream. 9 PJ short term. Up to 20 medium term.

It will require a lot of work and commitment, but I do not see why we cannot be 100% renewable in electricity and 50% in transport fuels by 2020 if we started now. Good for employment too.
Get the idea. New Zealanders are well placed to have a good life style with our current resources and technology.

There will likely even be some surplus for exports to pay for things which it is not sensible to produce locally. The French and Russians will sell us all the weapons we may need.

The caveats are. We need to start NOW.

We cannot afford to wait until politicians, who have too much invested in the current system, do something.

Carrying on as we are is not an option. Niether is a reversal to some agrarian horse drawn utopia.
This requires a change from the bottom up. Real democracy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010



“People with strong intrinsic values must cease to be embarrassed by them. We should argue for the policies we want not on the grounds of expediency but on the grounds that they are empathetic and kind; and against others on the grounds that they are selfish and cruel. In asserting our values we become the change we want to see.”
George Monbiot

We should fight those who  are destroying our society with self interest and greed..

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Offshore drilling Safety??


Maritime NZ have a road show going around the country with a proposal to make things cheaper for the offshore oil drilling industry.

Current requirements for STCW/SOLAS certification for crews and the vessel on oil rig tenders may be relaxed to allow inshore qualifications up to the new within 200 miles of the coast “Near sheltered waters limit”. About the same as allowing someone with 200 hours in a Cessna to drive a jumbo jet.
I.E. Off the East Coast or in the Great South Basin.

Oil rig tenders are supposed to be the stand by vessels for rescue and firefighting for the rigs.

STCW is the minimum requirement for international vessels. It is already compromised by ship owner interests. Attempts to relax requirements below this level are not going to increase the safety of offshore drilling.

Especially in light of the Coastguard findings in the US that lack of knowledge of stability in ship and rig firefighting at the scene may have contributed to the Transocean rig sinking.

I think this shows the Governments real level of commitment to environmental safety.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Direct Democracy.


Direct democracy may have prevented Muldoons spending for election bribes. The 1984 Labour Governments throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Ruthenasia etc.

We would have also had women’s suffrage and Gay rights sooner as it was the politicians that held them up.
One unpublished study here showed that most people, given a choice of policies only, preferred green Policies. The same people when given a choice of parties chose John Key. Go figure.

 Research shows that decisions arrived at by BCIR are often better and better supported by research than those made by Politicians. If people have to make a decision themselves they tend to look into it more deeply.,

The political parties in the States are also reducing taxes to the extent they cannot pay back debt or support disadvantaged people. California  is a reflection of their society, not the type of Government.

People did make an informed and rational choice here given the available options. The only way in NZ to get rid of a parties policies you do not like is to vote in the lot you did not like last time. We only have the choice of Neo-lib heavy or Neo-lib slightly lighter.

Lastly as “No right turn” says. “Even if we make the wrong decisions at the end of the day it is our decision to make”.

Democracy. and capitalism.


Unlike some though I do not believe capitalism and a decent socialist society are mutually exclusive.
The problem with badly regulated or un-regulated capitalism is the cheats prosper. Capitalism is fine as a means of resource allocation if it is DEMOCRATICALLY regulated to take externalities into account and so people cannot cheat the system.
New Zealander’s as a group have proven to have a pretty good sense of fairness and justice. I think we can be trusted to get it right more often than a self selected group of marginally competent politicians.
Often when some one says the public’s choices are un -informed it is simply because it is not “their choices”.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

White Roofs Project

White Roofs Project


More on sensible solutions.

White roofs cut global warming and air conditioning costs.

Renewable Energy Solutions.



More about solutions.

SEANZ is the sustainable energy association of NZ.

Members are suppliers and researchers into sustainable small scale distributed power generation.

A couple more renewable energy links.

Peace of the Action

Peace of the Action


'The only way to peace is through the people and obviously not through our corrupt and corporately controlled government.
Most of the rest of the world is aware that the US is a Military/Corporate Empire and that the spread of this Empire is harmful globally to peace, the environment, and economic health.
Part of POTA is to bring awareness to Americans about the profound cost to all of us from this Empire'.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

ITV - John Pilger - Globalisation Articles

ITV - John Pilger - Globalisation Articles


'In Indonesia 35 years ago, a military dictator took over, a million people were killed and a red carpet was rolled out for western capital. It was the start of globalisation in Asia, a model for the rest of the world, leaving a legacy of sweatshops and corruption'.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Prescription for New Zealand


A few ideas.

My answer would be to use Government finance within NZ to build up Kiwi bank until we have a banking system controlled by and for New Zealand. It is a good opportunity at the moment. The private finance sector has cocked it up so badly that there is a huge worldwide demand for Government bonds. They are perceived as one of the few safe-ish investments left.

See the Green new deal for some ideas on sustainable development. http://www.greens.org.nz/gnd

Follow Singapore’s example and do not be afraid to pick winners. Invest public and private money in innovative sustainable technology.

Follow the example of successful countries, like the Scandinavian ones, instead of slavishly following States like the US and UK which are essentially failed States.
Accept that businesses that cannot pay the true costs of externalities. Like the real cost of labour, their use of the environment and their true costs to society are not sustainable and should be allowed to fail.
Adam Smith.

Regulate capital outflows and shift taxation to things like capital gains to encourage people who do useful things. Allow land prices to drop to where land use incomes cover the cost of capital. Making sustainable and ongoing income from land use more profitable than farming it for short term capital gain.

Follow Switzerland and make New Zealand’s Government arrangements
a democracy instead of a pretend one.
We should control our country, not, 122 self appointed incompetents, the OECD or IMF, or a bunch of failed idealisations from a few true believers in neo-liberalism.

Every country believes they are going to pay back debt by out exporting the others. Not possible.

Accept that taxes are the price of having an educated, housed and healthy labour force, adequate infrastructure, a local market, social cohesion and protection, protection from unprincipled competition and from crime and invasion.

Those who object to taxes are really just saying they want to free load off the rest of us as I doubt they would like having to provide all of the above privately.

People (usually claiming to be right wing) keep saying they want ideas from us on how we would do things differently. I suggest there has been plenty of ideas from the Greens and others. Many on these blogs. Some people just have not been listening.