#FridayClimateWork – Original Post

Hi All,

I read a new article this morning which made me jump out of bed and whack together the attached draft mind map. This is nothing new for me – I’ve been dabbling with these ideas for 20 years but in the last 2 years, I keep writing big long email/businessplanish documents (https://www.mikileaks.net/category/sustainability/).

It seems we need to make things simple and communicate understanding – graphics and video is probably a better way to go than my big long emails, but emails help me think.

The problem is that I can’t spend enough time focussing on anything (well, that and I’m a shy, introvert type at heart that would rather not speak to new people and definitely don’t want to talk to people that disagree with me).

I need a bigger team of people with some specialists, but feel like I need to put the team together and start making tentative steps first, which of course I can’t do because people need to earn a living.

So, maybe I should do a kickstarter/crowdfunding process, but they take a sizeable commission and again, I would put the thing up there, but then forget to actually work the process. And even if I did, can I communicate it in a way that anybody would engage with?

Oh crap, gotta go to work.

Any feedback on the mindmap or https://www.mikileaks.net/category/sustainability/ would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance and sorry for wasting your time, if you feel I have done so!

Mike

What Can We do Individually?

I was asked last week to do an impromptu presentation about sustainability to my drama impro class.

Afterwards, I received some great feedback that indicated I may actually have a bit of knowledge about the subject.

I was also asked what the average person can do.  My initial response is “it’s too late for the average person to do much.  We need massive, concerted action.  However, it then occurred to me that the average person might not know where to start with massive action, so here are my tips:

Plastic Pollution

  • Choose products with less packaging
  • Recycle as much as possible
  • Soft plastics can be recycled at Coles and Woolworths (?)
  • Choose shops that use biodegradeable plastic bags (Aldi??, ???)

Climate Change

  • Run airconditioners a couple of degrees higher than you’d prefer and heaters a couple of degrees lower than you prefer
  • Put up with a bit of discomfort if you can. We (my family) haven’t really enjoyed the last few weeks of hot weather, but we’re all still alive.  Water sprays and fans are much cheaper to run than air conditioners
  • If you need to run an air conditioner, cool the smallest area you can – there’s no point in running air conditioners to cool rooms that nobody is using
  • Try shading parts of the house – bricks and roof tiles heat up much more from direct sunlight than ambient temperature
  • Make effective use of insulation and draft stoppers.  Consider double glazing.
  • Drive the car less
  • It would be fantastic if everyone could afford to buy an electric/hydrogen/zero emission vehicle, but they are all still far too expensive. In the meantime:
    • Don’t buy a new ICE (internal combustion engine) car. There are so many 2nd hand vehicles in Australia, there will be something to get you through the next few years
    • It’s always been said a new car loses 10% of its value as soon as it’s driven off the lot and then they lose about 10-20% of value a year. ICE vehicles are going to lose value much faster than that in the next 10-20 years.  Especially big petrol guzzlers.  If you must buy a new ICE vehicle, pick a hybrid or vehicle with good fuel consumption if possible
    • The only real reason for having high capacity engine vehicles that use lots of fuel is if you run a business that needs to transport equipment or goods
    • If you love camping and/or other recreational pursuits that require a large vehicle, consider whether you can share a large vehicle with someone else and use a smaller vehicle for day to day commuting.  If you go camping twice a year, rent a 4WD for those trips – it will likely be cheaper than driving that 4WD all year round
    • If you do need a petrol/diesel powered vehicle, consider if you can buy bio-diesel or somehow offset your emissions.  An average vehicle uses between 3 and 5 tonnes of CO2 every year based on 13000km travelled. 
    • It is estimated that it takes 30-40 years for a tree to grow big enough to have absorbed 1 tonne of CO2 during the entire 30-40 years.  So, to offset 5 tonnes of CO2 produced by a vehicle each year, 5 trees would need to be planted and survive for 30-40 years.  Consider subscribing to a carbon offset service such as https://cncf.com.au/donate-a-tree/ which plants native trees. However, various studies have shown that the entire Earth can’t plant enough trees each year to offsite emissions – we HAVE to reduce emissions massively
    • Look for more efficient electrical products
    • Consider not buying yet another TV, computer, laptop, tablet, etc.  Every device that is manufactured, uses energy in the manufacture and shipping.  Most of that energy is currently supplied by fossil fuels

Money – choose where to spend it more wisely

  • Why buy a $1500 iPhone when a $200 LG phone provides the same functionality? Imagine if everyone chose the LG phone and invested the remaining $1300 in a company investing in sustainable energy or even spent the extra on solar panels for their house?
  • When you buy a $1500 phone on a plan, you’re still spending $1500, they are just letting you pay it off over time.  Isn’t it better to spend $200 over 2 years than $1500 over 2 years?
  • If you can’t afford to invest $1300 for every $1500 worth of value, you can’t afford an iPhone.  The Earth, your kids, the animal world and future generations can’t afford your iPhone
  • Become a producer before a consumer.  Buy sustainable energy generation before you decide to spend energy on air conditioning.  Imagine if we all thought about the whole lifecycle of the product we were buying and then made smart decisions before buying consumption products
  • Review your superannuation investments.  Consider moving them from default funds to ethical funds such as https://www.myfuturesuper.com.au or https://www.australianethical.com.au/
  • The more money we deny the fossil fuel industries, the quicker they are going to close shop

International business

  • Foreign companies invest money in Australia because they want to take more out of it. Every time you buy a product made overseas, some of the money you spend goes overseas.  For many products (cars, electronics), most of the money goes overseas.
  • Many large Australian companies are partly or completely owned by overseas interests.  In many cases, these companies make use of loopholes to transfer money out of the country as expenses to the locally operated companies, reducing or eliminating their need to pay tax in Australia.  If you buy your electricity or phone services from one of these countries, consider if it makes sense to switch to an Australian company
  • However, even publicly listed Australian companies often have large overseas shareholders, so many of the profits still leave Australia as dividends paid to shareholders.  One good aspect of this is that tax paid on those dividends is not refundable or counted as a tax credit to the overseas shareholders

Politics

  • Most of us hate or ignore politics.  However, these people are the ones making decisions and laws on our behalf
  • Preferences are not understood by many.  One of the Queensland senators only received 19 votes.  But, he was part of a party that directed preferences to him, so he still ended up earning $200,000 a year and he is a fairly radical type that few people believe in or like (he also quit the party that directed the preferences to him)
  • Please:
  • Do not just vote the way you always have
  • Read about the policies of your preferred party/candidates and also the policies of the other parties/candidates
  • Read about successes, fails, lies and commitments made by the different candidates
  • Make sure you understand how preferences work.  If you don’t understand the preference system, investigate it or ask for assistance from the AEC representatives at the polling booths

Resources

https://www.michaelwest.com.au/ – website dedicated to highlighting large corporate shenanigans

https://cncf.com.au/ – A carbon neutral fund

https://www.myfuturesuper.com.au/  – Superannuation fund specialising in sustainable/ethical investments

https://www.australianethical.com.au/ – Superannuation fund specialising in sustainable/ethical investments

Quick Plan for Sustainability

Hi All,

Perhaps I’ve had too much sun (I’m in the Whitsundays at the moment observing how badly the infrastructure and reefs were damaged by Cyclone Debbie 18 months ago), but I think it is time to ease off on wasting time trying to convince the Climate Change Deniers on Twitter and just implement a plan.

Here’s my quick one:

  1. Pick a Name – FairDinkum Power
  2. Put together a Management advisory team (primary requirement is that they are future looking, responsible and not beholden to any industry/lobby group. Probably require some more scientist and first peoples representatives)
  3. Create a documentary team to document and promote the project
  4. Create a structure – Probably a discretionary trust (with all Australian citizens and residents as beneficiaries) side by side with a superannuation fund (to give those Australians that care an opportunity to move some of their superannuation into an investment that has the goal of providing financially for their future through sustainable business opportunities) and a unit trust to allow investors with funds outside of super to invest
  5. Pick our initial core projects – massive renewable energy production (200%-1000% of Australia’s energy requirements – thermal solar, photo-voltaics and wind) with associated storage (battery, molten salt, maybe pumped hydro)
  6. Acquire a shit-tonne of land – it’s estimated that about 500,000 square km are required to power the entire earth, so lets start with 50,000 square km (1000km x 50km), ideally spread over a number of districts, specifically some in the east, some in the center and some in the west to get the maximum benefit of our time zone differences. It seems that the Nullabor plain, along the route of the existing road/train line would be most obvious, but that would be up to more qualified people than I to investigate and advise upon
  7. Develop on site manufacturing processes to build the equipment required and deploy it
  8. Build East-West power grid interconnectors
  9. Develop sustainable cities and future hubs along the route with an emphasis on sustainable living, separating the need to spend money on living accomodations (to allow and encourage people to move OUT of Sydney and Melbourne) from the necessity to exploit someone to try to get ahead and be able to buy a property
  10. Build reprocessing plants to convert plastics and other waste products into usable materials 
  11. Build technological food production processes (e.g. Sundrop farms) that use the excess heat and/or power from the power plants to produce foods
  12. Use excess power to run desalination plants to produce Hydrogen, Oxygen and fresh water for use in the sustainable cities 
  13. Develop plants to extract the Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere and ocean and use the excess energy to convert the Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen, Oxygen and water into Methane, Amonia or raw Hydrogen to export as fuels
  14. If we get really clever, how about using the Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen and Oxygen to create 3D printer feedstocks for use as building materials?

I’ve been trying to build up to this for the last 15 years, but I’m so tired of waiting for our politicians to lead that I feel I have no option but to put my hand up. Care to join me?

The Problem with Expecting Government to Lead Progress

The problem with our approach is that there is an assumption that our political leaders are our progress leaders.

Legislation and regulation cannot promote progress – all laws are aimed at controlling, limiting and restricting.  Where a law appears to provide a benefit and progress (e.g. education for all) it comes at a price that is imposed and enforced through legislation (i.e. taxes, which, if you don’t pay, result in you ultimately being forcibly brought in front of a court).

Even those laws that are “fair” come at a price to those that previously had advantage or privilege.   

Our political leaders are thus faced with an impossible task – to promote progress by imposing rules.

The underlying principles of a democracy are the separation of state (the rules that establish the country and how it is governed), the legislature (the parliament consisting of the politicians that make the rules), and the judiciary (the courts and legal processes that enforce the rules).

Significant progress comes from those that not necessarily break the rules, but those that figure out how to ignore the current rules and achieve progress regardless (or in spite??) of those rules.  The political leaders that are able to do that have various imperatives (ignoring the same ones as the rest of us – family, housing, etc):

  • Primary – to abide by constitutional and parliamentary rules that permit them to keep their jobs
  • Secondary – to continue to be endorsed by their political party
  • Tertiary – to get re-elected at the next election
  • Quaternary – to make the country a better place for their electorate through appropriate legislation

It’s no wonder they can’t make decent policy – they have to avoid pissing off the greatest number of people, rather than doing what is right!

For example, implementing laws that are aimed at saving the Orangutan by limiting deforestation, requiring certified sustainable palm oil plantations and production are only really effective if everyone covered by those rules abides by them.  There are always desperate people that can’t feed their families that are going to feel that Orangutan meat is a viable food source.  The only way to save the Orangutans is to:

  1. Make sure all the people in the areas where Orangutans live have all their basic needs met:
  2. Adequate housing
  3. Proper education
  4. Effective health care
  5. Meaningful (to them) employment
  6. An environment that holds a significant promise of a better life by doing something other than killing Orangutans
  7. A safe environment free of oppression and exploitation
  8. Implement laws that prevent corporations from exploiting natural resources
  9. Almost no more deforestation (where deforestation is necessary, e.g. building a train line, then massive reparations need to be made – e.g. knock down a tree, plant 10 more (not that that alone deals with the habitat loss)
  10. No more widespread and wholesale destruction of land in the pursuit of the minerals beneath
  11. The cost of remediating any damage needs to be factored into large scale projects and put into trust at the beginning of the project

Unfortunately, without the opportunity to profit from some sort of exploitation, many companies will go out of business and 1st world economies will crash.  Profitable business is based on finding a resource that is cheaply available, adding value and then selling for a profit.  It’s always easier to just chop down a tree for timber than it is to plant the tree, wait 20 years and then harvest it.  It’s also much more difficult (probably impossible) to mass produce clothing in a country with employment laws such as ours and sell them at a price that is competitive with the clothing imported from a country where wages and working conditions are much lower.  This goes for just about everything.

With so few Orangutans left in the wild and in limited locations, the challenge is large, but manageable (tongue in cheek) – probably only a few 10s of millions of people in Indonesia need to be accommodated.

Even in countries such as Australia where, few of us need to individually exploit the environment to take care of most of our basic needs, we:

  • Have higher expectations of what “basic needs” are (how many iPads, phones and computers do we really need in one house???)
  • As a well-regarded society with high living standards, more people want to come to our major cities, which pushes prices up making housing more unaffordable for the majority
  • With health care advances, the cost of healthcare rises, requiring more regulation and taxes
  • The general approach to investing and economics requires us to raise capital and provide a return on that capital.  The government is especially fond of saying that we need to attract foreign capital to allow us to build infrastructure and other costly projects.  They overlook one simple fact – the reason foreign capital wants to come here is that the owners of that capital expect to take much more money back out over the longer term
  • Ultimately, all “progress” has a cost and someone or something is taken advantage of.  The best we can hope for is that the cost/disadvantage is one that someone else is happy to pay (if scientists invented a drug that prevented cancer, dementia and heart disease, but that drug cost $1million per year, per person, then only the rich would have access to that)

With climate change, the challenge is much more difficult as the ultimate solution is to lift the living standards of all people throughout the world.

The elephant in the room is that, if you provide all people around the world a good, basic standard of living, then they will all want to improve that standard of living, adopting the issues of more advanced countries such as Australia.

Where climate change is concerned, in a democracy, the politicians simply cannot afford to take a long term view and implement appropriate laws.  If they:

  • Put in place a carbon tax that increases the cost of living for all,
  • Simply ban the use of plastics without the company that generates those plastics having to guarantee that 100% of the plastics will be recycled at the end of the products lifespan then pretty much all imports will stop and the economy will grind to a halt and we’ll all starve,
  • Ban the use of fossil fuels, more people will die from heatstroke (god forbid we have to give up our airconditioning), starve (how the hell would we distribute food throughout the country without fossil fuels?), and not be able to get to work,

Then there will be a backlash at the next election (or earlier if they lose the support of their party as happened last week) and the laws will get changed and adjusted.

Slow and steady is the approach of the parliament.  Don’t rock the boat too much. 

Australians seem to treat their parliamentarians and the parliamentary system as just another sporting arena – my party beat your party! 

I’m not suggesting we abandon the political system we have, but there needs to be a separate entity focussed on national and international progress.

All Australians (or all humans?) should belong to it and reap the benefits of it. 

My Big Plan (and Whinge)

This was never perfected and is reproduced here for historical context. At the time I wrote it, I thought it was pretty good….


Hi, My name is Michael and I feel like a failure.  I thought I might put it all out there and see what the rest of the world thinks.

I’ve spent the last 20 years coming up with great ideas, but have been unable to follow through with them.  I can learn the knowledge and skills, I can put together a plan, but I’ve little ability to connect with the larger community, raise capital, manage staff and bring any of my ideas to fruition.

I’ve built a fairly successful business but not successful enough to build wealth or provide regular, decent holidays to my family.  I’ve given up on new cars and now buy second hand cars by drawing down on the mortgage.

If I keep going the way I am, I’ll work myself into a stress driven physical breakdown.  My nervous breakdown has probably been ongoing since I was 13 (I’m now 48).

About 3 years ago I got diagnosed with severe depression.  Anti-depressants and psychologist appointments didn’t really make much difference.  12 months ago I got diagnosed with ADHD.  After 10 months I got an appointment with a psychiatrist who has now tried me on Ritalin and Dexamphetamine.  I wouldn’t say I’ve noticed any real positive effects from any of these drugs, however my wife thinks they make a marginal difference to my stress and anger management.

This morning I read an article on Asbergers, which seems to fit me too.

I have no real hope for the human race, our country, the environment or the future in general.  My observations are that most people are generally good, however as a group we are a selfish bunch that prefer personal consumption and exploitation over practical, sustainable existence.  Hell, I wanted those things too, until I got this jaded.

In the last 10-15 years I’ve put together a number of business plans for sustainable systems and associated, future looking products and services.  But I’ve always figured there were others out there more qualified, better connected, and generally just in a better position to make things right. 

However, our political representatives are too self absorbed and too focussed on short term political tactics to be able to implement appropriate systems, solutions and programs to make any real difference.

Even if the Australian parliament turned around today and sorted out our countries sustainability issues and did everything to an exemplary level, the rest of the world is likely to take us down with it.

The only way to make any real difference is to take the power away from the politicians and build systems and solutions that everyday people around the world will embrace.

World security issues will never be resolved whilst governments are eying off and exploiting resources in other countries, the oceans, etc.  

The issues between the US and North Korea can never be resolved when the leaders of both countries are focussed on their own self agrandissment and attempting to appear ‘strong” to each other, their consituents and the rest of the world.

The way forward seems fairly obvious to me and I just can’t understand why there is so much haggling and partisan politics going on.  Our governments (well, the democratically elected ones) are there to work for the betterment of the country.  That should be their number 1 priority, not fighting each other and defending their own beliefs and policies.

1.  Introduce the concept of abundance.  Bringing an abundance of low cost, clean energy to the entire world will remove major barriers to cooperation and the need to agressively attempt to expand territories and exploit fossil fuel resources

2.  By having an abundance of energy, excess energy can be diverted to new technologies such as:

   *  Extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere and oceans

  *  conversion of CO2 into new building materials – combine CO2 with H20 and there are the building blocks of organic chemistry – Alcohols, Petrolem fuels, plastics, carbohydrates and fats

  * extraction of Hydrogen from H2O for shipment around the world as replacement gasified fuel that can also be used in fuel cells

not to mention being used for more traditional industries such as concrete manufacturing, aluminium smelting and other mineral extraction, manufacturing and transport industry.  

I see one of two things happening.  The world will either implode with runaway climate change, food scarcity, nuclear or conventional war, disease epidemic; or, the human race will learn to cooperate regardless of cultural, ethnic or other percieved differences.

In the last 10-20 years we’ve seen the overthrow of various governments, either via internal, violent uprising, the intervention of external “rescuers” primarily the United States of America supported by Allies, either with or without the sanction of the United Nations.  Lately, some democracies have started to overthrow more progressive government elements through “democratic” election of backward looking, protectionist, out of date politicians.

Whilst I certainly recognise the appeal of those politicians (and especially non politicians) proscribing a “revert to traditional values of the old days”, this is backwards looking.

The world is always evolving and ideas and technologies change.  Ideally, each generation of people and ideas makes more sense and is “better” than the previous generation.  As with all things, sometimes this is more a case of 2 steps forward, 1 step backward, but, over time, things have gotten better.

Except we are now at a turning point.  The world can retreat to protectionist, inward looking values, which may look good and provide tangible benefits in the short term.  However, this type of behaviour, especially from the larger, more developed nations will leave the smaller, less developed nations to face significant issues with food production, disease and development to themselves.  When people are hungry or cold, it’s very difficult to expect them to avoid burning coal, cutting down trees or otherwise exploiting their immediate environment for survival.

Frankly, the most logical and best outcome is for the human race to lose 98% of it’s numbers in a sustainable way.  Nuclear war doesn’t meet that criteria as it will destroy much of the remaining Earth for any survivors.  A worldwide epidemic would seem to make sense, but it does have a rather nasty side effect for everyone.  Even the survivors would suffer enormously with probably most of them losing all friends and family (unless of course it is engineered by a technical elite…).  Imagine what it would do to the construction industry – developers would be out of business for hundreds of years!

So that leaves coming up with better solutions.

So, whilst the Donald Trumps and Pauline Hansons of the world have highlighted the disatisfaction of many voters with traditional politicians, that doesn’t mean they are the only option.

It is time for a new breed of politician to arise – one that puts values and progressive, smart innovation ahead of internal party politics.  But that is a topic of another document I wrote a number of years ago.

The big corporate community isn’t much better than the politicians.  Big companies are run for the profit of their shareholders.  This was an amazing step forward in the 17th century and was instrumental in moving people from subsistence farming and small scale warfare to the exploitation of the world and large scale conflicts.  Whilst it could be argued that it may have been better if the human race hadn’t made this step, it’s too late now and knowledge, once learned, cannot often be unlearned.

The only way is forward.  And it is time that the benefits of shared ownership of enterprises was more widely shared amongst all members of a society and, ideally, the world.  Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve figured this bit out.  If everyone in the world was equal in terms of education, health, housing, food, opportunity and satisfaction, then there would be nobody to profit from and no point in trying to build enterprises.

With that said, one of the key principles I’ve discovered over the last 18 months is that of “figure out who you’re going to take advantage of”.  Whilst this goes against the ideal of equality, the reality is that just about everyone is either taking advantage of someone else, or they are being taken advantage of (and probably both at the same time with different relationships).  

For those of us with a more advanced idea of fairness and equity, that principle could be worded “figure out who you’re going to take advantage of and take advantage of them in a way that they are happy with”.

The idea of Win-Win relationships is often just an illusion.  Sales and marketing theorists talk about win-win, but what they often mean is each party gets something different from the relationship that they are generally happy with.

There are no truly wealthy individuals that have not taken advantage of someone.  A wealthy farmer might have the advantage that his great grandfather bought land under less than equal conditions, perhaps even killing or driving off native occupants of the land.  Mark Zuckerberg has taken advantage of peoples willingness to spend inordinate amounts of time engaging with computer screens (at the opportunity expense of producing something of actual value).  Apple computers have come up with iTunes that sucks people into the Apple world and won’t release them (when was the last time an Apple iPhone user switched to an Android device and threw away 10 years of iTunes library???).

Your local GP is either a highly overworked person that genuinely spends as much time as is required for each patient (in which case the GP is probably being taken advantage of), or is focussed on the business of being a Doctor – spending as little time as possible with each patient, getting as many patients through the door as possible and then billing as much to the government and/or the patient as possible.  I suspect it is rarely will you find a GP that has found the ability to provide health care to those that need it whilst maintaining a work/life balance for themselves that allows them to run a successful practice that pays their insurance, staff costs, university training costs and return a reasonable level of income for the GP.

This probably applies to most small business owners – either we take advantage of our clients, or we allow them to take advantage of us.

Long term wealthy (or their ante-cedants) may have exploited the land. Others take advantage of those with little negotiating power, rip off their staff or exercise their additional knowledge to overcharge clients for products with no intrinsic value.  Others take advantage of the government. 

But I digress…..

My proposal is this:

1.  It is time to take the power away from the politicians.  They serve a useful purpose from a legislation point of view, but they are generally not business or other community leaders.  Many of them have little real world experience apart from politics.  They cannot be allowed to determine the future of the human race.

2.  Australia is a minnow on the world stage.  Our population is less than .5% of the world population.

3.  Australia needs to develop forward looking technologies, but, more important, ensure that all Australians benefit from this future industrial capacity.  Leaving all the profit in the pockets of wealthy individuals, large corporations and overseas companies needs to be avoided as much as possible. 

4.  Where is the rule that says that all members of a society have to pay taxes to support the government?  The government should be putting in place strategies  and policies that enables it to provide the necessary services at the smallest price possible to its members.  A truly effective government would run for the benefit of the constituents, not the other way around

5.  Our government must actively seek out opportunities to build the wealth of the country and store that wealth in such a way that a long term benefit is derived.

6.  Shuffling internal services and processes to transfer funds from one group of the population to another is just smoke and mirrors.  The government must put in place policies that allow all Australians to  profit from the exploitation of its resources and reduce that exploitation as much as possible.

7.  A sovereign wealth fund of which every Australian is a member should be established with the objective of developing and holding intellectual property, and future looking enterprises for the benefit of all.  These enterprises will focus primarily on exporting massive volumes of sustainable energy, sustainable products and associated services at such a low price that we become the powerhouse of the world at such low prices that the fossil fuel industries close shop.

8.  Funding this sovereign wealth fund is, of course, a significant challenge.  If every Australian contributed $1000, it would start with capital of $25 Billion.  If everyone could inject $10000, that would be $250Billion.  This level of funding should enable us to build massive thermal solar farms to harvest solar power and convert it to Hydrogen and other exportable mediums (perhaps ammonia storage).  

9.  Ideally, Australia does need to address it’s own internal power issues, but the current government is unable to set policies or strategies to sort this out.  A commercial enterprise that aims to export 100x the value of Australia’s power use would, of necessity develop new methods and technologies and profits that could be used to address Australia’s energy issues.

Here are some more ideas:

*  convert old mine sites to industrial hubs, surrounded with thermal solar farms (and/or wind farms, solar chimneys, etc)

*  move manufacturing to the site of the power generation

*  promote more technology based food production methods, ideally citing greenhouses alongside (or as part of) the power generation facilities

*  Use left over heat from thermal solar power to heat/run sustainable farms

* integrate sustainable living/working arrangements with the power generation facilities.  Providing forward looking, power generation faced communities amongst the technical infrastructure of the future provides learning and training opportunities whilst providing future generations an opportunity to move out of big, overcrowded cities into sustainable cities planned that way from the beginning

*  take the knowledge and systems developed in implementing these overseas as technical and construction services to provide the same level of amenity to 3rd world and other suffering communities

So, now you can see why I think I’m not the person to make this happen.  Whilst I can imagine and visualise it, research individual technical components and put it together, the main requirements are:

*  leadership and communication – needs someone that can communicate the vision and engage the entire country in what could be a nation building enterprise

*  technical innovation and development

*  building and design services

*  actually enticing people out of the cities

*  fighting against the entrenched politics and existing agendas of big companies, international governments, etc

The challenge I face is that, if I genuinely do have ADHD and Asbergers, then I have a significant amount of personal issues that are, and have always been, standing in my way.  To proceed with this, I’d need to have a team of specialists that can protect me from myself, whilst extracting what I think I know from me and turning it into operational plans.

So, my questions to you is “what do I do with this?”.  Do I:

a. save this to my drafts like so many before it and wonder forever more if I should have somehow distributed it

b.  select the best elements and go for it the traditional way (i.e. raise seed funding from friends and family, get started, raise venture capital funds, then IPO and run it as a standard big corporation, hopefully with a better level of coporate repsonsibility

c.  find someone to create a reality tv show about this which will allow us to appeal to and engage with the Australian public as a whole as we get this started

d.  Seek out corporate and other leaders to help get this thing going and rapidly lose control to those that know better

e.  Stop now before I make this harder….

Let me know in the comments below:

  • If you think I’m a madman and should ask my psychiatrist to have me locked up
  • If you pity me and want to make a donation to help me quit my business and take a holiday
  • If you think I should do this and wish me luck
  • If you think I should do this and you want to purchase a foundation membership (that provides no specific benefit that everyone else won’t also have, except acknowledgement)
  • If you want to buy shares in the corporation, click here to register your interest (note, we cannot sell actual shares at this point)
  • If you want to donate time, expertise or otherwise support this endeavour

Fake News Articles – 2007

The “fake news” articles below were written in 2007. I figured it was a marginally funny way of thinking about what climate change might do for our way of life. Of course, I was too reserved to show them to anyone and they sat quietly biding their time for the next 12 years….


6 May 2012 – The Great Fairy Light Boom of 2009

The financial fallout of the 2009 Fairy Light Boom and Bust continued today with BHP Billiton declaring bancruptcy…


28 September 2014 – No More Football

The last Australian Rules Football Grand Final was played yesterday. Collingwood beat Carlton 280 to 99 after Carlton lost eight of it’s players with injury. Collingwood, however, only lost four players with broken bones due to playing on hard baked dirt.
The Australian Football League has continued to play football games for the last three years without insurance after the 2008 ban on watering any form of grass game into effect. The AFL has been forced to stop playing matches as it has been unable to continue to meet players medical expenses since the 2010 changes to the health legislation meant that players medical costs would not be covered by private health insurance or Medicare.
The Health Legislation changes of 2010 simply stated that “self harm caused by stupid and dangerous activities” would not be covered by public or private medical insurance. A high court challenge in March of this year was unsuccessful, leading the way for the legislation to include bans on payments for sporting injuries sustained through playing in dangerous environments.
In 2008 water shortages caused by Global Warming forced the government to ration water use for individuals to 50 litres per day and banned all watering of sports grounds, grassed areas and gardens not used for the production of food. These bans have resulted in a boom in Astroturf and indoor sports centers, however AFL traditionalists have dug their spikes in and refused to modify the game to cater for smaller, indoor arenas using synthetic floor coverings.
Players and fans have been heartbroken by the reality of Global Warming, one fan saying “when they told me in 2006 that Global Warming was happening, I couldn’t picture how it would affect me. Now I don’t know what I will do on my weekends”.
Next year, the AFL will run it’s season using media broadcasts of recorded matches from 1961.


12 June 2011 – No More Bananas

The Australian Banana industry has once again been completely wiped out. Tropical cyclone Johnnie Howler raged down the NSW coast yesterday, wiping out the last vestiges of the Australian crop for the third year in a row….
The CEO of Banana Importers Ltd, John Howerd today stated that the retail price of bananas at $140 per kilogram was not adding to Australia’s current inflation rate of 15%.


27 February 2013 – Australia at War

The Coalition of Environmentally Friendly Nations today declared war on Australia stating “ever since Kyoto we have been working for a unified approach to environmental protection. Australia has repeatedly put consumerism and economical advantage in front of the environment. Due to the crisis enveloping the worlds environment, we have no option but to use forceful means to eliminate this globally destructive behaviour. As the leading economical power that has yet to formally, or informally, recognise the World Environment court or the resolutions of the CEFN, Australia must accept responsibility as the leader of the Axis of Evil, declared in June 2011, that promotes environmentally destructive practices. At 9am tomorrow 2 million troops from Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, China, Iraq and India will occupy Australia by sea and air and institute martial law. Members of the Australian public are advised that this occupation will be peaceful, however any resistance will be dealt with using the new orbiting Solar Powered Laser Array Technology”.
“The primary objective of the occupation will be to secure and deactivate all coal fired power stations. Personal petroleum powered vehicles will be confiscated and reprocessed to produce wind turbines, photovoltaic solar arrays and thermal solar generators. The Australian Company Ozmotech Pty Ltd will be placed in charge of processing all otherwise non usable plastics from recycled private vehicles to produce diesel for powering critical infrastructure until such time as those systems can be replaced with zero emission alternatives. China has promised to cover any shortfall in production from it’s bio-diesel reserves. All Australian’s engaged in non primary production capacities will be stood down as of 9am tomorrow. The occupying forces will ensure that all Australians will be provided with essential food and water rations until an alternative system of government can be implemented”.
Since December 1997 when the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, the average world temperature has risen by 7.4 degrees Celsius, well in excess of the scientifically accepted maximum sustainable increase of 2 degrees. Already, sea levels have risen by 10 meters, completely inundating many coastal cities and island nations throughout the world. London, New York and Hong Kong have collectively sustained in excess of A$21 trillion in damage due to lost buildings and flooding and the estimated death toll from the sea level rises is 143 million, mostly in coastal third world countries such as Bangladesh.
Surprisingly, the damage cost to those three cities is in excess of 2006 estimates of US$20 trillion to completely replace the worlds energy needs with environmentally friendly alternatives. The shortsightedness of world leaders in the middle of the last decade is truly amazing, although, to be fair, even the most pessimistic of scientific forecasts didn’t predict the bizarre weather patterns of 2008 and 2009 which resulted in fires that completely destroyed the Amazon jungle and many other major jungles around the world. The massive release of carbon dioxide from these fires and the corresponding loss of vegetation available to process the atmosphere resulted in a threefold increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and a 5 degree jump in world temperatures between 2007 and 2010.
In early 2011 the United Nations was disbanded after irreconcilable differences between many of the members and the CEFN was formed in it’s stead. The cessation of California and other environmentally responsible states from the United States of America precipitated the Second American Civil War during which desperate military units struck at critical nuclear power generation plants, causing widespread radioactive contamination, ultimately resulting in the American States being reduced to pockets of isolated, contaminated communities. Australia then assumed leadership of the United Nations members that promoted economic viability before environmental sustainability.
The Australian President said of the declaration of war “Australia firmly believes that the rest of the world is wrong and that any global warming is purely coincidental and has nothing to do with human activity. The Australian Defense Forces are eminently capable of repelling any external threat to our country and will defend our sovereignty”. Asked whether he had discussed these issues with the King of England, shortly before Australia’s expulsion from the Commonwealth last year, he responded “no comment”.


No Date – The Australian Public Rules

The Australian Public today assumed it’s rightful place as the collective ruler of Australia. Said a member of the Australian Public “we have allowed the government to dictate policies to us for too long. The members of the government are our representatives and they are their to promote our policies, not their own”.
“The government has shown it is not capable of achieving worthwhile objectives – their primary objective is to get reelected, their secondary objective seems to be to display their loyalty to friends and colleagues in industry, unions and other lobby groups, with implementing the collective will of Australians coming a very poor third place” said another.
It is time for Australians to exercise their own political will on an ongoing basis, instead of doing it every few years at an election which, for many Australians, ends up being a choice of the least offensive candidate.
The Australian Foundation for the Preservation of the Environment has established a website to run an ongoing Census to discover the values and objectives of the Australian Public. The website can be accessed at www.???.????
The Foundation believes that the smaller opinion polls that are run can be manipulated by the terms of those polls. For example, if you go to a beach and ask everyone there if the maintenance of the beaches are an important government responsibility, then you will likely get a strong vote in the affirmative. The Foundation would like at least 1 million Australians to complete the Census, allowing a much more robust sampling of the Australian population to be obtained.
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No Date – Notice to Comply

A Notice to Comply was today issued to the Federal Government, ordering it to sign it’s Australian Workplace Agreement or face summary dismissal. Initial indications are that the members of the Federal Parliament will refuse to sign their AWA’s as they consider them to be demeaning, reduce their take home pay, reduce their conditions of employment and put them at risk of instant dismissal, instead of them having to wait 3 years for the next election.
Federal Government Fails to Sign AWA
The Members of Federal Parliament were this morning given the opportunity to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement in order to ensure they increase productivity and attend to issues of significant concern to the Australian Public in a committed and determined manner. Unfortunately, the Federal Parliament declined to sign the AWA and proceedings have commenced to have them sacked in line with recent changes to the Industrial Relations laws.


Federal Government Sacked?

The Australian Foundation for the Preservation of the Environment sacked the Federal Government today from it’s involvement in saving the environment.
Notification was issued to the Prime Minister, The Hon. John Howerd and the Federal Minister for the Environment, The Hon. Ian Cambell stating that the Federal Government has failed to conduct it’s efforts with diligence, commitment and integrity. The Federal Governments approach to the environment has failed due to it’s primary obligation of being reelected. The Government is unable to implement policies that will enforce environmental compliance as they fear voter backlash and they are also highly influenced by lobbyists and contacts within the fossil fuel industry.
Whilst the author can understand the Governments fear of being sacked, the threat to the environment is a massive one and dilly dallying on the part of the Federal Government can not be tolerated. Failure to act immediately and decisively constitutes gross negligence and must be rectified by replacing the offenders with a group of individuals that can act with dedication, commitment and integrity.
The Australian Foundation for the Preservation of the Environment has taken on the role of coordinating Australia’s response to the worlds environmental problems.


Sustainable Energy Parks (Australia)

One Page Business Plan

Vision To build a series of sustainable energy parks around Australia to produce abundant electrical power, replacing coal fired power stations and avoiding the need for nuclear power plants.

Each park to primarily be a power generation facility using wind, solar, geothermal and other sustainable generation processes. Sustainable energy to be used onsite to support sustainable technology manufacturing facilities and excess power to be sold to the power grid for consumer use.

The energy park will also contain manufacturing and/or distribution facilities for:

• alternative fuels (bio-diesel, ethanol, hydrogen, electric car recharging)
• electric powered vehicles
• photovoltaic arrays
• rechargeable batteries
• wind turbines
• thermal solar power generation facilities
• sustainable building materials
• other sustainable business as appropriate

Mission To develop a “Best of Breed” infrastructure model that provides power and sustainable product manufacturing facilities that can be replicated around the world.

(old – To reduce world greenhouse gas emissions and reduce atmospheric Carbon Dioxide levels to pre 1950 levels – not suitable for this business – more suited to our R&D and marketing arms.)
Objectives

• Have first park producing grid fed power by 30 June 2007
• First park to have alternative fuels refuelling station operational by 30 September 2007
• Wind Turbine and Thermal Solar production facilities to be operational by 30 June 2008
• Develop park operation models for duplicating elsewhere by 30 December 2007
Strategies

• Utilise existing business network to locate resources (financial, intellectual, time, office support, etc)
• Utilise existing governmental contacts (Richard Dennis – Greens & Democrats, Kate Lundy, Katy Gallagher, Clive Hamilton – ???)
• Utilise a business structure that allows our clients to own a share in the growth of the business – e.g. purchase of $1 worth of products gives them 1 unit in the SEP Distribution Trust, which receives 20% of company profits (probably make it graduated – the first $10 million receives 50 million units, the second $10 million receives 20 million units, etc)
• Park operations to be as environmentally sustainable as we can imagine (to the point that we may need our own transport group using green fuels, our own quarries operating with green power)
• Proper lifecycle planning of all products, including decommissioning and recycling
Plans

• By 30 March 2007, locate a suitable site for pilot park
• By 15 December 2006, make initial contact via letter with our existing client base, our industry and government contacts requesting resources and assistance
• Obtain venture capital to pay $250,000 a year for staff salaries and business operations (i.e. $250k a year in grants, $5million in capital to earn 5% pa in the bank)
• By 30 March 2007, locate architecture firm to develop site plans
• By 31 January 2007, make contact with sustainable energy manufacturers and other potential tenants and suppliers