Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Who's in charge here?

At 6 0'clock this morning I received a phone call from an anxious local resident, Mr Hewett. I held my breath and waited after saying good morning. " I've been unable to sleep", he said. "This bird flu is a worry. I have the solution, we have to kill all the chickens." To this I explained that it's not just the domestic birds that are spreading the flu. "Then let's kill all the birds", he said. To this I replied that Mao did that and started a famine. I explained that when all the birds were killed the insects increased and ate all the crops. "Now please don't ring me at 6 in the morning as I think that it's bad news".

Now the problem of bird flu should be taken seriously, like any other threat to our survival, but it is only one issue we face. Lets put some of these things together into the category of civil disaster. Start by looking at the back of the Yellow pages under the heading, " Be Prepared For Disasters". If there is a run on food at the supermarkets in a time of disaster they will only have enough stock to last 2 0r 3 days at most, so your own emergency supply at home is really important.

While we're getting into a knot about issues that are constructed by the media to sell their tree devouring papers let's not take our eye off what is happening around us. The last thing you want is a media driven construction of reality. Talk to your neighbors and people on the street, celebrate life, as it's ticking like a clock and far too short to spend it worried about commercially media driven social constructions of reality. Just imagine the money the drug companies are making while the bird flu panic is on; a problem that is serious but not to overwhelm us-not yet.

In the meantime on 17th of November I attended a workshop on energy put on by the Ministry of Economic Development. These are well meaning people who in a very limited way are attempting to grapple with some serious issues. More and more policy people are having to think about Peak Oil ( see for more information on this extremely important problem). So it was heartening to hear the issue of oil depletion get a good discussion but a little depressing to find out how ignorant many people were. It's amazing how many lightweights are employed to make decisions that impact on us all; its called the law of the lighterweights rising to the top.

Back at Wellington City Council the mice are at work again. A Funding And Activity Working party has been assembled to continue the work of reviewing the rates.

Over the last two trienniums commercial rates have been steadily shifted onto the residents' rates bill. It is an issue that has been successfully glossed over by the commercial media. I leave you to draw your own conclusions. Somewhere in the caution of what the role of a Local Authority is charged with is the protection of the public interest. So far it seems to be the handmaiden of the profit takers. Speaking about such things, now is the time to stand up to the developers and demand from your elected representatives that we have a City for Us and not a city of tall buildings and developers who have lap dogs on Council.


Blogger Robet Atack said...

Regarding the meeting on the 17 at the MED
I sat in stunned silence for most of the meeting, to think our government take advice from these people, and pays them hundreds of thousands dollars, for them to basically talk utter delusional rubbish with proposed under sea ‘windmills’ and LNG and hydrogen, and believe it or not even ocean hydrates. They might as well have thrown in microwave dishes on the moon, beaming power back to earth, this would be just as realistic as some of the future ‘suggestions or assumptions’ Ralf Samuelson, Roger Fairclough and co came up with.
No wonder some in the government are still talking about building Transmission Gully
What surprised me also was the lack of interest most of the audience had to peak oil, in as much as I had to hand copies of ‘Peak Oil imposed by Nature’ out for free (in the hope they are returned) to most of the audience (of which some refused even to look at), I had to do this at the door as they filed out, practically on my knees to get them to take them.
And this from a group of people at a presentation on FUTURE ENERGY.
So not only are the so called advisors no better than Hilda Ogden and her tee leaves or the naked Emperor and King Canute, this government takes them seriously
God help us
Robert Atack

1:43 AM  
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