Page under construction 21 April 2017
We are Solar Beings. We exist as life forms because of an exquisite balance between the global warming and global cooling of Earth. Every cell in our body dances to the music of the sun’s vibrations. The sun nourishes us with food and enriches us with myriad colours, sounds, smells and other sensations.
Solar Celebration 20 June 2014
The winter solstice – a shortest day of the year and a turning point in my life.
Joy. Fulfillment. Liberation.
Today I am filled with these sensations.
A sense of joy arises because I am alive to experience this day and because this investment is civics at play.
A sense of fulfillment arises from my enhanced sense of connection with the wondrous universe.
A sense of liberation arises from my release from the miserable, repressive state, which is the New Zealand consciousness.
Aotearoa (New Zealand) is a land where the heavens are so clear you can almost touch the stars at night and the daylight so strong that often the colours are vibrant beyond belief.
It is also a land of gross diseconomy where the law punishes the frugal person and rewards the wastrel. Our schools extol the Combustion Revolution and confuse energy with “fossil fuels”. All of us are disenfranchised and most of our homes are thermal shacks. The majority of us make obsessive use of devices that burn mineral oil and instigate terrible wars to feed this addiction. There have been Government Ministers for everything under the sun but never a Minister for conserving our solar potential.
Our Grand Diseconomy
Our self-styled “energy experts” say I am a fool for investing in this solar system. Our “economists” deem me financially illiterate. The spokespersons for our “energy corporations” condemn me as a saboteur . Our journalists dismiss me as a social bludger, a “grid parasite”. Our hostile law deems I must sell my electrical product to my main competitors for 8 cents kWh while they charge me 30 cents kWh or more…
All remain silent about the crippling costs of our car infrastructure – the same money invested in a car could cost the country half a million dollars in hidden State subsidies over the expected 25-year life span of these panels.
Subsidies to Burn
The installed cost of the panel is about $1000. That money in New Zealand can easily buy me a car or a jet ticket around our planet.
Most cars destroy more than 20 litres of mineral oil a week – that is 25,000 litres over 25 years. That is the energy equivalent of a man labouring non-stop for over 30 million hours. As little as 1% is actually used to move the driver. And it is the carbon dioxide equivalent of about 60 metric tons of pollution. What a debt to bequeath on our children.
Meanwhile this panel will be providing me with all manner of heating, lighting, cleaning, music, communications, knowledge and other basic needs. In the summer it will enable our schools, hospitals and industries. And all this with no continuing air pollution.
The decision to reject the Hague Conventions and convert the British Navy to mineral oil supercharged industrial warfare. It is now one hundred years since New Zealand troops invaded Turkey at Galipoli. Centennial celebrations of our heroic soldiers dominate our media. However no one but no one mentions that our British Imperial Forces were invading Mesopotamia until we have burned all the mineral oil there.
True Rembrance of the Victims of War
Never again such horror and brutality, such deprivation and greed. The lessons of this terrible warfare became manifest in an integrated, intelligent network of 60 democratic community-owned, freehold electrical grids serving all the people of Aotearoa (NZ). It was a most meaningful memorial to all those who died for freedom.
The 1980s gave rise to a generation of leaders who had never experienced the horrors of war. They fragmented and privatized the information of the grids. They disenfranchised communities, commodified people and converted the grids into debt generating devices. Again greed and inequality prevail.
This array is my way of expressing my belief that we owe it to both our ancestors and our children to use our local community electrical potential in sustaining ways.
Sun Blindness from Greed.
4thC BC: Aeschylus wrote that only primitives and barbarians “lacked knowledge of houses turned to face the Winter sun.”
6thC AD: Roman Justinian code initiated “Sun Rights” to ensure individual access to the sun.
20thC AD New Zealand: For 70 years my dwelling received all the sunlight of a day. No more. In the 1990s our barbaric Wellington City Council approved a house reconstruction next door that now plunges my home into deep shadow for the winter six months of the year.
Smart v Intelligent Grids
If we are to appreciate the wealth potential of our electrical grids, it is essential to understand they are potent information systems that can both sustain and destroy us.
A “smart grid” involves the use of very sophisticated computer technology in the information and switching systems that connect our electrical devices.
Smart grids designed without democratic processes are “dumb” (incoherent) grids. They tend to result in waste, pollution, poverty, misery and warfare.
Smart grids designed with democracy as a defining element of their operations are “intelligent” (coherent) grids They tend to result in efficiency, wealth, health and civilization.
Wellington’s electrical grids rate at the dumb end of the coherence continuum. I believe it is my civic duty to remain connected to it and endeavour to make it an intelligent grid despite the repressive nature of our New Zealand law. This is the civics some many died to protect. This is the civics that sustains our children.
The final panel in the array is installed. I dedicate the roof to the spirit of compassion, the array to the spirit of science. Each panel is dedicated to either a requisite of science or a product of the state of science – sustaining art (skill), language of true hope and civics.
That we remember those who died in wars so our children can enjoy freedom.