Unsustainable language and behaviour simultaneously
reflect and generate each other.
Our experience of the state of compassion enables us to enjoy the state of science, which in turn enables us develop all manner of sustaining arts (skills), which is Civics. The state of Non-Civics arises from our lack of compassion. We become unsustainable – trapped in the self-deceits of the ego and denial of reality.
The Nature of the Human Ego
The ego is the active interface of our vast sentience and trace self-awareness. It arises in the fragmentation of our psyche into that awareness and ceases with our death. Thus it abhors reminders of our mortality amidst the continuous universal transformation. Its pivotal role in our psyche enables it to act in incredible, ingenious ways to deny this reality of change and our roles as stewards amidst the universal flux. It is the prime source of our psychosis (disconnection from reality) and our psychopathy (lack of compassion).
Evaluating Our Institutions
The sustainability of the institutions of a society depends on the success of its members in transcending the deceits and trickery of the ego. Widespread failure to do so is manifest in institutions that are the crystallized distillation of the elements of psychotic and psychopathic elements that reside in us all. Such ego-driven institutions actively deny our greater potential and increase our risk of self-destruction.
The sustainability principle of energy below enables us to both evaluate the language of an institution and rectify any inherent denial of the principles of physics.
A Sustaining Principle of Energy:
True hope resides in symbol use that embraces the reality of continuous, universal change and personal stewardship.
Delusive hope (misery) resides in symbol use that denies this reality.
Case Study of Gross Denial of Our Solar-Electrical Potential
(The New Zealand Example)
This example is chosen because it is (a) symptomatic of the Combustion Revolution malaise; (b) an exemplar of recent Anglospheric reforms; and
(c) the experience of the author during the Aotearoa New Zealand transition from freehold community-owned Municipal Electrical Departments to debt-driven private corporations.
The framework of this analysis is the manifesto at Civics – Embracing our Solar-Electric Potential
Every person gives care to ensuring their language embraces the principles of physics.
1890s -1930s Language relatively scientific (some true hope)
Electrical Power. Electrical Department. Electrical wiring. Electrical Power Boards. Municipal Electricity Department, Electrical Supply. Electrical meter. Electrical Company/Authority. Electric(al) light…
Minister of Mines(minerals). Government Electrical Department.
1940s- 1980s Language less scientific (some delusional hope )
Power Board. Power pole. Power line. Power meter. Power plant. Power sector. Power crisis. Power Black Out, Power Outage. Power Cut. Power grid. Power Failure. Power station Power workers. Power Company…
Minister of Mines. Minister of Electricity.
1977Minister of Energy. Ministry of Energy = Departments of Electricity, Mines and “Energy Resources”.
1990s -2010s Language unscientific (dangerous delusional hope)
Energy = Fossil Fuels= Power = Electricity = Bulk-generated electrical products.
Energy Saving. Energy Conservation. Energy efficiency. Energy resource. Energy consultant. Energy provider. Energy grid/network. Energy company. Energy sector. Energy Stocks. Energy Market. Energy broker. Energy retailer. Energy efficiency. Renewable Energy. Dirty/clean energy. Green energy. Sustainable energy. Energy division. Energy category. Low energy. Zero energy. Energy waste. Energy failure. Energy crisis. Energy loss…
Minister of Energy. Minister of Energy and Resources. Electricity Authority.
Every person has the right to own the information of his or her personal electrical system or device.
Pre 1990s State of Civics: Considerable
Strict laws maintained the privacy and confidentiality of telephone conversations for most of last century. Party lines and manual telephone exchanges enabled some minor illicit interception at a local level. However Government ownership of this information system enabled Parliament to protect the rights of Aotearoa New Zealand citizens.
The 230v dwelling console (meter, ripple control, switching) was community-owned. Citizens retained the right to vote its design and the use of its information.
Post 1990s State of Civics: Very Poor
The national telephone network was completely privatized in 1990, which means citizens no longer have Parliamentary protection of their rights to privacy and confidentiality of telephone conversations. The information (content, type and connection) of our conversations has been commodified and used for all manner of private gain, usually without the knowledge of the citizens involved.
The 230v dwelling console (meter, ripple control, switching) is now privatized and exists for the benefit of the corporate owners.
The Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 effectively removed the right of all citizens to vote how their 230v console is designed and how its information is used. A confluence of new technology (digital data, Internet, cellphone, modems, embedded chips in appliances, wifi etc) gives the corporate owner of the dwelling meter unprecedented control of the household’s information.
The Electricity Authority in 2011 reinforced the right of corporations to own the information of the dwelling meter.
Every community acts as stewards of their local solar-electrical potential.
Pre 1986 State of Civics: Considerable
Aotearoa New Zealand has been a colony of England for two centuries. Hence the Combustion Revolution dominates our collective consciousness while awareness of our solar potential is suppressed. There have been Ministers for Mines, Agriculture, Forests, Public Works (hydro-electrical dams, motorways), Defence etc but never a Minister charged with conserving our solar potential.
This said, all communities through their city, county or borough council retained the considerable rights to determine the nature of their local infrastructure. All citizens retained the right to vote through these councils and their Electric Power Board how their local solar-electrical potential is used.
Post 1986 State of Civics: Very poor
1986 Legislation gave private corporations preemptive rights over the rights of community councils to determine how local infrastructure such as roads are used.
Energy Companies Act 1992 corporatized community-owned systems such as Municipal Electrical Departments and Electrical Power Boards so they became profit-driven rather than service-driven. This confounded ownership of the information of their electrical grid so that, while a community might still own this information, it could not be used in ways that reduced “short-term profits”.
The legislation created a conundrum for communities that effectively alienated citizens from their own information and made efficient uses of their local electrical, solar and other potentials illegal.
The full privatization of many MEDs and EPBs soon resolved this conundrum for many communities.
The Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 completed the effective fragmentation and privatization of the information of all local electrical grids.
The Electricity Authority believes its maps prove its New Zealand regime is a success. The maps are also graphic evidence of the scale of both the disenfranchisement of citizens and the destruction of vital information of local solar-electrical potential.
The growing global awareness of human-induced climate change is countered and suppressed by a corporate system of deceit in which pollution is supposedly “offset” by trading it away in a national opaque, corrupt Emissions Trading Scheme.
Civil rights and responsibilities prevail when personal and community solar-electrical systems are interconnected.
Pre 1986 State of Civics: Healthy
There was general consensus that all citizens are entitled to communication in the form of telephones even though the technology required an extensive network of cabling and manual exchanges.
With 230volt systems, a social contract prevailed from the 1930s in which citizens agreed to connect their dwelling to and invest in their local AC (Alternating Current) network for the good of the whole community provided they retained the full voting rights to determine how the information was used.
For instance, citizens permitted community control of their devices such as dwelling heating systems using frequency sensitive relays (“ripple control networks”) and tariff systems in return for sharing the benefits of reduced peak loads on their local grid. Also metadata could be used by their local council to inform social, housing and other planning.
Post 1986 State of Civics: Very poor
New Zealand citizens now only the right to choose between telecommunication systems owned by and designed for the maximal transfer of community wealth to an oligarchy of global merchants. Most of the wealth is in the form of information that can be and is used to further increase this wealth transfer.
Similarly the previously freehold community-owned 230v electrical grids have been reconfigured to act as data-collation and debt-generating devices for the benefit of the few private individuals. One hour of labour now buys half the heating, lighting etc it did pre 1986 and the privatization of information obscures the probability that a third or more of a 30cent/kWh charge is debt servicing.
Tariffs are designed to prevent efficient uses of our solar-electrical and other potentials.
The conservation of solar-electrical potential is enshrined in legislation.
Pre 1986 State of Civics: poor
The ethos of the English Combustion Revolution is reflected in the lack of legislation conserving solar potential. Street layouts were mainly determined by traffic flows and a preoccupation with square grids. Social protocol, such as siting the kitchen away from the street, tended to determine dwelling design.
Post 1986 State of Civics: very poor.
The growth in population and rapid urbanization (now over 87%) has resulted in the removal of much legislation restricting the height and placement of buildings. The increased construction of high-rise buildings; in-fill housing in suburbs and car-determined design has destroyed a significant, unmeasured acreage of solar-electrical potential.
Every community audits and provides an annual report of the degree that the solar-electrical potential of all dwellings is conserved.
State of Civics: Non-existent
New Zealand legislation requires a wide range of audits including annual financial audits, population audits, building material audits etc and prescribes the construction of car park provision, plumbing and sewage standards, car registration and maintenance, broadcasting standards, education assessment etc. However though the technology now exists to do enable it, there is no legislation requiring regular audits of the conservation of our solar-electrical potential – not even in urban areas where over 87% of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand reside.
The New Zealand example supports the thesis that language which denies the principles of physics is associated with unsustainable behaviour.
New Zealand per capita destroys precious minerals at over tens times the rate that most human beings do and it rates as one of the highest polluters per capita on the planet.
Such delusional use of English acts to ensure our solar-electrical potential is manifest as destructive forces in our lives.