Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The context of events in life

Whilst Oct. was quite benign, with just lower temps. than normal and a bit more cloud, right now Nov. is still misbehaving: there has been a wall of grey/white obscuring the mts. for a few days now, and recently a wind that never relents as it tore off little branches and leaves off the trees here. But at least the sun has been shining!

A rare calm period, during these late spring windy days on Lake Wanaka...

Last week I posted about the successes of the campaign to stop Meridian Energy [Project Hayes] building a wind farm on the Lammermoor Range in Central Otago, and as mentioned to Marg. who comments here, I find it wrong that we actually have to fight inappropriate ideas forced on us. As if reading my mind I then noted the Otago Daily Times had just published such an article called "Campaign took its toll on project opponents"

The basic problem with Meridian Energy's Project Hayes [and Contact Energy in the case of proposed dams on the Clutha River] is that their mandates [self imposed or otherwise?] are not aligned to support the full gamut of human needs. If they were these sort of institutions could benefit all aspects of our lives. At the moment they do not!

This all seems to come about by the limited capacity of either the individuals concerned flavouring the ethos of the organisation, or the organisation being of such a mind-set, that it/they only attract an energy [no pun intended] which is limited by the context of the inherited levels of awareness of the observers. Motives determine the goals and therefore the end result has little in it to benefit an energy situation that needs a solution. Or you could say the situation is poorly understood - the acquisition and need of energy by human beings goes way beyond electricity!

Therefore a low energy struggle ensues. Rather than "lifting the game" the institutions pull down the big picture ideals of people who could contribute so much, but become engaged in a drain of energy and resources such as reported in the above mentioned Otago Daily Times article.

The ODT also recently published the remarks of an elected counsellor who was criticising the positive and far-seeing results of the Environment Court. What was interesting to me were these two comments left by readers, who have presumably do have a "lifted game":

Submitted by RedTussock on Fri, 13/11/2009 - 7:49am.
Gerry whilst I enjoy your advocacy for common sense can I ask that you endeavour to do some research on what is happening elsewhere in the world. In the US a 345MW Concentrating Solar Power project cost $US200 million to build. It takes up no more land than a large vineyard, costs less, and does not blot the skyline with wind towers. CSP stations produce power during non sun light hours. The technology for new, cheaper, and better alternatives has advanced in the last few years to the point where the expense of wind power both monetary and geographically is hard to justify. The new alternatives are better.

Submitted by Ian Smith on Fri, 13/11/2009 - 11:41am.
Does anyone seriously consider that at the end of the economic life of these towers, (and it will come), the perpetrators will be summoned on-site to spend many millions of dollars restoring the landscape to its former pristine state? Of course not, it will become a graveyard of rusting hulks and a further monument, (as if one were needed), to mankind's greed and stupidity.

I therefore wonder at what seems to be a very limited view of the goals and solutions proposed by Meridian Energy, Contact Energy and the current New Zealand Govt!

The Blue Lakes of St. Bathans. A legacy left behind by the resource gathering of earlier generations. In this case a pretty and interesting slice of history, or should I say "sluice"...

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Anonymous marg said...

I found this a particularly powerful post this week Donald and then felt rather ashamed of my own vacuous concerns of last week when I was overwhelemed with the thought of hosting a party for my kid.

The continuing discussion about having to fight an ideology is so important because as I think I said last week it dominates so many aspects of our daily lives . today we learned about an unpublisiced RFP where the govt is calling for tenders to train ECE teachers in less than 6 weeks. This is shocking and appalling and we only learned of it by chance. SO now that will be yet another thing to resist and oppose - not because that is so much fun and there is nothing else to do but because it is necessary and vital if early childhood education is to be valued. I think this is why your post means so much to me today.
cheers Marg

November 18, 2009 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
Well written and stated. I guess that is one reason I have always connected with "escaping" into nature is the way free from such institutionalized thinking that is constantly foisted upon us in such subtle ways. When we as a society only look at the mountains, hills, and pristine tumbling rivers as a money generating resource things start to look grim. I am glad you are out there, as well as others, and connections I find here renew me and fill me with the will to carry on the fight.
Kia kaha!

November 18, 2009 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Donald

This is a very inspiring post. When you are in Indonesia, and far away from home, I am thrilled when I see solid Kiwis like you advocating for the protection and preservation of our amazing country and land and seascapes.

You are a very talented writer and an equally talented photographer. Keep on being the loyal and commited Kiwi that you are.


November 19, 2009 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
I had thought I left a comment here but it has disappeared into the vastness of cyber space.
The gist of which was how I pretty much agree with everything Bob wrote above - aside from the part about living overseas!
I think the awareness brought by places like yours to issues like these is both heartening and awakening to those eho read here. Sometimes it is with heavy hearts and souls we read of the next money spinning project by power companies and governments to rape and pillage the land, the wild places they cannot leave be. So to find the words of others who care is inspiring and a call to action, a grass roots way to connect Like Minds! Rave on Donald.

November 20, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

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