Some comments to the leader of the NZ National Party, John Key MP  -  known only as a money-maniac - who has been sending me email bulls.

-----Original Message-----
From: Robt Mann [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Fri 6/29/2007
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: Capt (rtd) R Worth MP
Subject: re: Balancing the environment and the economy
Dear Mr Key,
               [I introduced myself as a longtime applied ecology teacher]

  May I comment on your latest newsletter?

Balancing the environment and the economy

Last weekend I spoke to Forest & Bird about how I want to grow our
economy while protecting the environment.  We can do both
        < It may be news to you, but almost all relevant experts deny
that economic turnover can be increased from its already high rates
while also conserving nature.  The truth is, we must consume less  -
and enjoy it more, as we did in the 1960s.  This is not in principle

, but we need to get our priorities right and make sensible decisions
about what is important to us.

Read my full speech to Forest & Bird and

        < This page came to me blank, so I haven't been able to read
your F&B speech.  I'd be grateful for a copy  -  if a M$W .doc file,
please first  Save As  ...  .RTF

National's 50 by 50 policy sets a target of cutting greenhouse gas
emissions by 50%, compared to 1990 levels, by 2050.  The electricity
sector offers significant potential to cut emissions, but we need to
make it easier for generators to invest in renewable energy.

At present, sensible hydro, windfarm and geothermal developments are
mired in red tape, while state-owned power stations burn more coal
and gas than ever before.  This makes a mockery of Labour's climate
change credibility.

        < This is not quite true.  Considerable windfarm developments
near Palmerston North have gone thru the planning process very
quickly indeed  -  inside a fortnight.  The main resistance to windfarms is provoked by the
NZED relic K Turner ('Meridian') insisting on monstrous machines
which do not even have proven economies of scale compared with the
smaller, quieter NZ-made Windflow machine.
      < Geothermal is far from pollution-free, and is in practice
sometimes not renewable.

That's why I support restarting the Dobson Dam hydro project on the
West Coast.  The flooding of a small piece of land seems a small
price to pay for the long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
that will result.

        < You appear to be unaware that when hydro dams inundate large
amounts of biomass, large amounts of methane bubble up into the
atmosphere for many years afterwards.  Hydropower is thus not always
especially good for climate.

Trade-offs are a part of sensible environmental and economic
decision-making.  They are tough and they carry a cost

        < On the contrary, they minimize cost, when competently done.

, but if we want to lift our economic game and protect our
environment, we can't shying away from making them.
        < I would be glad to meet you, perhaps with Dr Worth (to whom I
recently remarked that it's about time I ceased blaming your party
for Holyoake).  I can understand, from what I know of your
background, that you would be unaware of the points I'm now alerting
you to; but if you want to gain influence with conservationists, you
will have to become better informed.


L. R. B. Mann  M.Sc  Ph.D
applied ecology
P O Box 28878  Remuera, Auckland 1541, New Zealand
(9) 524 2949

        I showed the above to a former PresNZ Inst Chem, a respected prof emer and hevi-doodi energy expert.  He was good enough to respond:

Fine comment

        < well that is an accolade I especially welcome from a sometime PNZIC etc.

I have decided that the use of the words "grow" or "growth" is the key indicator of lack of understanding of the situation.

        < A dismal conclusion  -  but one I was forced to 3 decades ago.   
        < It's powerfully depressing to me that so many important people are so exceedingly stupid on this, and other important topics.  Worse, I'm practically certain they're more stupid than they were 3 decades ago.  This is presumably caused by more & more propaganda (PR, etc) as well as actual subtle brain damage from xenochemicals.  I'm deeply grateful for having recovered my active Christian faith which is my main basis for coping with this darkling scene. 
        < Goldsmith has inveighed wisely against growthmania since the late 1960s -  as have since the 1970s P & A Ehrlich, Holdren, Commoner, K Boulding etc.  Just ask yourself which ideologies have gained most power during this 3-decade period of burgeoning ignorance & stupidity about the most important issues. 
        < One novel resistance I've recently discovered, and wish to warn of.  It turns out that some typical N. Amer. leftists are materialists, mostly clinging to the notion that State ownership will be best (despite its ghastly failures in USSR, China, E. Germany, Albania, Roumania etc).  Communism is inherently atheistic  -  Lenin & his ilk acted accordingly, in brutality under-stated in many histories.  After a lifetime of hope that communism will take over if Christianity can be weakened enough, your typical olde-leftie is now observed to cut up ugly when presented with even quite minor facts, let alone major philosophy such as Aristotle's 4 Causes (updated by J E Morton).  These bereft lefties avoid reason altogether, resorting immediately to personal insults, as soon as final cause is mentioned.  In a way, these observations are encouraging  -  confirming that good old mainstream Christian logic is unanswerable, and displaying atheism in the posture of the cornered enraged irrational snarling animal.  Unpleasant, but very revealing. 
        < Socialism is not inherently atheistic  -  my hero Abp Wm Temple was a member of the Labour party 1918-25 when it was expounding State ownership of many if not all means of PD&E.  (The NZ Labour party gained power in 1935 on just such promises, led by some classic L-wing atheists but also by the devout Christian Walter Nash; us Kiwis were perhaps the nearest to Christian socialism, now largely lost, so I have some familiarity with these issues.)  Temple was aware of success towards mixed economies, controlling main utilities by State ownership, and parliamentary oversight, but also allowing wide scope for corporate & individual business. 
          < Science is impinging less on public policy than it used to.  PR agents posing as scientists dominate major industries e.g nuclear, GM.  A purported hevi-doodi Science journo can, after a couple decades of commercial GM, know virtually nothing about hazards of this 'science-based' 'technology'.  The persistent hazards of nuclear power are once again so little known that Westinghouse etc can get on TV with unchallenged promotional deceit.  Check that burst of nostalgia as their NZ agent revives the old "safe, clean, & economic" chant.  Kendall & others at UCS, Holdren, von Hippel, Lovins, and few academics in other nuclear nations, had compiled a couple decades ago a sufficient appraisal of fission power that it was rejected by my country after a half-decade of mounting publicity & political influence in a grass-roots movement.  Unsafe, persistently obscenely unclean, and hopelessly uneconomic is clearly the truth.  Yet a new surge beyond the 400-odd nuclear power stations on the planet is a vision finding ready, unchallenged free promotional time in the media.  Considerable money has been scored by some operatives trading uranium; and I believe there's a new market in uranium futures.  Opening another U mine in Australia is an idea of serious media status (with no criticism).  Meanwhile, the rather obvious primacy of windpower for the next GW or so on the NZ grid is forced back on market forces by successive govts intoning "govts shouldn't try to back winners".  Well at least the old NZ state electricity grid monopoly could be stopped from going nuclear, whereas today the inchoate 'kmpet'tvity' casinofied grid can be influenced by the Westinghous agent.  Actually I'm not worried by that creep, but Australia has less wind and plenty U  .... 
        The more modern technofurphy I've worked against since its invention, but especially this past decade, is gene-tampering  -  a con-racket based on much junkier science.  Not only do the media give extremely biased promotional coverage of this polyswindle, but they cynically misuse this extremely important issue as an excuse to publicise PC politicians who do not understand it and are therefore incapable of discussing it. 
        My question is, how can such furphies gain renewed serious public attention, as if the strands of cultural knowledge are <2 decades long?  And I will argue that the ascendancy in this period of PC ideologies is the main cause.  To the extent that we appoint & elect public & corporate powerbrokers on affirmative action, we tend to get less competence in policy. 
        <It should come as no surprise that main beneficiaries of such affirmative action are among the first to spew vicious personal insults when reasoned criticism is offered of their favourite PC ideologies.