Make your own free website on
David MacClement's interesting articles
« August 2010 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
news selected by DM
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
* item Titles (recent: top)
_ No Global Industry Is Profitable If Natural Capital Is Accounted For
_ I've visited-as-a-tourist or lived in 25 separate countries, on 46 occasions
_ Influence: mobile and more - WARC's James Aitchison
_ Message from Drought Crisis: Don't Put All Your Eggs in America's Breadbasket
_Is Sustainable Living Possible, When there are Too Many People for Too Few Jobs?
_ DM's 6 factors considered before any purchase
_ Interview with Tariq Ali, 20 Mar.2011
_ Ban Ki-moon: World's economic model is 'environmental suicide'
_ Do We Have Iran's Ahmadinejad All Wrong?
_ Lerner/Tikkun: an Israel/Palestine Peace Treaty; & State of the Spirit, 2011
_ George Monbiot predicts next 7 years, in Dec.2003; & California Models the World, LA-Times, in Jan.2004
_ Auckland Harbour Bridge Walk-cycle-way, NZ
_ Coal-Mine Rescue is not like Fire-fighting
_ Eyres, FT: Cultivate Growth Industry
_ Brayne: Drop in BBCs climate coverage
_ Renewables provide 73% of NZs total electricity
_ NZs Windflow 500kW Turbine: Success!
_ 150 earthquakes in Canterbury NZ
_ Christchurch NZ Earthquake News: RadioNZ
_ Toxic legacy: US Marines Fallujah assault
_ Suicides outnumber road deaths - NZ
_ Small Modular Nuclear Reactors? TOD
_ D & Bs Life in 32 Tweets, Ds Style
_ Totnes-UKs Energy Descent Action Plan
_ ShapeNZ Mining Survey in May 2010
_ Wake-UpCall: Worlds Bigges tOilJunkie; Nelder
_ Protests against new powers for NZ Govt agencies
_ Links for 14-Apr to 16-Apr 2010
_ URLs: furless animal found in Sichuan; Hominid Species Discovery Shows Transition Between Apes, Humans
_ Carbon-Free Britain planned by Center for Alternative Technology (CAT)
Monday, 30 August 2010
Toxic legacy: US Marines Fallujah assault

Toxic legacy of US Marines assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima'

The Independent (UK); Saturday, 24 July 2010: :

-| The shocking rates of infant mortality and cancer
-| in the Iraqi city raise new questions about the battle
By Patrick Cockburn

Children in Fallujah who suffer from birth defects which are thought to be linked to weapons used in attacks on the city by US Marines

Getty Images

Children in Fallujah who suffer from birth defects which are thought to be linked to weapons used in attacks on the city by US Marines

Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.

Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait.

Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster and one of the authors of the survey of 4,800 individuals in Fallujah, said it is difficult to pin down the exact cause of the cancers and birth defects. He added that "to produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened".

US Marines first besieged and bombarded Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, in April 2004 after four employees of the American security company Blackwater were killed and their bodies burned. After an eight-month stand-off, the Marines stormed the city in November using artillery and aerial bombing against rebel positions. US forces later admitted that they had employed white phosphorus as well as other munitions.

In the assault US commanders largely treated Fallujah as a free-fire zone to try to reduce casualties among their own troops. British officers were appalled by the lack of concern for civilian casualties. "During preparatory operations in the November 2004 Fallujah clearance operation, on one night over 40 155mm artillery rounds were fired into a small sector of the city," recalled Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, a British commander serving with the American forces in Baghdad.

He added that the US commander who ordered this devastating use of firepower did not consider it significant enough to mention it in his daily report to the US general in command. Dr Busby says that while he cannot identify the type of armaments used by the Marines, the extent of genetic damage suffered by inhabitants suggests the use of uranium in some form. He said: "My guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside."

The survey was carried out by a team of 11 researchers in January and February this year who visited 711 houses in Fallujah. A questionnaire was filled in by householders giving details of cancers, birth outcomes and infant mortality. Hitherto the Iraqi government has been loath to respond to complaints from civilians about damage to their health during military operations.

Researchers were initially regarded with some suspicion by locals, particularly after a Baghdad television station broadcast a report saying a survey was being carried out by terrorists and anybody conducting it or answering questions would be arrested. Those organising the survey subsequently arranged to be accompanied by a person of standing in the community to allay suspicions.

The study, entitled "Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009", is by Dr Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi, and concludes that anecdotal evidence of a sharp rise in cancer and congenital birth defects is correct. Infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1,000 births compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait. The report says that the types of cancer are "similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout".

Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukaemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. At Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukaemia, but in Fallujah Dr Busby says what is striking is not only the greater prevalence of cancer but the speed with which it was affecting people.

Of particular significance was the finding that the sex ratio between newborn boys and girls had changed. In a normal population this is 1,050 boys born to 1,000 girls, but for those born from 2005 there was an 18 per cent drop in male births, so the ratio was 850 males to 1,000 females. The sex-ratio is an indicator of genetic damage that affects boys more than girls. A similar change in the sex-ratio was discovered after Hiroshima.

The US cut back on its use of firepower in Iraq from 2007 because of the anger it provoked among civilians. But at the same time there has been a decline in healthcare and sanitary conditions in Iraq since 2003. The impact of war on civilians was more severe in Fallujah than anywhere else in Iraq because the city continued to be blockaded and cut off from the rest of the country long after 2004. War damage was only slowly repaired and people from the city were frightened to go to hospitals in Baghdad because of military checkpoints on the road into the capital.

Copyright 2010 Independent Print Limited

Posted by davd at 08:53 NZD
Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Suicides outnumber road deaths - NZ

These two are from The Press, NZ:

Suicides outnumber road deaths

By REBECCA TODD - The Press. Christchurch, New Zealand. Last updated 05:00 12/08/2010

Related Link: Suicides by method, age, and district See below.

EXCLUSIVE: Suicides should be more widely reported as the number of New Zealanders taking their own lives is 50 per cent higher than the road toll, the Chief Coroner says.

Judge Neil MacLean said New Zealand's suicide rate received little attention in comparison with the road toll, even though significantly more people died.

Media reporting was often seen as a cause of copycat suicides, but responsible reporting could potentially save lives, he said.

Suicide-prevention experts welcomed the call for more reporting on the suicide issue but cautioned against detailing individual cases because of the possibility of copycats.

Statistics released by the Chief Coroner to The Press show the number of deaths ruled as self-inflicted by coroners has stayed at about 540 for each of the past three financial years.

In comparison, the road toll has dropped from 435 in 2004 to 390 last year.

More than 2500 Kiwis are admitted to hospital every year after intentional self-harm.

South Australian coroner Mark Johns said last month that the media should stop worrying about copycat suicides and start reporting the truth about Australia's high rate of death by self-harm.

Suicide should be reported in the same way as the road toll, with tables of how people were taking their own lives, he said.

The Chief Coroner said parts of Australia restricted suicide reporting more stringently than New Zealand did, but he "tended to agree" with Johns.

"My personal view is that there's room for some gentle opening up of things ... but it probably requires legislative change to restore the balance, and that's a matter for a conscience vote in Parliament."

Rules on what coroners could release about suicides were tightened under the Coroners Act 2006, which barred the release of all information except name, age, occupation and finding of self-inflicted death unless releasing other information would "do no harm".

The Chief Coroner said coroners should ask themselves if releasing information could "do good".

When there was a spate of suicides it was easy to say media reports had a negative effect, but it was impossible to quantify how many people might have been saved by reading about it and asking for help, he said.

It was "probably OK" to print statistical information about methods of suicide.

"I'm sympathetic to the view that there's sufficient curiosity of the media on behalf of the public to say: `What's happening in New Zealand; what are our figures and what are the trends?"' he said.

The Press is today printing the detailed coronial statistics on suicide.
See below ]

Press editor Andrew Holden said the "imposed silence" on the issue did not appear to be reducing the problem.

"This paper understands the sensitivities around reporting specific cases and the worry that this can trigger copycat suicides," he said.

"But brushing the issue under the carpet clearly is not working either. As a community, we need to accept the scale of the problem and have an open and honest debate about it."

Newspaper Publishers' Association chief executive Tim Pankhurst said a recently released study on media reporting of suicide confirmed that the New Zealand media were generally responsible.

Personal stories were needed to illustrate the issue, he said, and that was where media hit legislative barriers.

"I would like to see quite a lot more media coverage of what leads people to such a desperate act and what intervention there could be to help them," Pankhurst said.

Peter Dunne, Associate Minister of Health responsible for suicide prevention, said he would discuss restrictions on reporting with the Chief Coroner at the next suicide-prevention committee meeting.
Greater awareness of suicide would be positive as suicide was "very hidden".



Suicides by method, age, and district

The Press. Christchurch, New Zealand. Last updated 05:00 12/08/2010

 The following table has been released by the Coroner. It describes the numbers of suicides over the past three years, and shows the methods by which people commit suicide. There is also a breakdown by gender, age, and district.

Suicide methods
Hanging, strangulation and suffocation286268306
Poisoning (overdose and others)728266
Poisoning by gases and vapours835656
Firearms and explosives455050
Jumping from a high place111719
Plastic bag10915
Cutting and piercing10159
Intentional car crash351
Intentionally hit by train351
Intentionally hit by vehicle322
Other  1
Suicides by age and gender
10-1423 56511347
15-191536 51253560153853
20-241156 6794857164965
25-29839 47152843133346
30-341140 5164147123547
40-441939 58143246134053
45-491335 48114051154661
50-54532 3710344463945
55-591228 40104252101424
60-64415 197192681826
65-69313 16391241014
70-7455 1017811112
75-79111 12 44369
80-8447 1141216459
85+25 72683710
Suicides by district
Coroner’s Court2007-082008-092009-10
Palmerston North535354

Source: Chief Coroner’s Office


Posted by davd at 15:55 NZD
Updated: Tuesday, 17 August 2010 15:22 NZD
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Small Modular Nuclear Reactors? TOD

This is the text and images of: - 148 comments:

Possibilities for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors?

Posted by Gail the Actuary on July 20, 2010 - 10:32am

This is a guest post by Rod Adams, author of Atomic Insights Blog. Rod's Oil Drum name is atomicrod. Rod earned his initial atomic knowledge while serving as an engineering officer on US nuclear powered submarines throughout the 1980s. He founded Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. in 1993 to produce small modular reactors, but put that company to sleep in 1996, when the price of oil dipped to $10 per barrel and natural gas sold for as low as $1.60 per million BTU.

Pick up almost any book about nuclear energy and you will find that the prevailing wisdom is that nuclear plants must be very large in order to be competitive. This assumption is widely accepted, but, if its roots are understood, it can be effectively challenged.

Recently, however, a growing body of plant designers, utility companies, government agencies and financial players are recognizing that smaller plants can take advantage of greater opportunities to apply lessons learned, take advantage of the engineering and tooling savings possible with higher numbers of units and better meet customer needs in terms of capacity additions and financing. The resulting systems are a welcome addition to the nuclear power plant menu, which has previously been limited to one size - extra large.

In this post, I would like to tell you a little more about the change that is taking place--which I view as a welcome one.

When Westinghouse, General Electric and their international competitors first learned that uranium was a incredible source of heat energy, they were huge, well established firms in the business of building equipment used for generating electrical power. Each had made a significant investment in the infrastructure necessary for producing central station electrical power on a massive scale.

Experience had taught them that larger power stations could produce cheaper electricity and that electricity from central power stations could be effectively distributed to a large number of customers whose varying needs allowed the capital investment in the power station to be most effectively shared between all customers.

Their experience was even codified by textbook authors with a rule of thumb that said that the cost of a piece of production machinery would vary by the throughput raised to the 0.6 power. (According to this thumb rule, a pump that could pump 10 times as much fluid as another pump of similar design and function should cost only four times as much as the smaller pump.) They, and their utility customers, understood that it was much cheaper to deliver bulk fuel by pipeline, ships, barges, or rail than to distribute smaller quantities of fuel in trucks to a network of small plants.

Just as individuals make judgments based on their experience of what has worked in the past, so do corporations. It was the collective judgment of the nuclear pioneers that the same rules of thumb that had worked so well for fossil plants would apply to nuclear plants.

Though accurate cost data is difficult to obtain, it is safe to say that there was no predictable relationship between the size of a nuclear power plant and its cost. Despite the graphs drawn in early nuclear engineering texts-which were based on scanty data from less than ten completed plants-there was not a steadily decreasing cost per kilowatt of capacity for larger plants.

It is possible for engineers to make incredibly complex calculations without a single math error that still come up with a wrong answer if they use a model based on incorrect assumptions. That appears to be the case with the "bigger is better" model used by nuclear plant designers and marketers.

Though the "economy of scale" did not work for the first nuclear age, there is some evidence that a different economic rule did apply. That rule is what is often referred to as the experience curve. According to several detailed studies, it appears that when similar plants were built by the same organization, the follow-on plants cost less to build. According to a RAND Corporation study, "a doubling in the number of reactors [built by an architect-engineer] results in a 5 percent reduction in both construction time and capital cost."

This idea is significant. It tells us that nuclear power is no different conceptually than hundreds of other new technologies.

The principle that Ford discovered is now known as the experience curve. . . It ordains that in any business, in any era, in any capitalist competition, unit costs tend to decline in predictable proportion to accumulated experience: the total number of units sold. Whatever the product (cars or computers, pounds of limestone, thousands of transistors, millions of pounds of nylon, or billions of phone calls) and whatever the performance of companies jumping on and off the curve, unit costs in the industry as a whole, adjusted for inflation, will tend to drop between 20 and 30 percent with every doubling in accumulated output.
George Guilder Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise Updated for the 1990s, ICS Press, San Francisco, CA. p. 195

These ideas are not new. I copied most of the above paragraphs from an article that I published on Atomic Insights in May 1996 titled Economy of Scale? Is Bigger Better?.

Apparently, the ideas that I pointed to fourteen years ago have also occurred to a number of nuclear plant designers and business decision makers who noticed that the estimates for the traditional sized nuclear plants kept expanding at much greater than the rate of inflation as they became more detailed and closer to reality. The complexities of putting together the very large systems and projects kept adding to the risk, which added to the cost and complexity of financing which added to the project complexity by requiring additional partners - including government agencies and public subsidies.

Some frustrated nuclear plant designers, inspired by talking with customers about their needs and remembering what was technically possible in terms of nuclear reactor sizing determined that they might be able to solve some of the cost and schedule complaints by a complete rethinking of the old economy of scale paradigm. For anyone who has been paying attention during the past five years or so, the names of Hyperion, NuScale and Toshiba 4S have been increasingly frequent terms of discussion as start-ups and some established vendors began designing nuclear fission based systems sized at 10, 25, or 45 MWe, which is a radical departure from the 1000 MWe (plus) sizes of the AP1000 (Westinghouse), ESBWR (GE-Hitachi), or EPR (Areva).

Initially, the project leaders for these new designs thought about using them in distributed remote locations where power is either not available or is being supplied by expensively delivered diesel fuel. John (Grizz) Deal and his sister, Deborah Deal Blackwell, the Hyperion Power Generation founders thought about the how a simple, infrequently fueled nuclear plant could supply power to a remote area for up to a decade without refueling. They recognized the value that such a system could provide to the previously powerless people living in that remote area.

The system could provide power for refrigeration, water treatment and distribution systems, communications systems, and reliable, flicker free lighting. Unfortunately, the specific technologies needed for the Hyperion design - liquid metal (Pb-Bi) cooling and uranium nitride fuel elements - are not in commercial use. They hve been used in several specialized reactors and proven to work reliably and safely, but starting up a new supply chain is just one of the many hurdles that Hyperion is diligently working to overcome. The Toshiba 4S sodium cooled power system faces similar challenges, but both concepts have their fans and both are moving forward.

A trio of project teams has recognized that the concept of small does not mean that you have to start from scratch with the supply chain, training programs, and safety analysis; it is possible to do a redesign of light water reactors from the ground up to produce an economical design that achieves economy by both simplification and increased unit volume. All three of the teams - NuScale, B&W and Westinghouse - have designed systems that put the entire primary plant into a single pressure vessel. This choice eliminates the potential for a large pipe break loss of coolant accident. They have all chosen to include a large volume of water - relative to the core power output - that provides operators with lengthy interval between any conceivable accident and required operator action. They also have chosen passive safety systems that do not require any outside power sources to operate, so they expect to be able to prove that they can meet existing safety criteria without redundant power sources. All of the iPWR systems envision using fuel assemblies that are essentially the same as commercial nuclear plant fuel elements - but they will be shorter and there will be fewer assemblies in each core. All of the systems have been designed for the post 911 security and safety considerations including the aircraft impact rule through the use of below grade installation.

NuScale Power Module

After those common traits, there are some differences in technical features that might be attractive to different kinds of customers. NuScale's module size is 45 MWe and it does not contain any coolant pumps; the system uses natural circulation both in operation and when shut down. The company expects that customers will want to plan for the eventual installation of 6 (270 MWe) or 12 (540 MWe) units on a single site.

NuScale has selected Kiewit as its Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. Together the two companies have completed a detailed, bottom up price estimate yielding an expected cost of between $4,000 and $4,400 per kilowatt of capacity, depending on whether the customer wants a 6 or 12 pack installation. NuScale has informed the NRC that it will be filing its license application in the first half of 2012. Much of its system and safety analysis work is backed up with actual data from the 1/3 scale integrated system loop (with electric heaters to simulate the nuclear core) installed at Oregon State University.

Westinghouse is a bit further out with its 335 MWe IRIS, but it plans to submit a license application by the end of 2014. Part of the delay is due to a company focus on completing the revised license application for the AP1000 and quickly resolving any of the inevitable engineering issues that pop up during plant construction.

mPower in underground containment

The integrated pressurized water reactor (iPWR) that is gaining the most buzz from the business community and political leaders, however, is the 125 MWe mPower™. Yesterday, Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, with 57,000 employees and $30.8 billion in 2009 revenue, announced that it was joining with B&W as a 20% partner in an exclusive alliance that they have branded as Generation mPower to build complete, turn-key power plants.

B&W has an already existing and ASME 'N-stamp' certified US manufacturing base and 50 years worth of experience in building nearly all of the components required for the small, modular light water reactors that power ships and submarines. Bechtel has either built or participated in major renovation projects at 64 of the 104 nuclear plants operating in the United States.

The mPower™ modules will be about the same size as the NuScale modules, but each module will produce about 2.5 times as much power as a NuScale module because they include submerged reactor coolant pumps to provide forced flow through the core. The system is designed to supply a sufficient quantity of natural circulation to provide core cooling after shutdown without any pumps running, thus maintaining the passive safety characteristic. Like NuScale, Generation mPower expects that customers for its plants will probably want to plan to install multiple units on a single site, though they might start with just one or two and add additional units gradually over time. Generation mPower has informed the NRC that it will be submitted a design certification application by the end of 2012; that application might be filed at the same time as a construction and operating license for the first of a kind unit.

The iPWR projects are all positioning themselves to obtain licenses in the United States, to sell their first units to US customers, and to get the involvement of experienced nuclear utility companies. The project sponsors have determined that their smaller unit sizes will be attractive power sources for certain types of customers that would face an insurmountable barrier in trying to build one of the extra large plants. Modular power stations can be financed in phases with revenue generation increments that are more closely matched with demand growth. Several cooperative electric utility companies have joined in the user groups that have formed to help provide both mPower and NuScale with the customer point of view as the system designers complete their detailed work.

Both NuScale and Generation mPower have determined that the proposed unit sizes more closely match the capacity currently provided by aging coal plants and might be considered as appropriate replacements once those coal plants reach the end of their life. Both the Tennessee Valley Authority and FirstEnergy have expressed interest in finding out more about how the proposed modules might help them reuse existing sites that currently host obsolete coal power plants and are not even close to natural gas pipelines.

A growing body of plant designers, utility companies, government agencies and financial players are recognizing that smaller plants can take advantage of greater opportunities to apply lessons learned, take advantage of the engineering and tooling savings possible with higher numbers of units and better meet customer needs in terms of capacity additions and financing. The resulting systems are a welcome addition to the nuclear power plant menu, which has previously been limited to one size - extra large. Developing a broader range of system choices using nuclear fission energy could have a measurable impact on segments of the energy market that have been most often served by burning distillate fuel or natural gas. Small modular reactors offer a reason to be optimistic that human society will have access to all of the energy that it needs for increased prosperity for larger portion of the population.

Posted by davd at 09:51 NZD
Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 16 July 2010
D's Style & 32 Tweets; July 2010

First: David MacClement's 32 tweets which encapsulate me-and-my-wife's way of life as we continue living on NZ$7,490 (US$5,208 in 2007) per person per year.
Then: My style, by DM, in the thread: "J.M. Greer and DM on living on much less in future"

These 32 tweets were first published in Ubuntu Cloud at: - with file name:
DavidMacClement32TweetsChoicesActivsPlesntLife.txt (5.4kB to be downloaded).

{My Twitter page: - then click "Favorites", has the same, but with the latest first; in 4575 characters (783 words of 5.84 charac.) in June-July 2010.}

I admire John Michael Greer, and the "5.84 characters per word" came from word-count of Greer's Archdruid Report "Problems and Predicaments" (Aug 2006) at:

D.M.'s tweet summary of his-and-wife's life:

I'm starting a series of tweets about our choices and activities living a pleasant life on US$5,208 each. Ordinals: base32:
16:51 Jun 11 2010 -{all: NZST}-

Main attitude: do well, whatever you're doing, & help othrs when you're the obvious person. Have low expectations for convenience, comfort
6:42 Jun 12 2010

Our attitudes, abilities affected by background. Born 1936 (Grt. Depression), 1941 (War in Europe). Cars: only half households. V few rich
5:43 Jun 13 2010

Late 1940s,'50s, early 60s: all British Commonwealth & most W. Europe had socialist parties occas. in government. Community not individual
10:03 Jun 14 2010

B-&-I'v livd for a month to many years in England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Ghana, New Zealand, Nigeria, Australia, northern India; w kids
7:10 Jun 15 2010

B-&-I'v built radios, kitset amplifier. B built livingroom furnitur, bunks as divider so master bedroom became two for son & daughtr, toys
9:20 Jun 16 2010

I brought up chn to be capabl: smal alowance, cooking from scratch, exploring - taking risks, grass-cuting pay, going to friends by bicycl
8:19 Jun 17 2010

Now we'r living on NZ$7,490 (US$5,208) ea. we've put savings into re-roofing (corrugatd iron), ceiling & floor insulation, windfarm shares
10:59 Jun 18 2010

We're healthy by walking 5.6km (3.5 mi) evry day, bread-based meals w. carrot-n-cabbage (me) or fruit-n-vegs (B), & stress-minimised lives
9:50 Jun 19 2010

Have no health insurance, only minimal: house (fire) and used-only-monthly car (3rd-party). Free water: rain on roof stored: 4000-gal tank
7:35 Jun 20 2010

House: 3-br 1-bath old(1966) 1200sq.ft/111sq.m, wood-framed on 4x4-in wood post, water barrier, concrete block, clay. 4ppl: 300 sq.ft/pers
10:06 Jun 21 2010

Food buy. Daily: organic milk, bread: local superette, bakery (5 min walk). Weekly: organic fruit-n-vegs for 4: courier but cycle-rideable
11:07 Jun 22 2010

B's 2 garden plots, ea 1mX2m (22 sq.ft), did well. Tomatos (bush & tall), scarlet runnr beans, capsicums, 6 carrots, silver-beet, beetroot
8:11 Jun 23 2010

Had old grapfruit, prun-plum trees whn arrivd 1980; B made marmalad-n-jam 15 yr. 2005 sh startd planting fruit trees. Ate 3 appls, feijoas
7:59 Jun 24 2010

I drink 1.5L watr mornings: use electr ketl, induction cookr & stainles teapot t mak 4 blak & 1 green teas daily. Hot watr in vacuum flask
9:39 Jun 25 2010

by intrnet frm Kawau Island. Helpd petrol-drivn post-hole diging then after moonris had bath in half 44gal plastic drum w hot water, dippr
18:21 Jun 26 2010

Othr electr: lights, computr (Mac Mini & 2002 laptop), hot watr, pump, washr, old frig. Our 2to4-pers houshold: 2,260 kWh/yr, ea: 2 kWh/dy
16:35 Jun 27 2010

My describes involvement with .04%-my windfarm (befor recent dilution). My part of 230 MWh/day was 92 kWh/day
18:45 Jun 28 2010

Our 1-yr-old eficient stove burns wood frm our 1/4-acre; 2 logs heats 1 room. "Cold" days only need hot watr bottle undr wool shirt/jacket
12:58 Jun 29 2010

In Auckland, latitud 37 (Monterey CA; Sicily), New Zealand w. near-free public helth, livng on tax-pd US$5,208-6,921/pers/yr isnt dificult
16:49 Jun 30 2010

Little luxuries: after walks, beer: 250 ml or one small glass between us (alcohol: 8.5ml D, 3.7ml B). Sat & Sun: one coffee + croissant ea
8:17 Jul 1 2010

RusselNorman: Off to event marking 1 yr of Green National home insulation scheme w JohnKey. 50000 homes warmed up. Good for health and enviro. Wave green flag!
10:57 Jul 1 2010

Th @RusselNorman RT bcaus our low-incom houshold qualified fr govt asistnce w insulation. Also hav new corugatd-iron roof & eficient stove
19:33 Jul 2 2010

We volunteered/taught physics in Africa & in Canada & NZ; we continue helping community: making submisions & marching
9:11 Jul 3 2010

I walk barefoot most places, daylight. Wear shirts, Ts, from teaching in 1980s. Buy U-pants, hemp jeans 2-3 yrs. Accept gift NZ-wool shirt
9:21 Jul 4 2010

Enjoy: reading; libry bus Wed Greenhithe hamRadio; writng lectur-notes t
8:48 Jul 5 2010

I don't aprov of what most OECD peopl do most of th time; took wrong trak in 50s. Doing usualy requirs using-up material & energy. Minimiz
8:16 Jul 6 2010

See my weTookTheWrongTrack-inThe50s-n60s: Positiv Futurs Dc2000. &: IveHadA-GoodLife_Civilization:
8:31 Jul 7 2010

Psych Medicine I wondr if most peopl in the OECD are psychologicaly ill, divorced from reality
17:16 Jul 8 2010

I use eficient 1990s NZmade top-load washr & lineDry. Not frig. Foreseeing the futur: Predicaments:
7:36 Jul 9 2010

Enjoyd free travl & entry t Transpt n Technol Museum 132yo steam-pwd beam engin. B said, sharing cofee-n-mufin "its good t b married" 1968
11:31 Jul 10 2010

B's projcts: 1: upgradng hous t last >25 yr eg shwr; 2: onlin transcrib photos f census & B-M-D recrds frm 19th cent; 3: garden. Me:routin
8:21 Jul 11 2010

Goal: a satisfying life enjoyabl at times, within self-imposd limitation frm 7to10 bilion peopl on earth: water sunlight soil biodiversity
7:23 Jul 12 2010

-{added; Predicaments: is by John Michael Greer, August 31, 2006. "US$5,208" was mid-July 2007, all payments recorded}-


My style, by DM. {in the LessIsMore thread: "J.M. Greer and DM on living on much less in future"}

· JM Greer said (at ): "the American middle class [is trying to] maintain the privileges and perks of its lavishly subsidized lifestyle ..".

· Most members of the LessIsMore list, including me, have chosen a different style: frugal and sharing rather than individualist and even selfish (or greedy). For me it _is_ a choice; I am rich compared with the average world citizen, and possibly richer in land-plus-shares than the average member of LessIsMore - I have no intention of selling the two multi-acre properties I have a share in (I consider myself caretaker/guardian, *Kaitiaki|*), and only selling this quarter-acre suburban section when we (or I) leave here. _|*:

· Above are the 32 140-character tweets from me which describe my life and some of my philosophy in nominally 783 words, but this freezing morning I became aware that I have certain characteristic ways which differ from the ways of most people, and even from others in my family. Describing them, calling them "my style", will seem self-indulgent, but I recognise I am changing as I get older and this marks a way-point on my journey.

Take wood-fires.
· Late day-before-yesterday while B and I collected daughter from Sandspit, our p-SIL returned after being at work in Auckland during the week, and lit the fire to welcome us home in the (winter) evening. I keep only the fire-lighting paper and sticks/kindling in the house, expecting to go out to the front porch (or lift the tarpaulin covering the woodpile) to get the two logs which is all I normally put on the fire.
— p-SIL felt it was normal to have a small pile of such logs near the fire for convenience, so he brought in some; I prefer to have to go to some trouble to get the main fuel for the fire, as a reminder that each log has value, and to use one is to decrease our stock.

Take growing (and mature) trees.
· I am very reluctant to cut branches off (or fell) any tree, even the Privet|¹ weed-tree which has "self-seeded" all over this area because many birds eat the drupes/fruits. This extends to a great dislike for the Council's removal of a tall macrocarpa that was leaning on its neighbour - we could do nothing because our recent boundary survey showed the Council to be correct in saying the trees along Almond Grove are on their land, not along the boundary as we had thought for nearly thirty years.
— Those macrocarpas are too tall, it's true, as shown by the winter shadow they cast on our house and backyard with its garden and fruit trees. And the long shadows meant that B had grown to wish all the tall ones were removed, not even pruned back (which is not possible with a macrocarpa since they don't put out new shoots from the stem after the top or ends of branches are cut off).

Take clothing.
· I wear jeans and shirts until they are beyond holey, mending them with whatever colour of thread is handy to hold them together for another six to twelve months.
— Others in the family also go to some trouble repairing them so they can keep wearing clothes until they're too worn to consider sending to "Goodwill" or a second-hand clothing store. But generally those repairs aren't particularly visible.

Take adjusting to a latitude-37 (maritime) winter.
· We have a hard frost this Sunday morning (11 July) but B and I are warm again after taking (digital) photos of our backyard, since I lit the wood fire an hour before she got up. But it is only this livingroom which we heat, so we use little wood. All the 30 years we've lived here the bathroom has been unheated, until this last week: I moved the 1990s LPG-propane portable heater into the space freed-up when we removed the cast-iron bath), and several of us have used it; the shower-stall contains most of the warm air which used to warm the whole room (somewhat).
As I was bringing up our kids they had no heat in the bedroom(s) for a few years, then a radiant heater mounted high on the walls. Even so, I believe now that I should have paid more attention to whether they were warm enough in bed with just one or two hotwater bottles and thick quilts. Nowadays I am quite happy to wear 6 layers of clothing with my 48yo "Loden-coat" on top, even in this living-room, but the other three find it quite warm enough with two layers. Knowing it will be warm in the sun outside, mid-morning, makes it easy to put up with feeling cool now. I'm fairly sure our bodies use more food energy to keep warm during the winter, which I believe is part of sustainable living. Ref:
— Others outside my family consider that a warm bedroom is necessary, partly to avoid becoming susceptible to breathing-system infections.

Take travel.
· I walk (or could ride a bike) everywhere I might want to go, using buses only when I'm accompaning B or for household reasons. I will certainly never fly (other than gliders) again. I do this since I am aware several times a week that I "shouldn't be here" because there are 4 to 5 billion excess people on earth at our current OECD consumption rate, and I can justify my staying alive only if I reduce my consumption (fossil fuels particularly) to well below the current world average - to me at least one-third of such a reduction should be the ethical choice of all those in the richer half of the human race.
— Others, at an earlier stage in their life, are not yet able to say: "I've had a good life, I don't want more; my life is enough." {Apr 1998; - still available (originally as a Google-cached copy) at: }

Take eating locally.
· I'm not where I want to be in this yet, partly because supply sources and routes keep changing. But our recent fruit-and-vege delivery included Samoan organic bananas, shorter and better flavour than the industrially produced Cavendish variety: And I try to get our Fair Trade coffee from East Timor|², on the basis that (a) they have very little other than coffee to export, and (b) it would a lengthy but relatively easy trip by sailing ship, or more likely, sail-assisted bio-diesel-engined cargo ship|³.
— Most others hardly read the details on the label, let alone know where their food comes from. Some, in a few cases through no fault of their own, wouldn't know how to cook or otherwise prepare food directly from a horticultural source or organic farm (IMO CAFO|ª-meat is completely out of consideration).

Take socialising.
· This is an essential for most people, but as an incipient-autistic person I find plenty to interest me that doesn't involve being with people for more than around an hour at most. I don't seem to have ever needed others affirming "who I am" or loving me, beyond B whom I met (through the Toronto Scientific Introduction Centre) when I was 30yo.
— In contrast, _everyone_ I have ever met wants to have good friends. I am including this in this "My style, by DM" post because far more money and time than most people realise, is put into social activities ("going out" and having visitors, including having an impressive home and keeping it and gardens tidy and attractive). I don't say my way is better, just that it's part of "My style".

Take daily life.
· I am most comfortable in a very routine life where I have built the routine. I put the things I use in specific places, use a rota of three sets of clothes so I don't have to think about what to put on, eat the same nine food items (raw veges, peanuts and bread) day after day for eighteen years, and am happy leaving within a minute of 06:45 AM to walk up the road in the dark to get our daily bread. Part of my self-diagnosis of autism, though I call it an aspect of "my style".
— Others don't mind much if things are out-of-place, and want variation in what they do and eat, I guess to keep life interesting.


_|¹: Japanese Privet: pic: ; original;


_|³: For example, the sail-assisted Rainbow Warrior III:
- pic on: ; original:
AP article:

_|ª: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation
- or more generally:

Posted by davd at 12:49 NZD
Updated: Friday, 31 December 2010 15:18 NZT
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Totnes Energy Descent Action Plan

 Totnes (UK)'s Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) list of Contents:

- has, in its introduction:

"An Energy Descent Action Plan is a guide to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and reducing our carbon footprint over the next 20 years, during which we expect many changes associated with declining oil supplies and some of the impacts of climate change to become more apparent.

In this EDAP we have built a picture of this future scenario based on visions of a better future. What we have tried in the process to invite the community

** to dream how the future could be, and to then work out the practical pathways by which we actually get there.**

Who is it being written for?

This EDAP is written for the community of Totnes and District; a market town and its fifteen encircling parishes. It is for people from all walks of life, all sectors; individuals, families, organisations, policy makers, service providers and service users;

** people who want to become part of the solution to some of the biggest challenges civilisation has ever faced.**

This EDAP provides a guide to our common future, with information about the issues, ideas about how the future may look as we move across the timeline and suggests many small and large actions that can contribute towards this vital process."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

sent-on by David.

David MacClement, ZL1ASX RePosts: I am at
earth our home:




Posted by davd at 09:45 NZD
Updated: Sunday, 16 May 2010 09:56 NZD
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older