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Sections: [ My opinions, my diet ] [ Worldwatch Institute ] [ Universal Basic Income ] [ Signs of hope ] [ Simple Living links ] [ Other Links ]
"The net worth of the 225* richest people in the world now equals the combined income of the poorest 2.6 billion, who comprise 47 percent of the world's population." (UNDP's 1998 Human Development Report)     (* billionaires)

Please read the Rachel's Weekly: #582: (01/22/98): "One Fundamental Problem" { the corporation }

my World View:

my Personal Actions:

__ I believe the human race passed a comfortably sustainable population in about 1950, at 2.5 Bn, but now there's twice as many of us, and three times as many in very few decades, with a most influential minority using FAR too much. The middle- class and rich have the wrong goals (largely induced by advertis- ing), if the world is to remain as civilised as it was between ' 55 and ' 77 (not incl. Stalin/Amin).
____ The >1 Bn car-using, meat- eating destructive people (CuMeDs) will need to drastically reduce both their consumption and what they do! Doing too much, while there are too many people, should be reduced since this is the origin of most of our excess consumption. Job- and- income- sharing would be a major step in the right direction.

__ I have reduced my demands on the Earth to a bare minimum by spending US$850 p.a. TOTAL; including no more than US$450 a year, or $8.65 per week, on food (all of it bought at the super- market). I pay for my share of the rates on our mortgage- free house, and I walk or (occasionally) take the bus, e.g. to buy the groceries. I walk barefoot year- round (@ lat. 37, maritime), wearing thongs/jandals if the road is rough or my pack is heavy. I haven't thrown out clothes for a couple of decades, and I'm now gradually using up that capital investment.
____ I am now free, from the boss's pressure to produce more and from "keeping up with the Jones's"! It's not exactly a religious decision, but it's based on some of the same basic impulses.

I'm not recommending others do this, though I am saying it's possible.         David MacClement

Want a more authoritative opinion than the above?

 Observer article

Read a real expert's view of the future (Donella Meadows)

Here Donella Meadows contrasts economic and planetary imperatives.

Our local paper Front Paged me, in 1992. Check it out?

My letters to the Positive Futures list,
and some responses.

David's reason for existence


How people like me view the work world.

An article on the Environmental Backlash

David's life and opinions.
Am I like Diogenes?

references, REFERENCES; incl. Paul Ehrlich, Herman Daly
(many others).

26 05 99 Music, philosophy: unimportant?
"Values Game"; my results

Reducing The Number of People in The World,
or: How Billions can Commit Suicide, Without Actually Dying.
{short letter}

a Positive Futures list discussion: Should One Work Hard?

Total costs under $900 p.a.?!: My diet, for minimum healthy eating (at under US$9/wk).

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Free Speech (Also check my ecological/activist site.)

Click BELOW for larger version
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New Zealand from Space

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia is acknowleged for receiving and processing the images. Permission from the Japanese Meteorological Agency is required and they are to be acknowleged for providing the raw data. (JMA Fax +81 3 3212 2453)

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP is the NZ Greens' Co-Leader; her maiden speech, press releases, etc.

Also: Recent New Zealand environmental news (David's choice). [same page: 39 kB]

A little humour (?):
Cal: 'The more you know, the harder it is to take decisive action.'      
Cal: 'Once you become informed, you start seeing complexities        
and shades of gray.'
Cal: 'You realize that nothing is as clear and simple as it first appears.
Ultimately, knowledge is paralyzing.'
Cal: 'Being a man of action, I can't afford to take that risk.'              
Hob: 'You're ignorant, but at least you act on it.'


Please visit:

Worldwatch Logo

The Worldwatch Institute. Worldwatch is dedicated to fostering the evolution of an environmentally sustainable society, one in which human needs are met in ways that do not threaten the health of the natural environment or the prospects of future generations.

VITAL SIGNS 1997 is published. | Another review.

For an extract from a recent WorldWatch book, click Here

{It also has the whole of the Press Release containing:}
"China, with its vast population, simply will not be able to follow for long any of the development paths blazed to date. The country that invented paper and gunpowder now has the opportunity to leapfrog the West and show how to build an environmentally sustainable economy. It will be forced to try and chart a new course. If China succeeds in charting an environmentally sustainable course, it could become a shining example for the rest of the world to admire and emulate. If it fails, we will all pay the price."

Alan Durning and Northwest Environment Watch in Seattle

Income for All (?) :

A nation's Universal Basic Income is an idea whose time has come.

      David MacClement believes that the normal entitlement of an adult citizen (see below) includes
having the economic product of the nation's social enterprise distributed among all N.Z. adults.
      Further, he believes money is changing its quality, so that every adult in the world should expect to get US$500 to US$2000 p.a. from taxing the $trillions that slosh around the world every day (the Tobin Tax).
      If this slows economic growth, so much the better. Most current economic growth is exploitative and bad for the environment, even now, but certainly in the long run (15 & more years).

Sally Lerner on Ensuring Basic Economic Security. From: Canada Watch (Sept.-Oct 1996), a York University (Toronto) publication.

Sally Lerner's paper on the UBI in Nth. America, presented to the July 5-7/97 meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics in Montreal.

Ian Ritchie's A New Approach: The need for a new approach to our society which includes a Universal Basic Income

UBI in New Zealand:
the latest UBINZ newsletter

All UBINZ Newsletters

UBI in New Zealand: general

Also see the "Reclaim Your Street" New Internationalist article:

Richard Douthwaite visited N.Z. in October 1997.

Keith Rankin

Keith Rankin teaches political economy at
Massey University, Albany, Auckland.
( Keith's papers )
He has told us about relatively recent European developments about Basic Income, for example (reporting on the 1996 BIEN conference in Vienna): "The tone of the conference was often one of impatience with arguments based on the old issues - like the free-rider problem. So Francesco Silva, an eminent Italian economist, raised (in this workshop) the point that modern economic growth theory clearly attributes genuine economic growth to 'social externalities', and that this argument - about social inputs to production, about social inheritance - is so powerful that it renders much of the earlier discussion as near to irrelevant. Clearly, a person receiving a basic income as a social dividend can be no more a free rider than can be any person possessing privately inherited wealth. I sensed that the southern Europeans - especially the Italians and Spanish - have come to grips with this argument more easily than have those from the north. Indeed, Italy has a long and wonderful tradition of scholarship in the history of economic thought."

Keith Rankin's Rankin File and Short Items, often on recent events in N.Z.

Signs of Hope:

 I really enjoy your website and I am grateful to know that more and more
 people are growing from the having mode into the being mode. 
 (Erich Fromm's book: To Have or To Be? )


"If only people could see each other as agents of each others' happiness, they could occupy the earth, their common habitation, in peace, and move forward confidently together to their common goal.
  The prospect changes when they regard each other as obstacles; soon they have no choice left but to flee or be forever fighting. Humankind then seems nothing but a gigantic error of nature."

Abbe Sieyes, Prelude to the Constitution, 1789 France

Greens making an Impact in Europe!

www2.europeangreens.org/europeangreens/updoct98.html     starts:

- October 1998 -



The German voters have opened a new chapter in the history of German Politics and ... of the German Greens.

The final result of the elections: Social Democrats: 40,9 % (+ 4,5 %; 298 MPs), Christian Democrats 35,2 % (-6,2 %; 245 MPs), Greens 6,7 % (- 0,6 %; 47 MPs), Liberals 6,2 % (-0,7 %; 44 MPs), Socialist Party 5,1 % (+0,7 %, 35 MPs). This result leads to a Red-Green absolute majority by 21 seats.

[T]he Greens and the Social Democrats ... negotiations towards a new Red-Green government in Germany.

... Both the Greens and SPD ... a strong start will be essential for the new government.
All in all, the situation is not bad considering that there is a Red-Green majority in both houses. More importantly, the German Greens have Green partners in government on a European level with Italy, France, Finland and potentially Sweden in the EU, as well as Georgia which will give them the opportunity to new Policy making on that level also.

Considering the national elections in Europe within the last 2 years, we have a completely new perspective for the Greens on the European level, and we shall use these victories over [economic-] neoliberal governments.

*** Consumers demand labeling of biotech foods

Despite an endless stream of corporate propaganda, consumers in the U.S. -- as well as the rest of the world -- remain troubled or anxious about genetically-altered food. Every major national poll in the industrialized world over the past 10 years has found 80-95% of consumers demanding labeling of biotech foods -- primarily so that they can exercise their right to avoid buying them if they so choose. ...
In a ... comprehensive poll by the biotech giant Novartis in February of 1997, a full 93% of Americans said that all genetically engineered foods should be labeled. In the same Novartis poll 73% said they felt "strongly" about mandatory labeling of gene-altered organisms, while 54% wanted to see agriculture move toward organic production methods. For a global summary of consumer polls on labeling genetically engineered food see:

Despite overwhelming public sentiment, Monsanto, the Clinton Administration, and biotech/ factory-farm interests remain unalterably opposed to mandatory labeling and safety testing of gene foods. Over the past two years U.S. authorities repeatedly have threatened to sue the E.U. under the new GATT rules for "restraint of trade" if they require mandatory segregation and labeling of U.S. agricultural exports containing gene- altered substances. ...

On May 19 U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky threatened France and the EU with trade sanctions on the g-e corn issue. In a statement to Reuters, Barshefsky stated: "This is very serious and threatens a very substantial trade row if these corn varieties are not allowed to be marketed fully."

U.S. free traders received further bad news on May 26 as EU farm ministers passed a long-awaited bill requiring mandatory labeling of g-e corn and soybean products. The law basically states that all foods with detectible levels of genetically modified corn or soya (gene-altered DNA or proteins) will have to be labeled. Although the law was condemned by U.S. authorities, European groups such as Greenpeace, the Green Party, and consumer associations complained that the law contains exemptions on non-detectible additives such as soy oil and lecithin -- which means that most processed foods, such as margarine and chocolate, will still not have to be labeled. Informed sources in Europe have told Food Bytes* that, although the Clinton administration doesn't like the soy and corn labeling law, they will not at this time try to challenge the rule at the GATT/WTO.
In the wake of the USDA organic standards fiasco and mounting global pressure for biotech labeling, U.S. authorities fear yet another public relations disaster if they attempt to overturn the May 26 law.

Even Monsanto has felt the need to try to placate their opponents recently, claiming, somewhat unconvincingly, that they no longer oppose labeling of gene-altered products in Europe. In the words of Monsanto's Europe-Africa President Bernard Auxenfans, quoted in the UK Farmers Guardian of May 22:

"Perhaps too often we expect Science working with regulatory reviews to be sufficient for consumers... The soya bean experience in Europe again reminds us that along with these elements we must make a special effort to provide information to the public in understandable language and we must be able to direct people to independent information services." At the same time Monsanto's PR spin doctors stress that the U.S. is "different," and therefore requires no "understandable language," i.e. labeling.

* from: Food Bytes #9, June 2 '98.

Eco-village initiative in Adelaide: announcement and comment.

*** Dolphin conservation agreement signed

Copyright © 1998 Nando.net
Copyright © 1998 AFP

WASHINGTON (May 21, 1998 2:56 p.m. EDT http://www.nando.net) -
        The United States and six Latin American countries signed an agreement Thursday to protect dolphins from tuna fishing nets that threatened to devastate the mammals. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hailed the accord as "one of the strongest agreements ever negotiated to conserve marine life."
        Under the accord reached in February following six years of negotiations, all tuna fishing vessels will be required to have observers on board to monitor catches and an international panel will be established to ensure compliance.
        Albright signed the International Dolphin Protection Program agreement with the ambassadors of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela, which were among the 13 countries to negotiate the accord.
        The United States has agreed to lift tuna trade embargoes on all nations that sign the pact.
        ''I am very pleased to participate in this signing ceremony,'' said Albright from the podium in the State Department's Benjamin Franklin Room.
        "It's not every day that I can honestly say we take action to benefit a group whose members are uniformly intelligent, open, friendly and can swim close to 40 miles an hour," she said.

*** Global warming issue pits north against south

Delegates to a 150-nation conference on global warming met in closed session Friday after saying there were large gaps to be overcome before a draft treaty could be approved at a December conference in Japan. The fight over global warming, thrust into the limelight this week when President Clinton presented U.S. proposals, pits industrial countries against developing nations who want a cleaner, cooler world but not obstacles to their economic growth. Delegates to the United Nations-sponsored conference on climate change in Bonn said the negotiations were expected to go down to the last minute in Kyoto, Japan, and would ultimately have to be settled at the highest levels.

Editor's picks Urban Ecology Use Less Stuff Use Less Stuff bi-monthly Newsletter

Food activism Vegan Anarchism

the World Bank has abandoned its long-running support for minimal government in favour of a strong and vigorous state. Its latest report on world development calls for "reinvigoration of public institutions" and says the role of government has been vital in encouraging the dazzling growth of East Asia. An 'effective state' is the cornerstone of successful economies

On: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 17:48:01 -0400 (EDT)
Wendy <MomOFaith@aol.com> said:

I guess the underlying ideal is, since I can't change the world with my vote, I can change it with my dollar. Profit is what drives the makers of these products, and their ability to influence our own government, so I have to make choices based on my beliefs. This is almost always a more expensive option.

some \

Positive  \

Voluntary Simplicity and the demise of capitalism. Betsy Barnum's views on the future/demise of capitalism.

Futures  /

Family Wreckers Her thoughts on the way the economy is wrecking the family           (otherPF.156kB)

letters /

A Philosophy to Live By. ( the difference between affluence and happiness )
Related: Tying Life Capital to Financial Capital ( both should be a focus of attention )

25 Sept 98       Noam Chomsky's Mellon Lecture, "Democracy and Education", is at:

  It states:
'"The ultimate aim of production is not production of goods, but the production of free human beings associated with one another on terms of equality." This basic commitment ... is profoundly at odds with the two leading currents of [recent] social intellectual life, one ... associated with the command economies in Eastern Europe in [the 1920s and 1930s], the systems created by Lenin and Trotsky ... . The other, the state capitalist industrial society being constructed in the U.S. and much of the West, with the effective rule of private power. These two systems are actually similar in fundamental ways, including ideologically. Both were, and one of them remains, deeply authoritarian in fundamental commitment.'

Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things
by John Ryan and Alan Thein Durning.

There is no "away".
To: Frugal-Ed <frugal-ed@listproc.wsu.edu>
Subject: There is no "away".
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 16:32:26 +1200
This is about two humdrum examples of - There is no "away". (See below the GCF constitution.) ..
3/17/99 http://csf.colorado.edu/perma/frugal/feb98/msg02017.html

Applying Public Accountability to the MAI : Some hope?

Ngai Tahu Agreement (NZ)
receives Sir Geoffrey's Praise.


   (On the theme of this cartoon from 1994:)

MOM: "Any good mail today?"

DAD: "Mm...not really.
  - Here's a 'you're not covering the cost of all these mailings'
    charity request.  
  - You got a 'you're not attractive enough' women's magazine 
    with an article on swimsuits that minimize all your body flaws.
  - Here are some 'you're not stylish or ostentatious enough' 
    catalogs....and coincidentally, an invitation to go deeper into
    debt from a credit card company.
  - And here's our news magazine to identify the trends we're
  - and I got a hobby magazine featuring new equipment I ought to
  - Yikes.... why do I get the feeling that society is trying to 
    make us discontented with everything we do and insecure about
    who we are?"

MOM: "I suppose if people thought about real issues and needs
    instead of manufactured desires, the economy would collapse
    and we'd have total anarchy."

DAD: (with evil grin) "So pitching this junk would make me
    some kind of terrorist, huh?"

MOM: "Yep. It's our patriotic duty to buy distractions from
    a simple life."

CAL: "Hey Mom, I saw a bunch of products on TV that I didn't know
    existed, but I desperately need!" 

One of the best:

Voluntary Simplicity for 20-35 yo.s, starting "a career". (By John O. Andersen)

Click here for "Voluntary Simplicity" article in Detroit News

... and here for my selection of some June '97 discussions: Frugal-Ed

Positive Futures list archives: "Enjoying (?) Frugality"
indexed. [64 kB]
"Should one work hard?"
indexed. [89 kB]
"Work vs. Family"
plain. {125 kB}
"Less cars"
{24 kB}
("Less cars" also talked about what living was like in the 40s, 50s and early 60s, especially for school kids.)

My letter to Frugal-Ed, on saving water: extreme measures.

Other Web-sites showing up in a search for my 38 keywords, i.e. with similar concerns.  [46 kB]

The Web Of Simplicity
Tools for those who are serious about learning to live a more conscious, simple, healthy and earth-friendly lifestyle. Featuring a 3000 page web site loaded with logical, step-by-step ideas,
a free e-mail Newsletter, lists of support groups and study circles around the world,
links to other earth-friendly web sites, and an on-line book store and resource centre.

D Simple Life......
For the main Simple Times web page
(complete with subscribing instructions, mission statement and a direct link to the archives), go to:
"Simple Times Email Newsletter": http://members.aol.com/DSimple/times.html

EcoNet's Frugal Living Pages

The Frugal Corner WWW Site: Tips for Frugality (Inspired by The Tightwad Gazette)

"Alternatives'" web site

Carol's Place | Clay and Judy Woods' place

LOTS of simple-living Links

Ash Grove Community Farm & Center for Sustainable Living

U.S. Consumption Hits Top (pick: overcons.zpg )

Sustainable Resources on the Internet (contributed to: sgarrett@wsu.edu by: Robert Wilson)

Center for A New American Dream | More Simple Living Links.

N.Am.Dream Conversations: Betsy Barnum, Joe Fortier, Donella H. Meadows, David MacClement

(my letter to Frugal-Ed, on extreme water-saving measures - in a severe drought.)

My reasons for living debt-free, (on Frugal-Ed). | First response. | Second response.

Dollar Stretcher topics list (51 kB)

Homeless for years (and other letters by Elaine)

the Frugal-Ed LISTS (150-200 kb!): Messages sorted by: [ subject ] [ thread ] [ author ]

Bruce Brummitt's experience with half-year heat storage.

Answering: "How Much is Enough?"


Hello! Sea Mammals Fantasy Worldrudyw's world

Indonesian lizards & snakes gecko

Might whales think better than humans? Paul Watson's recent essay: "The association or mental connecting of ideas is a measurable skill. A ratís associative skill is measured at 9 to 1. This means that 90% of the brain is devoted to primary sensory projection, leaving only 10% for associative skills. A cat is 1 to 1 meaning that half the brain is available for associative ability.
A chimpanzee is 1 to 3, and a human being is 1 to 9. We humans need only utilize 10% of our brains to operate our sensory organs. Thus the associative abilities of a cat are measurably greater than a rat but less than a chimp and humans are the highest of all.

Not exactly. The cetacean brain averages 1 to 25 and can range upward to 1 to 40. The reason for this is that the much larger supralimbic lobe is primarily association cortex. Sensory and motor function control is spread outside the supralimbic in cetaceans as opposed to humans, leaving more brain area in the cetacean supralimbic for associative purposes."

Hopelessness and Nihilism; (from: The Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia)
the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, incl. The "Eco Depth Gauge"; Excerpted from KOOKS
From Metropolis to Design (by Tapio Perišinen) is a holistic vision of a healthy, well-functioning environment.
The Planetary Work Machine; & "futuribles (as the French say) are not very appetizing: they stink of renunciation, moralism, new labors"

Toni Jeffreys PhD: "I fancy that most New Zealanders would walk quietly into the gas chambers on request ..."

Empowerment Resources for Personal Growth, Social Change, and Ecology; Quick
Green Guide to Empowerment Resources
- http://www.empowermentresources.com/ - over 180 good books (most discounted 20-30%)
and over 370 links on empowerment.  "A Quick Green Guide to Empowerment Resources on the Internet."

cdMom's Home-Schooling Software Centre Home School supplies

The Quiet Mind Body Shop: Alternatives The Quiet Mind Body Shop, Christchurch, New Zealand

"Central to all these problems is the deliberate restructuring of the economy that is under way, promoted chiefly by corporate policies with the acquiescence of government. Corporations are seeking to increase their profits and competitiveness by merging and downsizing (eradicating half a million well-paid jobs each year); replacing permanent full-time workers with temporary part-timers; deliberately destroying job security as a way of imposing discipline on working people; diminishing their power to demand decent wages and benefits such as health care and retirement packages; and degrading the environment (mining natural resources at unsustainable rates worldwide, and using nature as a toilet for unwanted, often toxic, byproducts). Government's most conspicuous role in all this has been to subsidize corporate restructuring .."

the Green Left Weekly, Issue #286 August 20, 1997.

The Crash comes in the next 25 years
Jay Hanson's BRAIN FOOD
"I have updated my systems crash curve using
Duncan & Youngquist's new global oil production forecast.
You can even download the models and
run them yourself." See:

The 2028 Asteroid which may hit the earth.

Government's Social Responsibility

People-Centred Development Forum - David C. Korten
cartoon - TransNational Corporations equal partners @ the U.N.

The Corsican Fisherman

. . A lone fisherman sat on a stretch of beach. His single fishing pole was planted in the sand.
Along came a businessman on vacation.
"Why don't you have two poles so you can catch more fish?" the businessman asked.
. . "Then what would I do?" asked the Corsican.
"Then, you could take the extra money, buy a boat, get nets and a crew, and catch even more fish."
. . "Then what would I do?" asked the fisherman.
"Then," said the businessman, "you could move up to a fleet of large ships, go wholesale, and become very rich."
. . "Then what would I do?" asked the Corsican.
"Do whatever you want!" shouted the businessman.
. . And the Corsican replied, "I am."
Source: Loose Change, 7/8, '97.

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