Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Temporary Hiatus

I'm taking a break from blogging for a while, I will post interesting stuff here mainly so I don't lose it.

Some of my photos will be available here http://www.flickr.com/photos/johndarroch/sets/

Best of luck



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Civilisation - a promotional video

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You are what You grow

From here

Drewnowski gave himself a hypothetical dollar to spend, using it to purchase as many calories as he possibly could. He discovered that he could buy the most calories per dollar in the middle aisles of the supermarket, among the towering canyons of processed food and soft drink. (In the typical American supermarket, the fresh foods — dairy, meat, fish and produce — line the perimeter walls, while the imperishable packaged goods dominate the center.) Drewnowski found that a dollar could buy 1,200 calories of cookies or potato chips but only 250 calories of carrots. Looking for something to wash down those chips, he discovered that his dollar bought 875 calories of soda but only 170 calories of orange juice.

As a rule, processed foods are more “energy dense” than fresh foods: they contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening. These particular calories also happen to be the least healthful ones in the marketplace, which is why we call the foods that contain them “junk.” Drewnowski concluded that the rules of the food game in America are organized in such a way that if you are eating on a budget, the most rational economic strategy is to eat badly — and get fat.

This perverse state of affairs is not, as you might think, the inevitable result of the free market. Compared with a bunch of carrots, a package of Twinkies, to take one iconic processed foodlike substance as an example, is a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes for less than a bunch of roots?
Guardian says peak oil has hit

from here

"The world soon will not be able to produce all the oil it needs as demand is rising while supply is falling. This is a huge problem for the world economy," said Hans-Josef Fell, EWG's founder and the German MP behind the country's successful support system for renewable energy.

The report's author, Joerg Schindler, said its most alarming finding was the steep decline in oil production after its peak, which he says is now behind us.

The results are in contrast to projections from the International Energy Agency, which says there is little reason to worry about oil supplies at the moment.

However, the EWG study relies more on actual oil production data which, it says, are more reliable than estimates of reserves still in the ground. The group says official industry estimates put global reserves at about 1.255 gigabarrels - equivalent to 42 years' supply at current consumption rates. But it thinks the figure is only about two thirds of that.

Global oil production is currently about 81m barrels a day - EWG expects that to fall to 39m by 2030. It also predicts significant falls in gas, coal and uranium production as those energy sources are used up.

Britain's oil production peaked in 1999 and has already dropped by half to about 1.6 million barrels a day.

The report presents a bleak view of the future unless a radically different approach is adopted. It quotes the British energy economist David Fleming as saying: "Anticipated supply shortages could lead easily to disturbing scenes of mass unrest as witnessed in Burma this month. For government, industry and the wider public, just muddling through is not an option any more as this situation could spin out of control and turn into a complete meltdown of society."

Mr Schindler comes to a similar conclusion. "The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by declining fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of our daily life."

Jeremy Leggett, one of Britain's leading environmentalists and the author of Half Gone, a book about "peak oil" - defined as the moment when maximum production is reached, said that both the UK government and the energy industry were in "institutionalised denial" and that action should have been taken sooner.

"When I was an adviser to government, I proposed that we set up a taskforce to look at how fast the UK could mobilise alternative energy technologies in extremis, come the peak," he said. "Other industry advisers supported that. But the government prefers to sleep on without even doing a contingency study. For those of us who know that premature peak oil is a clear and present danger, it is impossible to understand such complacency."

Mr Fell said that the world had to move quickly towards the massive deployment of renewable energy and to a dramatic increase in energy efficiency, both as a way to combat climate change and to ensure that the lights stayed on. "If we did all this we may not have an energy crisis."
He accused the British government of hypocrisy. "Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have talked a lot about climate change but have not brought in proper policies to drive up the use of renewables," he said. "This is why they are left talking about nuclear and carbon capture and storage. "
Transition Towns

A New Zealand presentation about the transition towns movement, its quite remarkable to find a NZ video about this sort of thing.

Aussie story

These videos are awesome, some of the coolest things I have seen in a long time.



Part two



Part three



Part four

Monday, October 22, 2007

The movies

Photos from saturdy

Heres some photos from saturdays rally and march to suppport those arrestd in anti terror raids, more info at www.indymedia.org.nz























Friday, October 19, 2007

Ducks!

After a long day outside court I saw these ducks, they were in one of the most grim looking streams I have ever seen, beside a junk yard and opposite the steel mill. One worker saw me taking photos and commented "any of them will be lucky to survive in that shit" I on the other hand think they look just fine :)







Images from Solidarity demo

These are some photos from todays demo in solidarity with those arrested during police raids across the country. This was a protest with around 100 people at the Auckland district court as 5 of the arrested had their status hearing inside.

Their is a rally in support of those arrested tomorrow (sat 20th) at aotea square



























Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fundraiser to Support Political Prisoners

There is a video screening this Saturday to support those activists who were arrested in a sweep on Monday. The proceeds from the screening are to go towards the familys of those arrested for things like transport and legal costs. The support of the public and those that know the activists is greatly appreciated.

Films to be shown include “a history of oil” and one film about Aotearoa

When: 7.30 Saturday 20th October 2007

Where: grey lynn library hall

Why: Fundraiser for arrested activists

How much: Koha
More Raids


Raids are continuing around the country and at least one more person has been arrested, police have also been calling people in for questioning. In Taupo when raiding the Eco Show organiser police pushed everyone into one room and searched the hous taking the familys computers and one from an international expert. Who knows when the raids will stop and how many people they are after, I would think that with the amount of evidence they claim to have that these continuing raids are aimed at intimidation as much as anything else. Whatever is going on the cops seem intent on harassing as many people as possible in an attempt to conflate peaceful protest and armed resistance.

For those in Auckland there is a support meeting at 6.30 tonight at unite (the 18th)


Stay safe everyone and if the cops come knocking say nothing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Solidarity with those arrested

Yesterday morning activist houses throughout New Zealand were raided under the pretext that armed training camps were being run in the North Island. Regardless of what has happened this is quite obviously an attempt to tar the entire activist community as terrorists.

The 17 arrested have not been granted bail and some are expected to be held on remand for at least 2 weeks. Being held for an afternoon sucks, having your house raided by anti terror units and being accused of terrorism is unimaginable, I hope everyones ok and that no more arrests occur.

Much love to everyone around the country

For details of the case and solidarity actions check indymedia

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cultivating connections

I havnt blogged much recently due to activism the garden and this place I go occasionally called university, oh and work has been busy lately with new projects coming up.

This is more just to point out this essay here which I think is awesome, entitled cultivating connections is explores the links that community food production creates and the importance of these links to sustainable cultures and a sustainable world.

From senior citizens in municipal community gardens, to soil-less gardening on rooftops and guerilla sunflowers in sidewalk cracks, urban agriculture is becoming increasingly recognized as a significant force of food production and activism throughout the world. The set of practices known as “urban agriculture” constitutes a social movement that is actively reclaiming control over food production and consumption by creating connections between people and the environment, people and people, and people within themselves. These practices are also part of a broader contentious politics that is reclaiming connections with the people and places that sustain us. While an understanding of urban agriculture as a social movement is useful, it is incomplete without also transcending that category to see the connections urban agriculturalists make with other social and political movements striving for similar connections that go far beyond food.

This is really the case with all the activism I am involved with, first of all connecting people to the issue, showing them how it is relevant to them and most importantly building up that connection that makes them care. Once they empathise with one issue then you explore how that issue is related to all others and the connections between different forms of exploitation and oppression. Then recconection with the land, food production, animals and each other.

This culture on the other hand spends all its time trying to tear us away from the real world and connections to each other. We are made to spend our days in windowless rooms always the same brightness and temperature, our interactions with each other are mediated by technoloogy and fucked up social customs. We are systematically trained to ignore everyone else and to only focus on ourselves.

Creating and cultivating connection is some of the the most important work we can do.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lazy blogging

In between class and meetings I and the faily have been hard at work turning the family pool into a pond, here are a few photos I took before much work had begun so we could document the change.
Inside the treehut
The pool after taking the sides off, about a third of the pool has been filled with soil.


The chicken House