Thursday, 19 July 2012
To all my activist colleagues:
I humbly suggested that we activists are the stupidest people on the planet. Although we have the planet's well being at heart, we spend our hard one earnings and savings trying to help and most people just don't care, are myopic, are disinterested, apathetic, or worst of all, are simply in such a fossilised fuel mythology induced daze that they are simply dead people walking.
We put huge efforts into commenting on new laws; into commenting on newspaper articles; into being on the radio; into going to conferences free of charge; into giving; but what do we get out? And how much financial debt is worth all this exposure? And why do we allow ourselves to be used?
The government spends Billions on Consultants and then asks us activists to use our extensive knowledge to comment on what the consultants have said and written. We must be completely mad to do this for free. We are essentially doing the consultants work and filling in the blanks. Helping and giving without any sort of financial compensation. Yes, we feel good. We feel like we are helping. But we are putting a strain on our work and our families.
I believe now that we need to get together us activists, eg Muna, Marina, Jonathan, Mariette, Antony, myself, Ninette, and many others, and put ourselves into a team of people who trust each other and then offer our environmental services to people who wish to pay for these services.
So far I have spent R4 million of time and money on this venture over the past 5 years. I've had a lot of fun, spoken at many conferences in Cape Town, Joburg and Durban, including in parliament, and met political leaders and mayors. But I haven't made any new friends, amazingly. And getting to meet business leaders is proving impossible. I know not why, except I have a hunch that they want to be charged and we don't charge anything.
I look forward to working with you all on solving our planet's problems and at the same time earning enough to put food on the table without having to get further and further into debt.
Love and respect,
Sunday, 1 July 2012
So what's really happening?
South Africa doesn't have enough electricity. Similar to Greece, Syria, Spain, some of the more than 40 countries worldwide whose energy imports either exceed their total exports or are more than 60% of their total exports.
South Africa doesn't have enough electricity.
Our capacity is around 35 GigaWatts, and was around 38 GW 20 years ago. Plus peaking power stations taking us to around 38 GW today. At 3.6% average electricity growth worldwide in the past 20 years, South Africa should be at 80 GW today and in 20 years time should be at 160 GW.
To "solve" the problem, the South African government has had to be very inventive. Especially whilst giving another 2 million people electricity since 1994. It has closed the textile industry, moving almost this entire industry to China. It has closed several smelters, hence the reason South Africa's iron and steel exports have plummeted. It blames our problems on China, but China adds 1 GW to its grid weekly and for the first time will install the biggest share of renewable energy worldwide this year.
The South African government needs to limit growth, otherwise the citizen (voter) will find out there is a problem. So the government does this with laws that limit growth or which limit the ability of small companies to employ people or which limit the second hand market from selling goods. Examples? The Consumer Protection Act which protects big business whilst preventing small business from doing business; The new Labour Legislation which has outlawed companies from employing casual staff thus preventing small companies from trying out people before giving them permanent employment. If a big company employs a person who doesn't work out, its not really a problem if the company already has 200 people. But when a small company with 2 people wants to employ a third person, its a massive investment. And in order to buy second hand goods at a market, a customer needs to show their ID book!! When last did you show your ID at Pick 'n Pay or Woolworths or Tafelberg?
Wanting to outlaw labour brokers who help people get jobs is another example.
And there are others.
All because South Africa doesn't have enough electricity.
And the way South Africa will solve this problem is to borrow R2,300,000,000,000 (R2.3 trillion) and the only way South Africa can repay this vaste amount of money is to give away the Karoo, ie allow it to be fracked; to prevent South Africa from having its very own car, the Joule, and in other ways.
But citizens can take back their rights by taking responsibility for themselves. And thus reduce their costs by up to 70% from 2012 prices. Its so simple, that people just can't see it, as they've bought into the Fossilized fuel energy Mythology.
Where to today? That is up to us!