Welcome to the TZMUK newsletter for August 2013. We have a key topic of the month for this month – we’ll be discussing some ideas for beginning the transition into a system which will one day blossom into a global resource based economy, and introducing Teamhumanity and VocalEyes – two partner organisations who are keen to work with TZMUK in putting a transitional plan together. And we’ll need your help…
The amazing misadventures of Monetary-marketopithecus
Back to life on our beleaguered planet in 2013, and on the climate destabilisation front, UK Food prices are up 20% after yields were stunted by the coldest spring in 50 years. Meanwhile across the world, more extreme weather events have been occurring. A giant tornado narrowly missed the airport at Denver, Colorado, as the state was hit by exceptional forest fires, which have doubled in ferocity over 40 years. Alaska experienced an 87-year summer heatwave, sparking fears of increased forest fires and glacial melt floods. There has been exceptional flooding in India (1000 killed), China, France, Spain and Calgary in Canada – where 175,000 have been evacuated from their homes. Swiss vineyards have suffered destruction from summer hail storms. 200 mph storms have torn up roads in New Zealand and left record snow levels.
David Coburn, UKIP regional chairman for London has highlighted that gas and electricity prices have risen 50 percent in the last five years, meaning that demand has already outstripped supply. Industry regulator Ofgem have warned that Britain faces an increased risk of power outages by 2015, with a spare capacity down to 2%. Inefficient gas-powered plants and those failing to meet emissions targets are closing.
The UK Government seems to be mirroring these energy concerns, and despite its Carbon emissions targets Chancellor George Osborne has begun offering tax breaks to fracking companies to start exploiting the UK’s shale gas reserves. How they hope to spare the huge fresh water reserves needed to enable this feat has not been explained. Shell is seeking to exploit the melting polar ice caps by drilling for more oil in the Arctic. There is an Arctic sea ice campaign on Avaaz ahead of the Climate summit in Paris in 2015 [here].
After George Osborne announced the latest £12 billion budget cut, British intelligence units MI5, MI6 and GCHQ have interestingly bucked the trend, and been awarded an increase in their budgets – while benefit claimants, teachers, nurses and police officers will face a decrease. What is the UK Government anticipating that would require more intelligence personnel but less Police on the ground?
In the UK financial sector, the Co-operative bank – has been downgraded six notches by Moody’s to BB- status. The bank ran into trouble after inheriting unexpected bad debt from the Britannia building society which it purchased in 2009. A question mark also hangs over the ethical status of the Co-op bank after it announced plans to abandon its mutual status and float on the stock exchange to try to tackle its £1.5 billion capital shortfall. The Archbishop of Canterbury – endorsed by Vince Cable – has expressed the desire to put pay-day lender ‘Wonga’ out of business and offer better Church of England credit union services in exchange. Refreshing to see usury return to the Church’s agenda after so long, The Bank of international settlements recently announced a new policy to roll out worldwide which seems to be in preparation to wider financial crises similar to that seen in Cyprus – which seems to have been the initial guinea pig in the experiment. According to this policy, an insolvent bank would keep its insolvency secret until a Friday, transfer its interest to a
bridge bank over the weekend, and reopen as a new bank on a Monday, with haircuts on savings already having taken place whilst denying customers the opportunity to make a run on the bank. Whether such a policy is actually lawful is another matter.
In Portugal the Chancellor has been forced to resign, the Deputy prime minister has resigned and stock market is down 15% – but nothing appeared in the papers about the story.
In Egypt President Morsi has been removed from power by the army and imprisoned. His supporters have declared this as undemocratic and unlawful and the country is polarising into opposing factions. Most recently up to 100 protesters calling for his reinstatement have been killed in clashes with police.
In Brazil – one of the supposedly rising Brics countries – has experienced mass protests 100,000 strong over costs of the world cup and inadequate government services. In the USA, a study reveals that students wishing to support themselves financially through college would have to work 50 hours a week at the minimum wage to live and cover their college fees.
A recent white house report focuses on patent trolls – those who buy up patents with no intention to develop them, but to make a living by suing anyone who tries to develop a similar idea of their own for intellectual property infringement. It reveals they are having a significant negative impact on home grown innovation. One such study shows that 14 of these ‘patent assertion entities’ had a combined income of 47.6 billion from patent suits from 2000 to 2012, while the resultant loss of share value incurred by the defendant companies was $87.6 billion. To paraphrase George Carlin, Welcome to The American dream – so called because you have to be asleep to believe it!
As Bradley Manning is cleared of aiding the enemy, but found guilty on several espionage charges, another whistle-blower storm has erupted again raising the question about what western military intelligence has to hide, and whether a democratic public has a right to know what their governments are up to in their names. Edward Snowden has exposed seemingly unorthodox arrangements between America’s National Security Administration and Britain’s MI5. The Russians and Chinese are clearly in defiance of President Obama over his extradition, and he remains in Moscow airport.
ATCA 5000’s stock market report: China
Chinese stocks have plunged considerably to lead Asian equities lower with concerns that Beijing may be reluctant or perhaps politically unable to ease a liquidity crunch in the Shanghai interbank money markets, slamming banks particularly hard. The Shanghai Composite suffered its worst one-day percentage loss in nearly four years, plunging 5.3% — its first close below the psychologically-important 2,000-point level since December last year. The performance is its worst since a 6.7% drop in August 2009 during the global financial crisis. The Shenzhen Composite Index also dived 6.1%. In parallel, Japan and Korea have also fallen more than a per-cent and now Europe and America are turning negative yet again.
A big contributor to the China markets collapse was a clear message from their central bank — the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) — telling banks that their liquidity issues were their own problem, and that they needed to sort them out. Suddenly, the perception is that central banks around the world are reluctant to keep printing and throwing money at the banks to keep them solvent ad infinitum and the markets are throwing a fit. It is never easy to come off feel-good drugs and tantrums are part of the course.
Global growth is slowing down considerably and beggar-thy-neighbour competitive devaluations are not going to work to lift all major economies out of trouble simultaneously. Some thing’s got to give. Watch: Bond yields are rising and the tide is turning against further QE as ATCA 5000’s Socratic dialogue began to point out more than one month ago. Central banks are simply unable to do further QE forever and ever if bond yields rise much further than they already have. High bond yields ultimately cause debt servicing costs to rise to an exorbitant level, which fundamentally undermines the key premise of QE in the first place as a mechanism to lower borrowing costs! Note that US 10 year bond yields are at 2.59% and rising. What does that mean? Interest rates are going to go up sooner rather than later and not stay down.
So where’s all this going?
To astrophysicists such as Dr Michio Kaku, all these events are simply symptoms of humanity’s inevitable transition towards a type 1, planetary civilisation. Indeed, the fact you are reading this newsletter right now as part of a 6,000+ strong community shows that you are connected right now to the telephone system of that civilisation. Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, gives us a 50/50 chance of successfully negotiating the challenge of getting there before the entropy from our current paradigm (The greenhouse effect, pollution, nuclear war, fundamentalism and disease) tear us apart. Which takes us to the next question…
Topic of the Month – Transition
The million dollar question for TZM and TVP has always been how and when do we begin the transition away from this crumbling system and into something solid that will eventually blossom into a global resource-based civilisation. And do we need to wait (as some believe) for a total economic collapse before the population finally awakens from its Zombie sleepwalk? Or are the foundations of an embryonic resource based system forming and strengthening even as we speak – one that will be allowed to co-exist with the current system and be recognised by it as a safety net for those whose needs the current system can no longer serve?
Let’s have a look at some of the other groups and initiatives in operation offering new direction today, and what we might achieve if we make a commitment
to build collaborative bridges with them: –
The Big Society
A key and under recognised Fact regarding this UK Government initiative is that it represents their frank admission that they are losing the ability to meet the needs of the population financially. Every social enterprise supporting its local population under the big society is channelling life supporting resources outside the monetary/market framework – with the support and recognition of the establishment. This has great potential as a Trojan horse for transitioning the system from the inside out!
The Transition Network (www.transitionnetwork.org)
An existing body that has put a lot of design and research into how sustainable transition towns could be developed.
Open Source Ecology (www.opensourceecology.org)
Marcin Jacobowski and his team have developed a range of open source designs for machinery which if adopted by local communities would give them the tools to get off the grid and become self-sufficient in food, energy, water and building materials.
The Khan academy (www.khanacademy.org)
A free online education system giving users a wide range of topics to study and pass in modular fashion.
Rep Rap (www.reprap.org)
The open source 3d printer featured in Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. The community shares and develops 3d designs for a wide range of functional items, including parts for the reprap printer itself.
Incredible edible (www.incredible-edible-
An initiative started in Todmorden, Yorshshire that takes the grounds of public buildings such as council offices, hospitals and police stations and plants them with vegetables and fruit bearing shrubs. Local people are free to help themselves to produce, and asked to contribute what they can in return. The ultimate example of this type of enterprise is found in Havana, where a support network of kiosks oversee the operation of public food growing areas throughout the city. This developed as a necessity when the collapse of the Soviet union and its support left Cuba without the ability to import food.
The food banks
This charitable network has seen a doubling of the demand on food from a needy and disenfranchised public over the past couple of years.
The Bristol pound (www.bristolpound.org)
An alternative local money system giving businesses the ability to trade based upon trust instead of supporting the financial establishment. The Greek equivalent, the TEM has developed widely since the country’s economic crisis.
The world’s religions
Many a dismissive word has been spoken in TZM circles about the barriers to progress presented by anti-scientific religious dogmatists, often citing the work of Richard Dawkins. But should we dismiss religion in its entirety, or do we need it on some level to create a context to define the application of the scientific method? Religions were conceived as a force for social cohesion. Even Albert Einstein stated ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. So is there potential for TZM and the World’s faiths build a united front encompassing the elements of faith and science?
If we look at the established religions, we see there is a common link between them. They all foretell of a time of darkness and confusion when society will crumble, and of a great teacher who will come forth and lead humanity into a new era of unity and enlightenment. To Christianity he is the second coming of Christ. In Judaism, the Lord of Hosts. In the texts of Islam he is known as the Twelfth Imam (Shia) and the Mahdi (Sunni). To Buddhists he is the Meteyya or fifth Buddha, and to Hindus the return of Krishna. Hence we have the recognition across world religion that we are living in an emergent society, and that the greatest teachings we have can only lead the way for so long before they reach their expiry date, and that we must then find fresh wisdom to take us to a new
paradigm – and of course a movement in the Zeitgeist.
And say hello to some new friends:-
TEAMHUMANITY is designed as a hub organisation to bring together all the groups seeking to bring the world to a better economic, environmental and humanitarian reality. Founder Grant Dive would like to say the following concerning a Global Strategy to Achieve the Zeitgeist Movement’s Goals: –
Over 2 years ago, I was introduced to the group by a member who is now a good friend. Probably like many of you, I’ve been around the block a number of times when it comes to engaging with groups that want to ‘change the world’. So when I attended a local Zeitgeist Meeting and listened to people’s
thoughts and views about the benefits of an RBE, I really only had one question in mind – ‘How are you going to achieve it?
Let’s face it – it’s a pretty important question. You can have some extraordinarily brilliant ideas to help improve the state of the world, but if you haven’t got a sound plan to implement them… then you’re missing something just as important.
Without a plan that makes sense to people, the Movement will struggle to take its vision forward. For every person that gets involved, another will become disillusioned with the lack of progress – and so leave. While some may say, ‘so what, that’s fine’, such an attitude does not help change that fact. What people really want to hear is, ‘We’ve got a plan to achieve the Zeitgeist goals – and this is how we’re going to do it.’
So TEAM ZEITGEIST…listen up – “You really do have a plan to achieve the Zeitgeist goals – and so much more!”
This Action Plan works from a ‘position of psychological strength’. It is the culmination of over 30 years study into the ‘psychology of humanity’ – its wisdom, its ignorance, its ego, its global systems – and all the psychological cause/effect behaviour that drives it. And as this plan of global collaboration moves forward, expect it to pick up pace pretty fast – especially when we are also leveraging the strengths of the different groups that get involved.
And here’s another bit of good news – Not only does the group have a sound psychological plan on the table to help it move forward – but some members have already taken up the initiative to start implementing it. And I for one, am inspired by their attitude. There are some great people in TZM. In the end, we will succeed – not by trying to change the world alone – but by doing it TOGETHER. It’s a classic case of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Consider the human body as an example. Only when the parts are ‘linked up’ and working together as a complete whole, are they ALL capable of fulfilling their potential. So while there are significant numbers of humanitarian individuals, Groups, NGO’s and Organisations in the world – they need to start ‘linking up’ and working together to also fulfil their true potential.
‘Linking Up’ doesn’t require political approval. It also doesn’t cost anything. It’s a simple decision. Your decision. And yet this one simple decision has all the power of a viral web campaign that can very quickly spread throughout the world. The more of us that do it – the faster it will work! So in the end if you truly want to change the world – it’s your choice. No one is standing in your way. In March this year, I was sincerely thankful for the opportunity to speak at the London Z-Day Conference at South Bank University, to present this Global Strategy to the group. So if you want to find out how The Zeitgeist Movement can achieve its goals and so much more, take a look at the following video link. This 30 minute video will outline the general strategy which has already begun.
Finally – let me just say this. Our strength is each other. TOGETHER is how we will make the necessary difference to transform the state of the world into the vision, which in our hearts, we all know is truly possible. And in the end when we have succeeded, it will not be because of one person or one group – but all people and all groups that have contributed and worked together.
In this way, the true spirit of humanity will shine forth and a new era of global unity and cooperation will begin. So join us – and together let’s do what has to be done, for the benefit of our world and all future generations to come.
VocalEyes – a tool for TZM UK Decision Making
TZM UK is now using a community decision-making tool – VocalEyes. Please do participate in the discussion and help shape the future of TZM UK by
following this link.
Developed in the UK by Peter Anderson, VocalEyes is part of a new social network for communities. Peter has spent ten years developing a multi-layered, hyper-local social networking & comprehensive community resource called LocalEyes [more info]. Once taken to scale, LocalEyes will resemble the Global Resource
Management System TZM are advocating.
A key layer of LocalEyes is VocalEyes [more info]. VocalEyes is an innovative decision making and crowd-resourcing digital platform which enables organisations and communities to turn their good ideas into action. It achieves this by:
1. Prioritising good ideas suggested by anyone
2. Organising best ideas into projects that are then crowd funded and resourced
3. Publicising actions & outcomes via traditional and modern media
VocalEyes has already secured significant public funding and is being adopted by most colleges in South Wales starting in September 2013. VocalEyes is also being used by various universities, schools, businesses and other organisations throughout the UK. Additional capacity to run VocalEyes comes from students and the unemployed on training programmes which leads to employment as paid VocalEyes Coordinators. Probably the greatest breakthrough VocalEyes has achieved is its integration with traditional media.
Local newspapers – in print and online – are publishing VocalEyes editorial content in dedicated multi-page inserts, promoting any “big data” from
organisations and communities adopting the VocalEyes decision making process to promote the ideas and encourage readers to get involved.
TZM UK is advocating that you support VocalEyes and be part of the growth of this new system as an “Action Network” over the coming months by signing up to the platform and promoting it to your groups if you wish.
Here are some ways you can get involved…
1. Arrange a meeting within your organisation or community where VocalEyes can be presented. firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Log onto VocalEyes, create a group, add some topics and ideas and engage people by promoting it in your local media. http://www.vocaleyes.org
3. Offer some of your own skills and capacity to the VocalEyes project such as grant and crowd funding, networking and promotion, PHP/Yii programming etc. Email email@example.com
If you’d prefer to just keep abreast of developments for now you can:
1. Join the Facebook group : https://www.facebook.com/
2. Sign up to the VocalEyes newsletter http://blog.vocaleyes.org
Have your say on how you feel TZMUK should move forward on our VocalEyes page. Clicking a question will take you to the relevant area where you can discuss the answers.
Should TZM UK become more focused on local community projects related to
sustainability and resilience? If so, what kind of local projects should TZM UK focus on?
How can we engage more people in this discussion?
General ideas to improve the The Zeitgeist Movement UK group?
A flagship project being considered by Vocaleyes and TEAMHUMANITY with TZMUK is the development of a model for a local hub centre. Which would serve as a showcase and training centre for coordinating the development of sustainable communities.
Disciplines would include hydroponics, aquaculture, renewable energy, 3d printing and fresh water and waste recycling.
Would you be willing to support this collaboration, either financially or by contributing skills and knowledge of your own?