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MY STRUGGLE

by Robert Atack

 

About 10 years ago I heard a website mentioned on the radio, the conversation went something like “Want to view a radical website? Have a look at this one www.vhemt.org”.

From there I went to www.dieoff.org also known as Brain Food, this is a description of the site: «I doubt it’s humanly possible to read every one of these outstanding works – at least not without suffering mental illness». This lead me to many many hours of reading and self education, as prior to then I hadn’t heard of things like peak oil, climate change, economic collapse, over population, or the many problems we now face.

I was deeply concerned about climate change and was convinced that to bring a child into a world so badly damaged and getting worse would be a mistake, like buying a flat on the top floor of a burning high rise, and that if my child was alive 40 years hence it would be having a hell of a time surviving. This thought made me have a vasectomy, and change my middle name to ‘Thankyoufornotbreeding’, as a publicity stunt and in the hope that I would get some value from the $96.00 it cost. Over the years I’ve had 1 radio interview and at least 2 newspaper articles about my name, so maybe value for money?

I wasn’t overly worried about my own situation until I started to understand peak oil.

I would drive around Lower Hutt thinking how dependent we were on oil and how it was hard to see anything wrong with life, with all the lawns mowed and everything in order.

I started writing to Politicians, which was a big stretch as I couldn’t type or spell to save myself. So maybe you can’t blame ‘them’ for ignoring this barely literate mad man. I got the normal idiot replies from the letter openers, except one from Jeanette Fitzsimons: «You’re quite right. Shell Oil International is working on the assumption that between 2005 and 2010 world oil demand will outstrip the capacity of the wells to supply.» March 23 2000, so Shell Oil knew it and a politician knew it also.

This amazed and frustrated me, the Government were saying 2037 at the earliest (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/hodgson.htm), and planning accordingly while all I was reading said 2005–2010. Most of the authors were independent so maybe more free to write the truth?

I’ve pushed my comfort zone from then on, believing the only way to address these problems was educating society (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/alerting.htm), with one of my first one man actions being handing out about 3,000 Running on Empty leaflets around Wellington. I eventually had 10,000 copies printed, I gave out all but 500, and some friends gave those out at a Green Party convention (love in or what ever they called them?) in Nelson in around 2001.

I’ve personally handed several Politicians copies of the Running on Empty leaflet (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/running.htm) as well as posting 5 copies each to every Politician in the 2001 government. I am not the only person sending mass mailings to our Politicians, I know of several people who have sent a lot of similar information to all Politicians over the past ten years, if nothing else there must be a lot of secretaries and so called public servants who have been well informed. I’ve sent over 600 DVDs to Parliament, all individually addressed to Politicians. Others have given selected members several DVDs. The Maori Party have distributed about 150 DVDs within Parliament over the years, which I supplied them with, and have called for a cross party commission on peak oil and climate change, their request has been ignored 4 times.

I’ve never liked putting myself in the public view, I always hoped the so called leaders would have shown some backbone and started preparing New Zealand instead of carrying on this charade that we can continue to grow on a finite planet.

I’ve spent the best part of $25,000.00 on this campaign, along with giving away about 14,000 DVDs. I’ve asked several times for financial help from the Government, one such request – http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/concernd.htm.

Along with several friends we have had 2 meetings with the Ministry of Economic Development, I gave them enough information for them to hold a week long seminar, or at least give the Politicians a full and frank explanation of the facts, yet as is patently clear by the past 10 years of inactivity the MED has clearly under performed as a taxpayer funded entity, their advice and actions can only be described as treason.

This from Harry Duynhoven September 2001: I understand from Caroline Parlane in the Ministry of Economic Development that you are in regular communication with her and have sent her a wealth of information? Articles, CDs and tapes on the issue of oil supplies. She has undertaken to let me know if she finds anything in that information of which I am not currently aware or of which she thinks I should be informed. (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/duynhovn.htm)

I have also had 2 x 30 minute meetings with Darren Hughes, at our last meeting he showed a glimmer of acceptance that such things as Kiwi Saver were a joke and that most ‘investors’ will get zero return on their deposits. Also at our first meeting he stated that the global economy was cyclical and New Zealand would see a reverse of it’s abysmal balance of payments some time soon, well 7 years later it is looking worse … funny that?

Nathan Guy has also received a lot of information, but holds to the idea that having children is one of his life’s ambitions, feeding them and watching them grow old is secondary it seems? Nathan is a big supporter of Transmission Gully, the Western Link Road, and any other project his masters want him to push. Nathan has also received many DVDs from me.

John Key (along with many of New Zealand’s so called top decision makers) was at the Al Gore ‘Inconvenient Truth’ presentation in Auckland on November 14th 2006, where I gave him (and 99 others, including Tipper Gore) 16 documentaries on 4 DVDs (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/algore01.htm – this cost me $900.00).

I handed Bill English a folder full of information when he was leader of the opposition, at a meeting in Waikanae, asking him to view the information through the eyes of his youngest child. This was at the same hall that Nathan Guy’s campaign manager threatened to shoot me and my dogs a few years later (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/natnl_01.htm).

This is an incomplete list of some of the people I’ve informed: http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/whatinfo.htm.

In one act of insanity (http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/natnl_01.htm) I attacked 2 of the National Parties billboards and spray painted “www.oilcrash.com” across the billboard and “traitor” across Helen and Don’s chests, this ended up costing me $1,600 paid to Steven Joyce as the then National campaign manager, (so yes the current man responsible for building fool hardy structures, such as these new mega roads has also had the opportunity to look into peak oil). I also had to do 50 hours community service. On my way out of town I saw another National Party billboard, I nailed about 5 small oilcrash.com signs near, but not on, the bill board. This cost me another $100.00 (to cover the cost of removal of my signs) and another 100 hours community work …. With this comment from the fool judge “Mr. Atack this might teach you how to help the community” … kind of what I’d been putting my heart and sole into the past 5-6 years (at the time).

I then fell off a ladder and fractured my back, I was left unable to work for about 8-10 weeks so, in desperation to bring some reality to the political debate, I ran in the 2005 Elections. Another opportunity the other candidates missed to become informed, and again I ran in the Kapiti local body Elections for Mayor or Local Body Councilor, I was never interested in an elected position and was only using the election system to push the real issues we face, not the petty things, like will we get Transmission Gully this side of 2100? I find it a shame that KCDC can’t accept the truth and start to prepare this community, as a true leader should do?

Jenny Rowan, who claims to understand a few things about the environment, has shown no change from the previous mayor Alan Milne, whom I spent over 30 minutes discussing the issues back in 2003 (ish) and whom I gave maybe 15 to 20 DVDs to while he was Mayor. Once I even lent him a DVD player and offered to hire him (handing his secretary a $50.00 note for his time), she gave me the money back and I collected the DVD player a few weeks later. Did it do any good? Well as an Orwellian joke he became an Environmental Adviser to the Waikanae North mega (environment killing) subdivision, after leaving his mayoral position. He thanked me for the loan of Jeremy Leggett’s book Half Gone «This was my bed time reading for December. I found it very illuminating. Thank you for the loan» (Alan 24/01/07).

During the election period for Mayor I handed most candidates peak oil information, and many DVDs. At the first public meeting I gave each Mayoral candidate a copy of the September 8-14 issue of the Listener with an article subtitled ‘The global oil crisis will hit home in just five years. How will New Zealand cope?’ This article highlighted the IEA’s 2007 energy report which stated ‘oil production had stagnated and in many regions, declined’ …. That is long hand for peak oil.

Within the first 2 weeks of becoming Mayor, Jenny Rowan turned the first sod on a new stop bank in Otaki, which coincidentally will allow the building of 5,000 new houses adding 20,000 more water users to the drought affected ‘Nature Coast’.

And at her very first Council meeting, KCDC approved the construction of a burnout pad for the Lawton memorial burnout competition, this involves using lots of fuel to make car tyres spin fast to in effect cause them to burn, even though it is against regional council bylaws to burn tyres or anything that causes excessive pollution.

Jenny has since stated New Zealand needs a change of leadership at all levels of Government due to the abysmal actions she and her peers have taken on environmental issues.

I finished school at the end of the forth form, I was bottom of the class in nearly every topic. For most of my life I’ve looked up to politicians, teachers, police, and the older generations. It has been extremely frustrating to see my so called superiors so closed minded, when it only took me a few weeks to work out how dependent we are on oil and all resources and how we needed to prepare for this moment. Yet even friends of mine have made the ultimate gamble and had children. I am not against children, I just think there is a good chance most born today will be facing very different lives than what we have had, and I am not talking better. I think not having children is the best way to reduce future suffering; this is where our leaders and teachers need to be helping to educate the country, all the information is available, to those with a mind to look. Our future looks bleak, and ignoring this message will only make it worse.

I don’t know my HT from my ML and have had a lot of help from friends with my website, specifically Aldo in Italy, without whom my site would have never turned out so well. In the beginning I just took things from another site and as I improved my meager skills, I (via Aldo) started filling the site with letters to and from our Members of Parliament, also highlighting mine and others actions of trying to inform the general public and the politicians, as long as the internet survives (which is dependent on the power grid), there is a record of who knew what and when.

«If you see a problem in the world and you have the ability to do something about it – then it’s your duty to take action». [Don Brash – National Party leader 2005]

Unfortunately the people do not want to know, our so called leaders know this also, or are part of the happy ignorant, so my efforts and those of many others has been pointless. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlYTJ9JHY4A)