About

headshotEver see those BBC shows about Grumpy Old Men? I’m one of them! The world’s unravelling, and what’s everybody doing about it? They’re going shopping.

In previous lives I trained as a civil engineering draftsman, ran a very successful photographic studio for fifteen years, attempted (and failed…) to become a professional greenie after retraining in Renewable Energy Technology, eventually turning to full time stay at home fatherhood.

I spent eleven years designing and building a sustainable settlement for me and my family.  We’ve won a sustainability award for our house in 2007, a ‘Glossy’ handed out by Livingsmart Noosa.  Our aim is to be self sufficient, so we can tell the Matrix to get stuffed.
We were maybe 50% of the way there in Queensland, but now……..  It’s a big job unpluggedabandoning the Matrix and all its failings when it’s got you by the short and curlies…..
Being a glutton for punishment, I’ve now moved to Tasmania in a vain attempt to escape from Climate Change. There’s no escape I now realise… Tassie gets weather just as weird as everywhere else, but at least it is cooler.

Today, I have lost faith in humanity.  Greed rules, and it will bring us down.

“If you go into battle hoping to live, you will surely die, if you go into battle expecting to die, you might live.”

I can be contacted on damnthematrix at riseup dot net
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75 responses

11 06 2008
Carly

G’day
I’m finding all your information so very interesting!! I’d love to know what changes you’ve successfully implemented in your life? I would prefer to not be part of this whole ‘mess’ and also not be ‘behind the 8 ball’ when the crunch does hit.
Thank you for creating this site 🙂
Cheers

Carly

11 06 2008
mikestasse

G’day Carly
It is all turning into a mess isn’t it… I’ve had a gut feeling this would all turn out like this for a long time, at least thirty five years. The Matrix only came to me when I saw the film, and I knew I had to get out…. and you better believe it when I say getting out is tricky. Far trickier than than I ever expected.
The hard part is staying out of debt. That is virtually impossible unless like me you have amassed a certain amount of wealth over several decades. I feel very concerned about today’s young people, they seem to have no idea as they hide behind their game stations.
My wife and I bought 1.5 acres (about 6,700m2) of land 150km North of Brisbane. It’s semi rural, so we are surrounded by more houses than we’d care to have, but at least one block next door is still unbuilt, and below us can never be built on. We are blessed with magic views.
I’ve built us a fully solar powered house that is so energy efficient it needs no heating and no cooling. It’s still not finished, the price you pay for staying out of debt.
We are slowly adapting to Permaculture. We have an extensive veggie patch, 20 odd fruit trees, fifty odd natives, and chooks, ducks and goats. Later this year we’ll get some pigs too. The idea is to be self sufficient in meat eggs and mild (protein) as well as fruit and veg. It’s very time consuming, but it’s all looking promising now. I must write a post about the house.
Cheers
Mike.

6 04 2013
pendantry

The hard part is staying out of debt. That is virtually impossible unless like me you have amassed a certain amount of wealth over several decades.

Globally, the world has plenty of munny. If only we could persuade the 1% who hold 40% of the wealth to share, we could all look forward to developing the kind of life to which you aspire without difficulty. I know, dream on…

22 04 2015
anthrodia

some of the 1% worked really hard to get where they are and have a strong social ethos and do indeed share .
a sense of entitlement is unhealthy.

29 04 2015
pendantry

@anthrodia A ‘sense of entitlement’ is indeed unhealthy; your comment demonstrates it perfectly. Those to whom you refer who have ‘worked really hard’ (within a corrupt and broken socioeconomic system) feel entitled to lord it over the other 99%. Wake up and smell the roses: humanity is destroying its nest!

7 03 2009
Ruhh

Mike;

I read a lot of your posts over at the Chris Martenson website. I’ve always been interested in permaculture but some of you comments, along with what I’ve learned from life and the CC, have put me over the edge. I’m ready to break out of the Matrix.

If you could recommend one book only, what would you recommend as a primer?

I am planning to set something up in Canada where I have good access to plenty of clean water and land on a variable terrain. I’m a newbie so I don’t know if that matters. I just need some direction.

Thanks in advance
r.

8 03 2009
mikestasse

Hi Ruhh…. I read your posts at Chris M dot com too….

I’d recommend: “Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability” by David Holmgren, available through Amazon… here’s an online critique from http://www.green-trust.org/amazon/index.php?Operation=CustomerReviews&ItemId=0646418440&ReviewPage=2

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Vital Contribution, see also Priority One, Other Books Below
Comment: This is for me a very important book, one of a handful that joins the Ecological Economics volumes crafted by Herman Daly and others, and also the Natural Capitalism endeavors of Paul Hawkin, Anthony Lovins. The author excels at rendering logical, sequential, and integrated concepts, all of which lead us to the inevitable conclusion–as the author intends–that human intellect, social networks, an appreciation for diversity as the foundation for cross-fertilization, and the enormous potential of the five billion poor–all suggest that a non-technological renaissance may be upon us, and that the bottom-up action of many minds could yet destroy the still-prevailing industrial, top-down control, centralizing of wealth through violence, and externalization of “true cost” to the unwitting public that no longer understands history or that the prevailing shadowy coalitions of bankers, corporate chieftains, private armies, spies, criminals, and terrorists.

My greatest surprise came at the very end, where the author provides a post-9/11 epilogue, and says: “There is abundant evidence that September 11 was an outcome of these shadowy coalitions, which link global energy corporations, US foreign policy, the global “intelligence community,” Islamic fundamentalists, arms dealers, and illegal drug trade. Discussion of this bizarre symbiosis [elsewhere he puns on `Bush Laden’] remains beyond the pale of mainstream media….and is the best example of the paralysis of public discourse due to an absence of language to comprehend top-down thinking and bottom-up action as a new mode of power [sustainable community-oriented end-user driven values and behavior and investments].

Every page of this book offers up useful insights and compelling arguments for stopping the current immolation of the Earth and going back to 1491 and the holistic integration of systems ecology, landscape geography, ethno-biology, and cybernetics, along with the co-integration of ecological, cultural, economic, and political. Later in the book the author mentions the importance of integrating religion and science.

He is quite clear, quoting Stuart Hill, that first values must be defined, and only then can sustainable design begin. I have a note on holistic methods that use culture to integrate and promulgate psycho-social knowledge and wisdom with bio-ecological sustainable design.

The author provides a sharp critique of education today as reductionist, fragmented, rote, and disconnected from experience. In this vein, let me note that a World Bank official told me on the 21st of August that the CIA analysts that come to the World Bank in search of knowledge are “too young, lack knowledge, and have a propensity to put forward hypotheses (e.g. about Darfur and the region) that are frightening in their ignorance.” On a positive note, while I have always been the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, I only entered into the top 100 and then the top 50 over-all, when Dick Cheney succeeded in frightening a significant portion of the population back into reading non-fiction. I consider it my sacred duty to be a human version of the Cliff Notes for all serious readers concerned about the future of the Republic.

The author specifies that the general public (that is to say, the 90% of us that have not looted the commonwealth but rather been subtly enslaved) is back to 1978 in terms of quality of life and sufficiency of income. All our hard word has enriched a few and left the Republic with bridges that collapse for lack of sustained investment in the public interest.

The author slams “just enough, just in time” logistics as unsustainable madness, and throughout the book, with both text and illustrations, shows how we must balance between “slow, steady, small” and “fast, random, big.”

I liked the references to the role of the landscape as a means of storing energy, water, nutrients, and carbon. The author stresses the importance of understanding entropy (example from other work: water can be desalinated, but the energy cost, in the absence of renewable energy, is unaffordable over time). The author quotes Natural Capital many times, and I regard this book as a perfect complement to that strategic work–this is the operational, tactical, and technical counterpart. See also Priority One.

6 04 2013
pendantry

Thank you for the book recommendation. I’ve just ordered a copy (used, of course, even though that costs a little more). Note that the link above is borked: here’s one that currently works.

21 03 2014
Graham

Hi Ruhh, You really can’t go beyond John & Sally Seymour’s ‘Self Sufficiency’ for straightforward common-sense. Published in 1973 by Faber, it’s an oldie, but goodie and was regarded as the ‘Bible’ in its day.

9 07 2010
David

Hello Mike!

I really enjoy the information you share about permaculture and sustainable living. Thanks for sharing all that!

I read several of your posts on earthships and found your comments about some of their deficiencies in their designs instructive. I’m planning to start building a house in Melbourne next year and my initial design would’ve been an earthship (but without the huge windows which are a huge security risk).

Is there a site where I can find more about your architectural design philosophy, passive “HVAC”, self-sufficiency, and what not?

I would’ve been mighty interested in the land next to yours, but unfortunately, all our friends are in Melbourne so that’s where we decided to make our retreat.

Cheers,

David

9 07 2010
mikestasse

Hi David
Good luck with your plans……. Security will always be a problem in big cities post crash Maybe you should get your friends to move out too!
I used to design passive houses http://www.greenhousedesign.green.net.au and there is some info there. Surf the internet (google is your friend!) and you will find loads of stuff.
Mike

6 10 2014
mikestasse

Sorry, but that website is no more, the providers closed down……

12 04 2012
Justin

Mike, how do you justify the tremendous effort you’ve put forth into preparations, in light of the volatility that may ensue? Seeing the world with such a sobering perspective, you must realize that you will have on you what others seek and may be inclined to take. They wouldn’t regard the many years of laborious dedication with any kind of respect, I would think.

That’s one thing that would make one think twice about doing anything at all, even knowing full well the outcome, as in: what’s the point?

25 06 2012
Jacques R. de Villiers

Hi Mike, great blog! You are very well informed. Im in my late 20’s and somehow Im trying to break away from the matrix, but it its not easy especially since I cant just pack my bags and go and buy property to live self sufficiently(that is my long term goal once I have saved up enough) but by the time I do get to save enough im beginning to think it will be too late as a possible ecomomic collapse and resource collapse will have taken effect…. I keep asking myself what can do to beak away from the mess as Im very aware of the current problems humanity will face in the near future?! I am going to save this blog to my favourites and read it as often as I can to get ideas as well as ‘help’. Thank you for keeping us informed. Grumpy Old Men, well thats sums me up as well and im 29! 🙂 Jacques

15 07 2012
Anna, England

I’m in England, so sorry but don’t have time to read all your stuff. BUT have you read DAVID ICKE stuff? Go google his name; he’s been revealing and predicting stuff for two decades & it’s all come true. He was laughed off the tv at first but he’s returned with massive audiences now. He tells about the very few at the ‘top’ who use us plebs as the puppets to make the dosh. Also about the bankers, politicians, top oiks, Nazis, etc etc. Please please go read it; it will blow your brains & make you rethink your whole life. Anna

23 08 2016
Simon Barton

I’d skip Icke. He’s a self-publicist, and rather off his head. Prophecies of all you mention have been around for ages before Icke. I was sitting in a field in Wales waiting for the crash of civilisation 25 years ago myself. probably influenced by all the 1960’s and 70’s sci-fi I read as a kid- and, of course, the natural logic that you can’t expect linear systems to last longer than the limited supply of materials allows. Still hasn’t happened yet. But it’s pretty much certain to one of these decades.
There’s an interesting youtube video, by a guy whose studied ancient civilisations, and found that increasing complexity requires increasing resources devoted to solving arising problems, until the resource base is insufficient. The result is ‘collapse’- in fact abrupt simplification. Lets hope this happens to human civilisation before it happens to the natural world we rely on.

21 08 2012
lemmiwinks

I like the doom. Do you read Dimtry Orlov? http://cluborlov.blogspot.com being such a doomer I must assume you already do. How about “Do the Math”? Here’s one that’s sure to appeal: http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/10/sustainable-means-bunkty-to-me/

Bear in mind that the collapse of the Roman Empire took about 200 years. The only complex society in history that hasn’t collapsed is the one we’re all living in. The odds are not in our favour, but I wouldn’t let it keep you up at night 😉

The big trend is to whack the word sustainable on the front of anything and let rip. Sustainable growth in a finite system is an oxymoron. Still, if/when the lights go out (or at least start to flicker) be thankful you don’t live near a nuclear power plant, once the diesel generators powering the cooling systems stop there will be Fukushima’s all over the place. Watch this for a rough idea of what’s sloshing around underneath reactor #4 over there:

Then watch this:

The radioactive isotopes created operate on geological time scales (hundreds of thousands of years) and what do all nuclear power stations do with the “spent” fuel rods? They store them in the vague hope that our children will figure out what to do with them. Great forward thinking.

Oddly I came to your site from a comment you posted on Gourmet Farmer!

21 08 2012
lemmiwinks

Whoops, that was the same video, I meant this one:

6 10 2012
Jeffrey Wilkins

Mike, I saw your post on Do the Math about growing local food. You referenced raw milk which peaked my interest. I try to follow a raw diet
here in the U.S. but is difficult as there is so much punitive regulation
around raw food. I am wondering if there are parts of Australia where
on can find local sources for raw dairy and grass fed meat. Thanks.

Jeff

6 10 2012
mikestasse

Yes there are…… but they don’t make it easy! Just near where I live, there is an organic dairy. It’s illegal to sell raw milk, but if you own the animal, like I do, then there are no restrictions. So what dairies do is sell prospective customers shares in an animal! So far, the authorities have either not cottoned on, or they’re turning a blind eye. Another local Dairy markets raw milk as “Cleopatra’s Bath Milk”!
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/the-white-stuff/story-e6frg8h6-1226214968384

16 10 2012
Jeffrey

I am sorry to hear that. I had hoped Australia had not been infected by the fear of bacteria that seems to have sweep the western world. It sounds like a national law in Australia. Here different states have different laws but are still generally are restrictive. Where I live they allow raw milk but not raw butter, go figure.
Do you know is Australia as far as building codes? Do they allow things like straw bale homes, composting toilets and gray water systems?

11 12 2013
Lawrence Winder

Ahh, where there’s a will….

12 11 2012
DavidH

Hi Mike
recently read the ReNew article about your house and was / am really interested in the comment about solar hot water systems. It’s always seemed to me that standard flat panel types (eg solahart, beasley etc) were set up all wrong – being installed to maximise water heating for summer time – when it’s needed least – and consequently minimising it for winter – when it’s needed most.
Your comment about separating the tank and collectors suggests to me that other equipment would then be needed (eg circulation pump, thermostats etc) but the article makes no mention of this. Can you comment on how you achieved this setup?
Cheers

12 11 2012
mikestasse

Hi David

Yes, there is a circulation pump, it uses just 5W to run….. uit is governed by a simple electronic circuit which measures water temperature at the tank and at the panels. When the panels are 9C hotter than the tank, the pump circulates water to the panels. When that difference drops to 5C, it stops the pump. It also circulates (cool) water from the bottom of the storage tank when panel temp drops to 2C to stop the panels from freezing.

It all comes together with the panels and the tank, you don’t have to “do anything”, and they’re common as these days…

12 11 2012
DavidH

Hi Mike
thanks for that info – I have just spent some time searching the i/net trying to find a circulation pump that only uses 5W and comes with the sort of sensing/switching you mention – certainly can’t find anything like that as an add-on to my exiting 2 panel solahart – did you mean instead that it is a complete system (panels, tanks, pump and electronics as a new system?)

12 11 2012
mikestasse

No, you probably won’t find a whole kit…. I have found a place that sells replacement pumps, but not the electronics. I don’t understand why/how you want to use one on a solahart… you’d need another tank as well if the roof mounted one’s no good…?

4 02 2013
Del

Hi Mike
I’m heading down to Tassie soon to enjoy the natural landscape and check out any possibility of finding a place near or within a sustainable community.
I have minimal financial resources…So if you have any tips, that would be welcome. Where did you rent the Suzuki?
Cheers
Del

4 02 2013
mikestasse

Hi Del…….

I can tell you where I rented the car….. but tips? We’re all different, and what you may want is probably different from what I want. I’d go to Cygnet and start talking to the locals.

Hobart Airport http://www.rentforless.com.au/
Phone:03 6248 4059

18 02 2013
Kerry

Hi Mike 🙂

I just came across your blog by some serendipitous round about way today and can really understand where you’re coming from.

For years I’ve been concerned about what the future holds for all of us, but I buried my head in working hard and trying to pay off debts. We decided to move to Australia and found out we were pregnant, so went all out on the debt repayment to get ourselves clear.

Then the financial markets went into freefall and our house ended up being worth less than we’d paid for it, just as we had to sell… and move country… and had a new baby on the way.

We’re now here, in Aus, with two young children and more debt than we had before.

I’m trying to study to gain a diploma in horticulture and sustainability, plus studying permaculture. In the meantime, there isn’t a month goes by when we’re not hit with a couple of hundred dollars in bills or fees and we struggle to keep on top.

My kids scour the house looking for spare change so that mummy and daddy won’t be poor any more. They don’t seem to realise that we’ve already done the same.

I look at our finances and I think….”WTF?! How does this happen?”

Then I remember… there’s the one car we have to own because we live in a semi-rural area and public transport to where my husband works is non-existent. We do it through his work, but that still reduces our income by $300 fortnight. Then there’s the health plan – $150, also straight off his earnings. The school fees (for kinder!!) $600 a term. My school fees for a P/T TAFE evening course $1500 a term (this has just doubled – thanks Victoria. Not). The dental work we had done last year (around $6k in total because my molars were all cracked during a wisdom tooth extraction)…. these things go on the credit card and then our available money for living on and paying bills reduces further. The debt just keeps racking up.

I want more than anything (other than a safe and healthy future for my children) to stop consuming and start living, but I fear we are trapped in the matrix for many years yet. At least until I can earn enough to clear our debts and start saving.

Enjoy your freedom – for all of us who haven’t yet made it out 🙂

Kerry

18 02 2013
mikestasse

Wow Kerry….. don’t know what to say, except all along I’ve expressed my concern for your generation’s vulnerability to the mess ours has left behind (I assume I’m old enough to be your father :{D )

We have prepared our kids’ future, as much as we can, with some help from my mother in law who understands the mess society’s in, far better than most people of her advanced age…. without intergenerational financial assistance, I have no idea how young couples like you will cope. Whilst most people waste their lives in pursuits of flash toys, I at least get the idea you’re pursuing a sustainable future, not possible without going into debt, unfortunately.

I can’t believe kindy costs $600 a term….. whatever happened to free schooling?

I wish I could help…. but I feel as overwhelmed as you do I’m afraid.

Mike

24 04 2013
Rapideffect

G’day Mike,
Great website mate. I enjoy reading your comments on the Drum and I was wondering if any of the facts you say ever change anyones views? Overpopulation, overconsumption, peak resources, etc are issues that are almost impossible to deny, so why do so many have blind faith that everything will continue like it has for the last fifty years, for the next fifty years? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not to their own facts.

12 05 2013
wanderer1954

While I have much empathy for your ‘damn the matrix’, I prefer to do so because of a lifestyle preference for ‘down to earth’.
The ‘matrix’ has some shocks and transitional pain coming. That is a definite and not a new feature of the evolution of human society. However, except for planetary cataclysmic events, the matrix will find a way to a reasonable future. Many signs of this already exist. Renewable energy (micro- and macro- levels) is gaining ground and economic acceptance at a gathering pace. One of the painful transitions may well be the money wasted and lost chasing ever more expensive fossil fuels. Commodity(particularly metals and plastics) recycling and science (see NASA and ESA and other research groups) are moving resource constraint issues into the distant future for hard commodities, agriculture and energy.
The world can learn much from Australia’s unique blend of capitalism and social democracy, despite the fact that many of us see room for improvement in equity issues and other matters. Perseverance and evolution … wins the day. But still, day to day, I prefer the ‘down to earth’ lifestyle.

12 05 2013
mikestasse

I see the Matrix as a human construct……. and in view of the perfect storm heading our way, I see the Matrix as being damned, alright……

Gaia, by contrast, will do just fine without the Matrix. Things might get rugged for awhile, but she’s survived planetary cataclysmic events before, and will do it again. She’ll even survive the human experiment!

People worry about the extinction of iconic species like tigers, koalas and pandas (among many…), but 99% of all species that ever existed ARE extinct….. extinction is normal. The one species that stands out so far is ours. And I’d love to know what happens next (ie, well after I’m gone…)

I’m with you on the down to Earth lifestyle….. beats the Matrix hands down.

8 08 2013
Rapideffect

G’day Mike,
Here is a website you might like to have a look at, relating to the topics you discuss here.

http://www.scoop.it/t/the-great-transition

8 08 2013
mikestasse

Thanks for that, worth bookmarking…

24 09 2013
Dreager

Hey Mike,
Just as civilization is able to achieve a certain efficiency through teamwork, are you aiming to team up with like minded individuals to expand what you are doing?
I have come across numerous examples of people like you, who carry out an alternative way of living but are doing so in isolation. I feel if these people all came together great things could happen.

24 09 2013
mikestasse

I’m not moving into a commune or anything, but rather a community (in Tassie) where I already know several couple who are very much like minded. BTW, the reason I wouldn’t get involved with an intentional community is that I’ve heard so many bed things about them. Politics seems to always interfere with the best of intentions…

24 08 2016
Simon Barton

I have experienced a number of communities, and the most tolerable are exactly those free or ‘anarchist’ style, where people just get on with their lives, without regular ( or any) discussions about who should do what. Trouble there is that they can be overun by drug focused people, and cease to be somewhere others wish to be. The religious/authoritarian type comes next- the rules and purpose are clear, and don’t require debate, and you either accept that or don’t stay there.
I like the idea of, then, a compromise, perhaps. An initial dogma ( or constitution), only covering critical issues, then just a normal village life.

7 11 2013
Shit's Gotta Stop

Hi Mike,
I found this blog of yours via your recent post on AIMN.
I have already spent some time here, and find it to be a great mix of informative posts, and I’ll definitely be returning to while away a bit more time while seeking inspiration for my little corner of the edge of the web.
Great work.
Cheers!

14 12 2013
curious2012

Hi Mike,
Thanks for your blog and your attempt to reach out through your blog on AIMN. It’s had quite an impact on me, especially when looking on to Dave Pollard’s blog. Any chance you could forward me your email address? I’d like to share what I wrote to David.

14 12 2013
mikestasse

I don’t have Dave’s email address, but, without looking first, he must surely have some contact means on his website?

http://howtosavetheworld.ca/

14 12 2013
mikestasse

Well I’m glad I had an impact on SOMEONE…… the rest of the commenters there are so closed minded…

14 12 2013
mikestasse

Sorry, I misunderstood your message I now realise….

Try me on damnthematrix at riseup dot net.

10 02 2014
Mark Ball

Hi I have just been looking at the latest post on Club Orlov and it suggests that an indicator of a collapse of an economy is the drop off in oil usage. we appear to be increasing still however when i put in data of oil usage per population I ended up with a peak usage in 2000 and in 2012 we are back to the level of 1990. the data was from the first sites that I found on Google and I made a simple Xcell spreadsheet with data from every 5 years. This might be worth looking into further.
Mark

18 02 2014
sem4peter
19 02 2014
mikestasse

Yes I have, Gail at her best in my opinion….. I’ll reblog it here.

25 02 2014
26 02 2014
mikestasse

I contacted Tom over this, and this is what he said:

Hi Mike (hey–DtM is both Do the Math and Damn the Matrix),

I don’t dispute the more careful approach used on hopsblog. I put pieces together very simply, which may not represent more clever ways to manage interplanetary trajectories. That said, I stated clearly what I was doing, so that it’s an easy job to pick it apart. I’m fine with that. I hope I never appealed to my authority as an orbital mechanics expert, because I am not. I just try to put scales on things and sort out roughly how hard things are. At the pace of a post a week (during that time)–on top of a busy job–I could not spend time polishing. 15 km/s (allowing a bit of rounding) is still frikin’ hard, so my main point is barely scratched. I don’t think resource extraction from space is likely to extend our growth phase on earth. It’s easier to get there with our imaginations (and math, for that matter) than to actually pull it off.

This is a case of making a mountain out of a molehill, I’m my mind. Lots of strawman-flavored bits in his post.

21 03 2014
sem4peter

Hi Mike, have you seen this?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/20/society-doomed_n_5001032.html
Is there another way to forward stuff to you?
My email: sem4peter@gmail.com

21 03 2014
mikestasse

Yes I have….. that NASA study has gone viral on the internet, I figured most people who read this blog would have seen it by now… if you need to contact me, I’m at damnthematrix at riseup dot net

11 06 2014
Yvonne

Hi all! Thanks for putting this all together for us..! Fantastic read.

I’m seeking like minded people that actually want to move to TAS – I see it one of the safest places to be if it all comes crumbling down. Low population and fruitful soil.
I’m single, 38 years, originally from Germany.. I have a couple of properties that I have back home which will be sold eventually. I really want to go to TAS and was hoping to meet people that are in the same position. We can’t do it on our own hence me speaking up! I NEED YOU PEOPLE – that want to break free and live a sustainable life and off grid.
Anyone keen to have a chat? Ideas…community based living??
Invest buying land and build smaller homes and have a decent community around us? Would love to hear from you….anyone really! yve155@hotmail.com

6 07 2014
Ruth Lipscombe

Mike ,you and your fans might be interested in Sustainable Food by Michael Mobbs.I suggest you recommend it to your Librarian, if you are fortunate enough to have one, that one be bought for your community because it is $45 a copy ,new.
Natural Capitalism mentioned by one of your respondents is a classic

6 07 2014
mikestasse

I met Mobbs a few years ago…….. top bloke.

4 10 2014
Dr Bob Rich

Hi Mike,
Thanks for visiting my blog. We are definitely brothers. I’ve lived at the Moora Moora community near Healesville for over 30 years, doing my best to reduce my footprint and change the idiot culture.
My wife and I have lived below the poverty level by choice, and feel we live like royalty.
Keep on fighting the good fight,
Bob

5 10 2014
mikestasse

Hi Bob..

I’ve been following your lifestyle on Earth Garden magazine ever since I discovered it in 1992 when I abandoned the big smoke and moved to Mt Nebo as a cure for the mid life crisis I wasn’t meant to have! Before then, I never even realised people lived ‘like us’. What an eye opener. So I actually have a lot to thank YOU for.

When I saw your post at the conversation with a link to your website, I just had to visit. Great to connect up.

Mike

6 10 2014
Dr Bob Rich

Wonderful. When I look around at what’s happening on this planet, I often feel that all the effort I’ve put in since 1972 has been for nothing, but if I’ve made a difference for one person, then I’ve made a difference. 🙂
Currently my energy is mostly involved in the coming Victorian state elections. Need to get a few Greens into there.

6 10 2014
mikestasse

Boy, do I know how you feel…. I have made a difference for a few people too, but it’s a bit like pissing into the [strong] wind!!

personally, whilst it would be an improvement to get some Greens in the parliament, we are running out of time so fast that I fear it’s all too late……

6 10 2014
Dr Bob Rich

I have a protection against that source of despair. I’ve described it in various places, one being http://wp.me/P3Xihq-c

It’s Buddhist equanimity.

🙂
Bob

6 10 2014
mikestasse

Ah yes, I read that the other day when visiting your site…….

9 12 2014
Bob

Aussie researchers and solar efficiency
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141207091648.htm

10 12 2014
mikestasse

I just knew Martin Green was involved in this as soon as I saw the title! The efficiency of PVs is not THE problem…. the problem remains that building these things is still part of the growth paradigm and that it is an extension of the Fossil Fuel industry….. I’m of the opinion we already have enough renewable energy installed in Australia to lead a sustainable lifestyle that consumes 10% of the current level of electricity. We don’t need more PVs, no matter how efficient they are, because the problem is not the PVs we don’t use, it;s the FFs we do. And every single panel is made with FFs and other nasties that just worsen climate change.

30 12 2014
What If We Eliminate Profit Motive? | The Crones' Chronicle

[…] will surely die, if you go into battle expecting to die, you might live.” I can be contacted on damnthematrix at riseup dot […]

22 04 2015
Tracy Kyle

Hi Mike,
I read your article on converting a freezer into a fridge to save power. We have just obtained a new upright freezer that we wish to use as a second fridge. I was searching ebay for a thermostat and found the one in the following link, http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AC-220V-Pre-wired-Digital-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-Switch-Relay-Sensor-/281663233828?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item41946fdf24ng
It is one that you simply plug your fridge into and put the sensor in the fridge, set the temperature and it is then supposed to control thr fridge temp. Do you think this would do the job ? Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Tracy Kyle

23 04 2015
mikestasse

Hi Kyle,

I haven’t seen this one before so can’t vouch for it, but it should work fine The units I’ve been using (I have three – one for a small upright freezer I use as a cheese making fridge running at 10 degrees and an incubator running at 37.5 degrees) appear on the eBay page you linked to as well. Good luck, the whole concept is a great idea..

3 06 2015
Tracy Kyle

Hi Mike.
Just thought you might be interested in the link below. It is a warehouse clearance of solar panels. The guy advertising them also says he can get controllers to charge 12/24 volt batteries. Do you think they are worth the trouble, the price seems to good to be true.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/robodojo/permalink/844000169009757/

3 06 2015
mikestasse

Interesting…… I’m a great fan of thin film panels, but I’ve never seen a 100W panel put out 76V before!

Thin film work better in shade and hot weather, but you’ll need more roof space for an equivalent power output as they normally are of lower efficiency – as in W/m2, not capacity to put out energy. I think if I was ready for a big purchase right now, I’d buy some…….

I think the reason they’re so cheap is that they are just not popular with installers because of all that extra work to cover more roof for any given power output. I have a 20 x 64W panel array here (for 1.28kW), but it’s nearly twice as big as the 2.2kW mono crystalline system we added later.

To charge 24V batteries (personally, I’d go 48V) you’d need a step down charger. Did you see this comment?

Stanley Huang Mates, I just found a solar controller capable of stepping down higher voltage (30-160V) to 12-24V and charging normal 12V/24V batteries. The cost is $50 for 25A output or $150 for 60A. Shipping fee not included.

Good luck, tell me how you went…

Mike

13 01 2016
Derek Deighton

Dear Mike

I sympathise with your feelings and you might like to look at https://trailblazerbusinessfutures.wordpress.com/about/ . At 69 now you will note I gave up in 2012 as my concern was making me ill and disrupting equitable family life. I know Kevin Anderson and you might like to look ant the work of my friend Cat Tully https://uk.linkedin.com/in/catarinatully and the School of International Futures http://www.soif.org.uk/

28 02 2016
Craig Moore

Hello,

Just wondering if you could share the video below. It relates to the brutality of the Indonesian Military towards the indigenous people of West Papua and Indonesia’s history of genocide.

Estimations that over 500,000 West Papuan’s have been murdered over the last 54 years. This also includes reports of widespread rape and torture of women and children.

The Australian Government supports Indonesia with 605.3 Million AUS Dollars a year in foreign aid. The world has also turned their backs on the West Papua.

Human Rights Abuses continue today and those who protest for independence openly in West Papua do so at a high personal cost. It is illegal to raise the morning star flag and many West Papuan leaders are sitting out long jail terms for peaceful acts of defiance.

Indonesia guards West Papua aggressively not allowing journalists, diplomats or human rights workers into the country. And it’s no surprise – the massive US owned Freeport McMoran gold and copper mine in West Papua is one of the Indonesia’s largest taxpayers. Australian companies also own a number of mines in West Papua.

Many countries including Australia refuse to talk about the genocide in West Papua due to their own financial interests in the country.

Kindest Regards,

Craig Moore
(Just one of the many supporters for West Papua Freedom)

16 07 2016
uilyam

I could not find where to click to follow by email.

16 07 2016
mikestasse

A fair way down the right hand side bar there’s a follow button…

24 08 2016
Dr Bob Rich

Mike, I joined the Moora Moora community in 1976, and am still a member. It does not fit any of your categories.
We have lots of young people with families who have joined quite recently. The cooperative has survived because it works.
There are problems, as with any group of people, but there are also huge environmental, social and financial benefits.
http://mooramoora.org.au
🙂
Bob

14 01 2017
Susmind

Just wondering if you have looked at the blog, https://granolashotgun.com
which looks at ancient( parking lot ) ruins of Yank land.
There’s some fascinating fotos of decaying infrastructure in that declining nation.
I recon it would make an interesting link in your blogroll.
Yif

30 09 2017
Ricky Ward

Hello Mike, I tried to email … damnthematrix @ rise up , net
… Without the spaces of course , but it failed. Are you still there.
Only today can I see your name and am surprised that you are persevering with building in the countryside. May not be long before you have lots of free hungry Labor from the cities as the crisis develops.

30 09 2017
mikestasse

I’ve sent you an email…… hope it gets there.

30 09 2017
Ricky Ward

… at rise up dot net. (not comma net )

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