The Sustainability Principle
 of Energy


Home   First draft Aug 2010 

About this Work and Updates  

  Online Etymology Dictionary


The Power of Symbols

What is a Prime Symbol?

Variations on the Wisdom Of Confucius

How to Conserve
the Potential

The Human Condition

General Theory

Practical Application

Index of Denial/Acceptance

The Joys in 
Are you vulnerable to denial?
Review Call
Evaluate your
teachers /media
The Compassionate Curriculum
Defining some Prime Symbols


Energy Efficiency









Climate Change





Peak Oil
Principle of Energy





















About This Work and UPDATES (below)

This website is devoted to revealing the essence of energy so humanity may thrive and our daily lives be filled with wonderment and awe. 
It is a labour of love, dedicated to our children.


Greetings. My name is Dave McArthur and I was privileged to spend my childhood amidst virgin forests, sparkling clean streams and pure air of Waiorongomai by Lake Wairarapa, New Zealand. As a young man the work of the Club of Rome resonated deeply in me and I have been involved in what is now known as the Green Movement for over forty years. For instance in the early 1970s I helped set up what is now known as a “transition community” and for two decades I worked in the “Power Industry” as a “powerman” or meter reader. In this role I was privileged to share the lives of tens of thousands of households representing a complete cross section of New Zealand urban society. Thus I gained profound insights into industry and community practices unattainable by academia. 

1n 1998 I trained as a teacher and became very aware that the Anglo-American education system is fatally flawed. This is proven, for instance, by the fact that the New Zealand education system produces a nation of literate and numerate people who, on average, destroy global resources at over five times the rate that the planet can produce them. We lack civics on scale and are profound non-conservatives.

In particular I observed a chronic lack of science underpinning the communication of the nature of energy in general and climate processes in particular. Two things became very clear to me by 2001:

  • This lack of science in Anglo-American and similar economies has resulted in abuses of our solar, electrical and carbon potential that could result in the catastrophic collapse of global society in the near future.
  • I had long been, despite my fine intentions as a Green Movement member, my own worst enemy. It is essential to discover what enables this self-deceit and learn how to transcend it.

Since 2000 I devoted my life to researching and ensuring our communication of the nature of energy and climate processes is underpinned by the state of science. New Zealand provides an excellent case study of unsustainable behaviour: it has a small, literate and intimate (4 million) population, it has been a pioneer in Electricity and Carbon Trading for two decades and the associated re-engineering of our prime symbols is very evident. The nation invests heavily in promoting itself as 100% Pure Clean Green and this provides unique insights into the self-deceit process.   

Naturally there is no funding for my work in this environment and I sustain myself working as a school janitor. Thus this website is the product of perhaps 20,000 hours of unpaid research, which includes attending and analysing hundreds of lectures by top “energy experts”, climatologists and “environmental educators”. More recently Google’s search algorithms have provided an invaluable research tool into national psyches. 

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the above experts plus the media, corporations and those on the Internet who have provided material for this website. They enabled the Sustainability Principle of Energy and this website. They are too numerous to be acknowledged. I am particularly indebted to the Online Etymology Dictionary, which is why I provide a link to it in the header to each page. 

This website is based on a dense mass of references and it would be possible to provide myriad links to examples of symbols used in acceptance and denial of stewardship/change. However in order to promote a state of stillness and deep reflection while you are here, minimal references and links are provided. 

Find a place or have with you some object you associate with peace, magnificence and beauty as you browse this work. The greatest reference is a spirit of openness and inquiry. The finest aid is compassion, for it sustains us with a sense of humour as we realise the ingenious ways we deceive ourselves and deny our roles as stewards amidst the flux.   

Enjoy compassion 

Dave McArthur


Updates and Additions



18 May 2014

Energy?! Chapter eight -The Ego and Energy Efficiency

Our notions of energy efficiency simultaneously reflect and generate our world view - for worse and better.


19 February 2014

Reflections on  Shake Up - the NZAEE National Conference in Christchurch

Maybe, just maybe, there is hope our New Zealand schools could embrace civics.


15 August 2013

Energy ?! - Chapter seven -The Ego and Power

When we understand that there are as many forms of power as there are forms of energy we are opened to a vast sustaining potential.


18 July 2013

Energy ?! - Chapter six -The Ego and Greenhouse World

Our likening of the processes of Earth's atmosphere to the operations of a greenhouse is a giant conceit that puts humanity at great risk.


21 June 2013
REVIEW: Do the Maths
Reflections on Bill McKibben's show in Wellington and why Bill is a genius.


18 May 2013

Energy ?! - Chapter five -The Ego and Global Warming
Our confusion of warming with warming up deprives us of a wonderful, vital dimension of the thermodynamics of the universe(s).


16 April 2013

Energy ?! - Chapter four -The Ego and Potential Energy
Our estrangement from the universal potential by our division of kinetic energy from potential energy.


5 March 2013

Energy ?! - Chapter three -The Ego and Forms of Energy
The grand confusion of forms and perspectives of energy.


26 Jan 2013

Energy ?! - Chapter two -The Ego and the Conservation Principle of Energy

The incredible inconvenience of this great principle.


8 Jan 2013

Energy ?! - Chapter one -Introducing The Ego and Energy
A cartoon exploration of our psychology and the the nature of energy.



22 Sept 2012

The Sustainability Principle of Energy
The Compassionate Curriculum.

(An Illustrated Essay - A brief Historical Overview)



 3 August 2012

Towards a sustainable education system

A graphic comparison of the New Zealand Curriculum Framework with the Compassionate Curriculum Framework with brief comment


31 January 2012

A Practical Guide to Enjoying True Hope

An essay exploring how the great principles of physics can help identify false hope and enable the experience of sustaining hope.


5 October 2011

"An Orwellian Climate"

Letters to Australasian Chief Science Advisors explaining contemporary confusion in climate care communication (Prof Peter Gluckman, Prof Ian Chubb, Prof Tim Flannery, Dr Andrew Glikson ) 


15 September 2011

The 2011 New Zealand Election Campaign

(A letter to New Zealand people alerting them to the dangers of the huge hidden yet in-your-face advertising campaign promoting the sale of our national assets.)


16 March 2011

Thought Experiments re the Carbon Trading Ethos

(Originally designed for the Office of the New Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.)


26 February 2011

Letter to Radio NZ

(Contains  reflections on broadcasts and ratings of the sustainability of a wide range of its programmes.)


29 November 2010 
The Joy in the Art of Civics

(Brief reflections on this state of being and the dangers of Environmental Education)


24 November 2010

Celebrating Our Climate   
(Draft one: A climate education framework founded in the Sustainability Principle of Energy offering an alternative vision of how we can communicate the role of humans in Earth's climate processes.) 


13 October 2010

Conversation with NZ Minister of Education (Anne Tolley) re the sustainability of the national education system. Read the Minister's letter and reflections on the flaws inherent in the Education Ministry's response.


4 November 2010

Letter to the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
Introduction to the Sustainability Principle of Energy  with discussion of the nature of science.