The Zeitgeist Movement - Australia Become the change you want to see in the world Mon, 30 Nov 2015 07:43:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 One Young World Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:07:58 +0000 Read More...]]> I am from a small disappearing nation in the Central Pacific called Tuvalu! The IPCC predicts that Tuvalu will be uninhabitable by the end of this century due to the effects of climate change. Our average height above sea level is only 1.83 metres. We are barely above sea level!


Andrew Ponton during his CALL ON COP speech

I’ve been a participant in The Zeitgeist Movement, a sustainability advocacy group, since 2009. We see world problems as a consequence of our current socio-economic platform. We understand that world problems such as poverty, deforestation, and pollution, stem from the incentives and real-world pressures of a scarcity-driven market system. It may be difficult to think of “system solutions” to this problem, but we need to acknowledge this as being the problem before we can have a discussion on possible solutions.

tonga somoa tuvalu

Tonga, Samoa, and Tuvalu represented at One Young World 2015

One Young World is the premier forum for young leaders. When I was asked to give a short speech at the recent One Young World event in Bangkok about climate change, I thought to myself:

  1. I could say what people normally say.
  2. Or I could say what I really want to say even though it might not “fit in” with the tone of the event.

So instead of ending my speech by calling for more climate change awareness, I put the blame squarely on the economic system. We need to start trying to solve climate change from a systemic level, even if it is difficult to imagine solutions.

I did this speech for you, and I hope you enjoy it, and share it.

kofi annan

Kofi Annan was present at One Young World 2015

But what I really hope for is that you have the courage to send a similar message if you ever find yourself on any stage, big or small. I hope you are a better speaker than me, and I hope the message of my speech resonates with how you view the world. Even if you’re not a better speaker, I want to hear you say it. We need more people in events like these to come out and blame our global economic system, and offer solutions in the way of applied technologies. Other groups that understand these issues include The Free World Charter, and The Venus Project.

closing ceremony

Closing ceremony

Please share the video to show people that this message is worth hearing. Thank you!

]]> 0
For the open-minded critical thinkers Fri, 20 Nov 2015 02:00:30 +0000 Read More...]]> Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have a legitimate reason to visit beautiful Byron Bay. Not that you ever really need one to visit one of the most progressive small towns in Australia… and some of the most scenic beaches, home to pods of dolphins and visiting whales.

Thanks Kyle Taylor "Hey Byron Bay, this photo was taken by me during a freedive in winter shot with the GoPro Hero 4." Follow Kyle on Instagram

Thanks Kyle Taylor
“Hey Byron Bay, this photo was taken by me during a freedive in winter shot with the GoPro Hero 4.” Follow Kyle on Instagram

Nestled in the most Eastern corner of the Australian mainland, Byron Bay seems to attract a range of forward-thinkers – artists, sustainable entrepreneurs, activists and innovators. Byron hosts two Steiner Schools, a council that is working towards 100% renewables, passionate buskers who have independently made it big-time, and stories of people who were once so terribly caught up in the current zeitgeist you would have thought it impossible for them to find their way out… but did. People like Steph and Mark Darwin, who started the Truthology Foundation, which lead to the event I actually came to attend – The Freedom Summit. As described on their website, it’s “an engaging selection of international and local speakers covering topics including civil rights, sovereignty, money & debt, the government corporation, food safety, the environment, climate, consciousness, sustainability, health and well being”.

As a disclaimer, in previous years, Mark has said to come to this event with an open mind. Now, as the adamant Zeitgeist Movement supporter I am, I’ve obviously been on the journey of discovering the truth about our social, political and economic system, so I believe once you’ve made it to this stage you need to have a somewhat ‘open mind’.10382213_932123330156808_3946799193995422186_o

However, I have found in a fondly satirical sense that Zeitgeist supporters such as myself do often seem to have more of an inclination to jump on logical fallacies and poorly researched claims very quickly, to protect ourselves and others from supporting any particular could-be charlatan. Which I must say, makes us look like a bit like a bunch of pessimistic sceptical critics at times… not the open-minded peace-loving activist we’d like to portray. And I’m not denying that this distinct characterisitic of the Movement isn’t essential, but it can sometimes intimidate other people outside the Movement who DO actually understand where the core problems of our system stem, but are exploring some of these controversial issues.

I’m talking about highly debated issues like vaccines, chemtrails, alternative medicine, GMO’s etc.

Whose blood is already boiling?


Well, mine isn’t. I don’t want to start a discussion about these particular topics – but more about ways of thinking. I’ve decided to take Mark’s advice on this one – apply an open mind – not to shonky science, poorly researched claims or evidence, logical fallacies or bullshit slogans – but to other people who are on our side, who have gone down the rabbit hole and understand that our economic system is a fraud, and take that default position in NOT trusting the government.

I want to create bridges between those of a similar mindset – not barriers. Noam Chomsky said it himself – “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

It seems at the beginning of this journey, it’s all about discovering the problems, but it gets old and repetitive after awhile. I’m now more interested in meeting motivated people, connecting people with complimenting skills, and to work on things that we do agree on – which is building a community of people who want to find solutions… and to make them happen. And I found that generally the people who attended and spoke at the Freedom Summit were like this – solution-focused.


One inspirational activists I met there was Kip Andersen, the creator of the Cowspiracy documentary, who shared in an entertaining way, how detrimental the cattle industry is to the environment, and discussed the real implications of consuming beef and dairy products. After his presentation I was fortunate enough to have a quick chat with him (before going for a quick dip in the ocean) about my struggle with transitioning from vegetarian to vegan. I told him how much I love cheese – and he insightfully shared how addictive cheese actually was. His approach was empathetic and understanding, but very encouraging. It was a pleasure to be able to connect with someone who has worked so hard in uncovering the negligence in Greenpeace’s environmental campaigns.

Kip Andersen

Me with Kip Andersen, Cowspiracy Filmmaker

Other notable presenters included Damon Gameau from That Sugar Film, who talked about the negative effects of the hidden sugars in so many popular food products; Max Igan, who shared heart-wrenching stories from Palestine and his research on ISIS and Israeli military funding; Paul Madden, who brought to the forefront the outrageous mass genocide going on in West Papua all in the name of profit; Nicky Mih who gave us an update on her Free to Shine project protecting girls in Cambodia from the sex trade industry; and Gunham Badi Jakamarra who spoke of his experience uncovering the fraud of the Crowns’ claim to Sovereignty over the tribes of Australia.

Unsurprisingly, but much to my disappointment, the Australian government wouldn’t allow one of the most anticipated speakers into the country – Ken O’Keefe, an ex-marine who renounced his U.S citizenship after becoming fed up with injustices, and now spends a great deal of his time sharing his knowledge on false flag operations, including 9/11. Check out one of his interviews here.

Fortunately, he was able to skype in for fifteen minutes from Bali, carrying a powerful message of empowerment and positivity.

IMAG1799I also met other activists in the stall area who were promoting their Earthship courses, books, health products, organic foods and much more.IMAG1766

I was only able to attend for the Friday and Saturday so I finished the eye-opening experience with the most enlightening and well-prepared presentations I’ve ever seen, by Lyn White of Animals Australia. Lyn shared her experience as a police officer, then as an investigator of animal cruelty especially in factory farming, live exports, puppy factories and greyhound racing. Her presentation was underpinned with the fact that animals feel how we feel and suffer how we suffer. That the acts of violence in the name of meat production produce mass suffering… and that we have a responsibility to make change. I was moved by her dedication to the cause and motivated to continue striving to make the planet better for other earthlings too.

IMAG1800A big thanks again to all people involved in organising and supporting this enriching and powerful event. Click here for more information on the Freedom Summit.

]]> 0
Zeitgeist Media Festival Wrap-up Thu, 22 Oct 2015 03:56:58 +0000 Read More...]]>
The lead up was full on. The program was tight. The sound equipment was always going to pose challenges. And the Brisbane chapter of the Zeitgeist Movement mastered all challenges, learned many valuable lessons on the way and put on an event that will be long remembered as fun and chilled-out while also being informative and carrying a powerful message of empowerment.


The day began with the setup of the venue. What a strange feeling to be at the iconic Rumpus Room in the heart of West End at 9.30am! We moved seats and tables, put up fabric across windows to display art and set up the creative corner and workshop tables with art supplies. Blu Tack was in high demand. We set up a clothes drive outside for all those people who were in need. All the while the tech team was busy sorting out cables, leads, stands, speakers and and and… it was a great feeling to make the venue our own!





Our members started trickling in. More art, more instruments, cakes, board games and helping hands. Simon Cole’s beautiful banner designed by Casey went up above the front doors. What a team!


It was nearly 11am. Where are the people? Ah well, we don’t start till 11.30 anyway. Give ’em time, we know what it’s like. No stress – that had been our motto all along, and our generous hosts at the Rumpus Room had added to that vibe over the months – Nathan and Leon are the most chilled-out guys an inexperienced event organiser like myself could have hoped for! Then the guests started to arrive.


We started at 11.30. Casey rocked the mic in her usual nonchalant style that we all love and admire.



Our first musician was Damien Cooper who had traveled up from Lismore. A worthy opener for ZMF 2015 delivering a mix of excellent covers and original songs with a gorgeous voice, aided by a fancy foot pedal and some fine guitar skills.


Next up was John Gordon, a one-time environmental engineer, long-time activist against coal mining and fracking, and singer songwriter from Alloura in the Darling Downs. His songs carried a powerful message. Australia’s mining industry is rampant, corrupt and does not take into account the long-term impacts of its operations. Check out John’s protest song “Australia, whore of the world”, it gives me goose bumps every time.


Rhi Smith was up next. An aspiring actor, she performed the final scene from Charlie Chaplin’s movie “The Great Dictator”. More goosebump material. And the technical feedback issues from our mix and match sound gear did not faze Rhi in the slightest – as she said herself later: The show must go on! And what a visionary Charlie was, ripping into capitalism like that almost 100 years ago!


Then it was my turn! Presentation time! And time to drive the Solarpunk train right into my eager audience. I was finally feeling a little nervous. All seats were filled, standing room only – everybody was curious to hear about this brand new genre which aligns perfectly with TZM’s visions and values. Positive future fiction, anyone? Yes, of course I also plugged my soon-to-be-published Solarpunk novel “The Last Patriarchs” as well as my dream/plan for an artist collective in Brisbane, Australia and the world!


And then it was finally time for The TZM Brisbane Band to show and tell. Anita Diamond, Aceso, Barry Kopittke and Clayt Tomson started jamming together when we began to organise they performed the TZM theme song, the Rise Against cover ‘Hero of War‘ and even an original composition. Great conscious tunes and we look forward to hearing more!


We had scheduled an Open Mic Session next, but everybody seemed to have such a great time mingling and networking that we ran with the way things were going. The festival vibe really was in full swing. The creative corner was bustling, Zac’s board games were getting a work out and Lafe’s Charlton’s workshop had people get in touch with their inner child.





It was great to see our visitors checking out the artwork from a range of local artists – the inspiring paintings of blockades in Tara and the Pilliga State Forest by environmental activist Frida Forsberg (who is now part of Brisbane’s ‘Clean Air Alliance’ that is campaigning to get coal trains chugging throught 21 suburbs covered to protect residents from coal dust) – the beautiful, trippy and at times haunting drawings by Liezl Le Roux Garbrielle Fernandez’ inspiring comics that convey complex topics in a simplistic way – the animal photography by wildlife carer Jess Gibbins – the interactive puzzle of the world by Minou Duval which carried several powerful messages for peace and unity – Aceso‘s gorgeous Peace Angel hugging Earth to her chest – the Lojban showcase by Timothy Diamond. On top of that were drawings by Casey, James Hill and myself as well as prints of inspirational Solarpunk and TZM-themed art.




The place was buzzing. So much networking, so many chats. So much appreciation for each other. The vibe was so chilled-out, pretty much like all of TZM Brisbane’s events, which is one of the many reasons why I love to be a part of it!


After the break it was Aceso’s turn to give a voice to nature and transport us collectively to another world. Seriously, she was SO good. Everybody said that, not just me. On the piano, then on the guitar, all the while mesmerising us with her beautiful voice and performing all her own material. Neither Casey nor I had the heart to stop this talented young woman (and just maybe we forgot to look at the time, too…) and Aceso went a bit over her time slot – but what the heck, we had done so well staying on schedule so far! Leon and Nathan weren’t fazed about a slightly later end to the day of course, and Aceso finished her set even though we probably could have listened to her for another 45 minutes…


It was time for our short film and trailer! And time for some serious sound hickups, not that our camera woman Candice Stone was thrown off by that. She is a film maker with a mission and her speech moved us all. Muddy Scales is a community-based documentary highlighting the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal developments, especially mining, that are building alongside it. Mining and its fallout have a massive impact on the reef, the land and the community. Near Mackay the pristine homeland of the local Aboriginal community is threatened by the Urannah dam proposal which is supposed to supply water for the proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin. Candice spoke about the generosity of the people she met on the way and about the love for this land, this Earth, that makes us stand up to corporations and governments. Muddy Scales will be out soon, exciting times! We would like to thank Candice once again for taking time out of her busy schedule to film our event and wish her all the best for the journey ahead!

And here I should mention our very special guest Scuppers, the semi-wild Goose who had come all the way down from Cairns. She has her own facebook page advocating for her home – the ocean and the reef and the great land that is not just our home, but also hers.

“We have a special guest here, it’s a goose. Can she hang out in the outside area there?” I asked Leon, just another oddball request for the day.


“Sure, of course, bring her in!” he replied, unfazed, sharing a memory about his own escaped pet goose. So Scuppers joined us in the Rumpus Room and supported Candice, and what a personality this gorgeous bird has, what a powerful voice of nature!


Our closing act was Epoxy Love from Bindarabbi. TZM Brisbane visits sustainable communities all around Australia and met this lovely duo on one of our recent excursions to the eco community. Mic and sound issues prevented Jade and Christopher from performing together, but their music and message was loud and clear and full of humour and insight. More love, less fear. We look forward to see you perform together at our next event!


Time for prizes and closing words! The mic’s had had enough. Ah well, I can raise my voice good and swell.


We had three $250 gift cards to give away that were generously donated to us by deep grey photographic studios. One went to Leon and Nathan from the Rumpus Room (and I sure look forward to see their portraits up on the wall there soon!), one to Candice and her campaign (seriously, she added so much to our event by offering her help and expertise and I can’t wait to check out the final edit of our big event! Get to it, editor-in-chief-Eris!) and one to said Eris and Matt who formed our tech team and did an absolutely stellar job with the mixed and matched sound gear.


After another big thanks to our hosts, all helpers and guests (and a call-out to anyone who could help with the pack up) it was over. Not that it’s really over. It feels more like it’s the beginning! The buzz in the air, all the new connections formed…
TZM Brisbane is alive and kicking, and we look forward to building a bright, positive future, full of sharing and collaboration, in an RBE where we can have festivals like this one all the time!

One massive thanks to Comet, who is not just one of our members but also hosts EcoRadio on Brisbane’s much-loved and always supportive local community radio station 4zzz. Thank you for your untiring work and love for the planet – your support and connections definitely brought our event up a few levels!


And of course a huge thanks to all our other helpers and guests who came and made this event so special, including those who brought yummy healthy snacks.


Our theme for the event was empowerment. What we realised in Saturday was that we were not just empowered by the amazing performers and artworks, even though that was a big part of it. But rather, our whole group was empowered by putting on this event. I myself got huge doses of empowerment as the main organiser, having never done anything like it before. It forced me to come out of my introvert’s shell, liaise with a range of people, extend my network and learn to stay centered and calm under pressure. The event empowered the team spirit in Casey and me as we reflected over post-festival drinks what a great team we make. The appreciation and gratitude from our members, guests and artists translated into an uplifted, empowered Zeitgeist in all of us, and that is our goal after all, not just for TZM Brisbane, but for the whole world!



Additional photos and videos coming soon.

]]> 0
The Healthy, Happy, Simple Living Festival Experience Mon, 19 Oct 2015 06:34:51 +0000 Read More...]]> Two weeks ago a group of us went down to Bindarabbi, a picturesque sustainable community on the QLD/NSW border, to take part in the Bindarrabi Common-Unity Festival: “Healthy, Happy, Simple Living”.


Next door to a national park and nestled between a custodial mountain and gorge, the visionaries of this community are creating a dynamic, creative community with affordable housing – focusing on natural energy systems, permaculture principles and a mutual respect for each other and the land.IMAG1681

We were fortunate enough to present The Zeitgeist Movement to these wonderful people on the Saturday before enjoying a night of delicious food and great conversations around the campfire. During the presentation we gave a brief introduction to TZM and allowed opportunity for discussion and feedback. Unexpectedly there were a lot of children present who participated in the discussion too, answering some questions very insightfully. The recording of the presentation will be available soon.


The following day was filled with a range of exciting, inspiring and interesting presentations based around sustainable lifestyles. Here are some highlights.

John Harding presented his idea to make solar power more accessible – starting from as low as $1000 and building upon it. He also discussed his invention which allows you to update your solar power equipment easily with every-changing solar technologies.


After that, Lori and Bay shared how they make their own bread and feta cheese Trisha Van Den Brink also showed us how we can grow our own medicinal herbs and George shared his composting knowledge and self-watering wicking beds with the group.


We were fortunate enough to check out Jane Milburn of Textile Beat discuss Slow Fashion, which empowers people to  become more conscious of our clothing. She encouraged the audience to slow down, take stock and be empowered to resew, restyle and refashion clothing that already exists. She had some wonderful fresh, new clothing on display that she had created using old clothes.


Also on display were some homemade solar cookers, made from simple, recycled materials that had the ability to cook a full pumpkin in 45 minutes, or even put a hole in metal (if not used carefully)!


The day of events was finished with two discussions by the Bindarabbi community owners, Carol and Doone. Carol discussed the concept of “Living Simply” with the group, which brought up some wonderful discussion about what this actually means, and maybe how the word could be misleading in today’s current culture. Doone explained his process of creating a Ram Pump from the water at the top of the gorge, down  to all of the allotments on the property.


Apart from the wonderful presentations, the TZM group also had the opportunity to enjoy swimming, sunbaking, great music and great company.

– Casey

Bindarrabbi, seems as paradise on Earth in the backdrop of the Koreelah National park, surrounded by the dry grasslands & mountains of the NSW border region.

We set off for the 3 hour trek from Brisbane prepared with vital supplies: wine, market purchased foods & of course, lots of warm clothing for the cold nights. Driving. Landscapes of rural Queensland, perfect weather & last minute guerrilla preparations for the coming presentations just hours away.

Counting ‘belly lizards’ & ‘angry cows’ for the last stretch, Bindarrabi arrives & we are greeted by ‘Dune’, the cheerful & well-mannered “patriarch”, guided to our yurt style communal tent. The spot is amazing, bushland just meters away.


Presentation goes well, the adorable, inquisitive & intelligent children, amaze us with their engagement, making this by far one of the most enjoyable we have done. The campsite is filled with likeminded, friendly People; designed with solar power, spring water taps, eco toilets & well maintained gumtree forest.


The mild, late afternoon tour for bird watching, turns into evening, as the community built pizza oven is fired up & volunteer kitchen puts professional restaurants to task, in the cooperation & dedication of its people. Dinner is incredible, as the locally grown food is baked into delicious kilm oven pizza, dessert is homemade apple pie & thick cream. Served with open bonfire & great company.


The morning chill is replaced by breakfast, dry summer clothes & workshops. Permaculture, solar cooking techniques, innovative solar power design are the subjects, with traditional country demonstrations on making Breads & cheeses. Lazy afternoon sets in with insightful nonsense chat, naps & lying around watching the wilderness channel, nothing to do, nowhere to be. 


We start the last day exploring Koreelah Park, the hot dry weather is contrast to diving into clear, cool rock pools. Swimming in bush filtered sunlight & exploring unique rock formations. The well natured children guide us all back to the 4WD tracks. We say our goodbyes to the lovely people we spent the weekend with. Drearily, we count ‘tiny & holy’ cows on our way home as Tim Minchin serenades us with hilarious & witty conclusion dialog, an amazing & rejuvenating weekend.

By James Hill

]]> 0
Cutting the evolutionary line Sun, 23 Aug 2015 06:57:48 +0000 Read More...]]> Way back when I was 20, I didn’t like the idea of having kids. I wondered if that feeling would change. In my late 20s I realised it never would, although as I get older it’s been refined down a bit to not making kids of my own or being around those children too young to talk to. It’s when they start talking and asking questions that I take an interest; most adults have given up on asking “why” years ago. Whether crushed out of them by their education or ground down by a dull relentless job, the curiosity is gone. Not so with children, they can ask why 100 times in a row if you have the patience for it. Usually after I have coffee.

With a world crammed to breaking point with the seething hordes of an endlessly expanding human population, why would anybody in their right mind want to make more? With so many children needing adoption on a global level why the surplus?
We accepted that it’s much better to adopt a dog from a shelter than breed our own dogs or find a breeder, and the uptake shows. But we seem to have an innate need to produce more of ourselves. It makes evolutionary sense , but in this modern century it doesn’t make logical sense.

adoptions decline 2014-dogs-adopted-rehomed-released_live-605x530px
Not that I wouldn’t mind a clone. Perhaps not a whole clone, maybe just the lungs and liver of one.

What is the cultural reason we all seem to want children and want to encourage others (especially our offspring) to have children? Is it really as simple as our children’s toys we had when we are young or are there forces at work on adults? The tax rebates and welfare available for Australians certainly encourages a lot of people to have more children where it would have been outside their budget to do otherwise.

My doctor has known me over 10 years. He knows I have no children and didn’t so much as raise an eyebrow when I asked for a referral. The receptionist at the clinic’s first question was if I had spoke to them previously. Her second was more poignant: do you already have children? As if that’s a requirement. It’s not: if you do 3 counselling sessions or pre-freeze some future kids. There’s no rules about dumping the semen-sicle later, so it works out a little cheaper. But Counselling is more suited to those of us who love a chat. Notice how there is no counselling sessions for anyone that WANTS kids. It’s as much a decision with permanent implications as choosing to never be able to have them. So why not?

Today I made the booking. It’s not like the process was not started already. My only regret was having to wait almost a year due to my wanting to fly on a week I had off last year. Wearing a paragliding harness was not the kind of thing one can do 3 days after a vasectomy.

So my package turned up in the mail. The usual disclaimer forms (it has some minor risks including a 1 in 80 chance it doesn’t work now, and a 1 in 500 it doesn’t work somewhere years from now). The 1 in 80 can be circumvented via a test 12 weeks after surgery. Its always a possibility that I have 3 tubes not the usual 2, and the easiest way to see is the follow up test.

Interesting things I will have to do now include not taking my vitamins, eating Panadol (acetaminophen) before surgery and buying myself some tighty-whities. My boys are used to roaming free but they will need a house to recover in…. its been over 20 years since I wore anything but boxer shorts.

See how some other people think about having children:

For Simone Alin, an oceanographer focusing on ocean acidification at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle,
Alin’s frank discussion of the looming oceanic apocalypse is perhaps a product of studying unfathomable change every day. But four years ago, the birth of her twins “heightened the whole issue,” she says. “I was worried enough about these problems before having kids that I maybe wondered whether it was a good idea. Now, it just makes me feel crushed.”

Read more:


I try to take care of myself and the planet when I can, but like all middle class westerners I’m constantly tempted to consume.

I pay more for food because I choose healthy food. As a single man I have a lot more control over what I eat and buy than I would if I had a family to feed. The lack of sugar and carbs in my diet has the added benefit of being low in calories while making me feel very full. I had a similar diet back in 1999, but I was skinny then and lost too much weight. In my thirties now, I have switched back to it because I now have the weight to lose. I am a vegetarian again, and the amount I pay for food is about the same as when I did eat sugar and meat. It’s because I eat less calories that it costs the same. But it’s hard as an almost live-alone human to be bothered to cook for myself sometimes; after all I’m the only one who is going to appreciate it. Add in my reduced healthcare and it starts to look cheap. The last check-up at the doctor had the doctor sit back and say “whoa”. At first I was worried before he informed me that my blood pressure and resting heart rate was “about the expected numbers for a rather fit 25 year old man”. Your diet determines your health, even the Australian cancer council agrees that your diet is the greatest factor in determining your future cancer risk. Sure the fried chip smell spilling out of a MacDonald’s smells good, but thinking about how I feel after eating it is enough to put me off eating it. It helps to unplug your aerial and stop watching TV. Best of luck to you all, because sugar is harder to quit than cocaine. Growing livestock is one of our largest sources of the greenhouse gas methane 1, as well as our biggest user or arable land that was once forested wilderness with biodiversity. So after everything went “grain fed” I went back to being a “lactovegeterian”, while I enjoy the food I do hate the name “lactovegerterian”. I hope somebody comes up with a better one.

But all this still did not seem like enough of an effort or statement about what I think of the earth and our place in it. There was still one more thing to do….

Science will never be complete. It is the method of expanding knowledge that accepts that we can never know everything yet should still strive to do so.

So it’s earth overshoot day. The day of the year that estimates when we have used up as many resources and made as much pollution as the earth can withstand in a whole year. The rest of the year is borrowed time. I prefer to think in terms of “population overshoot day” if no babies were born between March and December, the earth wouldn’t be so overpopulated. So every baby born after , say, the first of March would be an overshoot baby, and more than the earth could carry.

Bought my first briefs in 20 years today. The cheap ones because they only have to last a week. Especially if I turn them inside out….;)

Then I grew up and slowly but surely came to the conclusion that EVERY human being is bad/evil in one way or another. BUT, luckily there are ways of trying to distant oneself from the rest of the wicked hoard, two of them is adapting a vegan “lifestyle” and becoming an anti-natalist. And that reminds me of something I have to say. Thinking that humanity sucks, and that life is meaningless and bad (which it is) doesn’t mean that you’re free to impose suffering and violence upon anyone (neither human or non-human people) just because you don’t give a shit any more. If you see the truth, you should try putting it to good use instead; go vegan, don’t breed, be nice.”
– Vegangster

The consent forms are signed, the preparations are made. But I am still very nervous.

image4I would rather let a stranger cut my balls with a knife than have a kid. Literally . But the night before any surgery is always a nervous wait. I suspect this is going to be a lot more painful than grommets, and have wider implications. But I woke my friend up out of bed to sign the waiver (and print it too). Hopefully he can give me a lift home tomorrow, but taxi will work fine too if I can still figure out stairs and locks at that time. It’s an exciting time but to be honest it’s also a fearful one. Kind of like jumping off a mountain in a para-glider , but not knowing where  you are going to land, and there is no hope of ever climbing that mountain again, or having to make weekly payments, feed, clothe, educate or explain why the world is in such a bad state to said mountain. Or cleaning the mountains nappy. Actually it’s not like paragliding at all.

Still having a disagreement with my 3d printer about what nylon does and doesn’t want to stick to, hopefully I’m asleep in bed soon. Hopefully it’s the last time I sleep as a fertile reproducer in a world of diminishing resources and freedoms, dooming my offspring to repeat the problems of my species past….

The only people I have told my plans to so far is my doctor, the clinic, the pharmacist selling me codeine/panadol (acetaminophen) and my 55 year old friend signing as witness. I don’t expect it to come as a shock to my friends, it’s my family who might be a bit surprised though.

Doctor: what made you make this final decision?

Me: the state of the planet, it’s not improving and the last thing it needs is more little people, especially ones like me.

Doctor: what is your current method of contraception?

Me: involuntary abstinence.

Now I’m just minutes away. Time to get into the surgical gown. I am nervous and excited, I hope the doctor isn’t having an off day…. Here we go…

Phew! All done. Now I’m home, head full of ether, tighty-whities full of frozen peas. I have now removed myself from the gene pool and am towelling dry on the proverbial sun chairs.

Apparently my “unusually large” scrotum made it easier. Gotta be good for something.

I even got to watch on the big TV. That sort of thing fondles my curiosity, where others just cringe at the thought.

It was almost painless, just 2 pin pricks and the pressure when the tubes were flushed out.

In fact the most painful part so far is the bill. $1,400 just for the surgery, along with all the other associated expenses and time off work I can see this will end up costing almost $2,000 in total. It’s a high end clinic and there are much cheaper places with simpler operations charging just a few hundred, but like I told my doctor: sometimes when it’s critical irreplaceable equipment you want repaired or modified it pays not to go with the cheapest quote.

image5Fun fact: The sister clinic near Nimbin in northern New South Wales very rarely processes credit cards because ~everyone~ pays in cash. It’s a bit suspicious if you think about it.

So now it’s the day after and I can finally remove the cold pack and have a shower like a normal person. I can’t go anywhere because I can’t stand comfortably for more than 2 minutes and I certainly can’t do any sudden movements that might make me jiggle. so I’ve been taking this downtime to sign up to tinder. Everybody else has already.

Finding partners with no children who don’t want them is a bit hard, but it’s getting easier:

The last steps left to do are to :

7) wear firm fitting cotton underwear day and night for 10 days

8) after dressing is removed, have as much protected sex as possible until you have done your 12 week sperm test and have received final clearance from us.

While it won’t solve all our problems, I’m very happy to not be adding to the problems of this planet, but there’s always more I can do.

Until then, I’m going to keep working on tinder. After all, it’s doctor’s orders, baby.

IMG_1929 - Copy

I thought a vasectomy would stop my wife from falling pregnant again, instead it just changed the colour of the baby…

Girls don’t have the Cohunas to get a vasectomy…

I could have written a few more testicle puns, but I don’t think it would have made a vas deferens…


]]> 0
Pointers, lessons and experiences from TZM Brisbane Tue, 04 Aug 2015 06:17:14 +0000 Read More...]]> The other day I was sent a message from the Finnish National Coordinator, Teemu Koskimäki asking me a few questions about the level of TZM activity in Australia over the past couple of years, how our chapters are doing now and about any challenges we have faced. This got me thinking about all of the valuable lessons we’ve learnt along the way, especially the local chapter in Brisbane and how we’ve managed to end up with a solid active growing group.

brisbaneBurn-out is super common amongst social activists – and I’ve noticed it particularly with TZM activists. Once people discover the importance of educating everyone about the monetary/market system, the concept of a moneyless society, the scientific method and the overwhelming immediate need to change the world – it can become incredibly stressful and disappointing when others around you don’t understand or don’t follow through.

stressIf you are in a different part of Australia (or the world for that matter) and you’ve been thinking about starting a chapter, or you’ve started one and you’re not sure where to go from here, here are a couple of pointers, lessons and experiences we’ve had that can help you on your journey.

  1. Find the core group and low-hanging fruit

breakfastI wouldn’t say our success has been anything to do with the ‘type of people in this city’. As a matter of fact, I think a large amount of people in this city are generally quite ignorant and dismissive of global problems, or they’re caught up in local political debates.

Don’t go all out expecting to change everyone’s mind – especially as a lone wolf or couple! The first step is to find other people who are on the same level already. Yes, they are out there – especially if you live in a city of a million or so people! These people probably already feel alone and misunderstood too and would probably love to connect. I’ve found starting a Meetup to be incredibly effective, as well as starting a Facebook group. Attending other sustainability events and connecting with people can also be helpful. Start with organising something super simple – hanging out at cafes, having picnics, dinner parties, movies and so on. Unnecessary over preparation for a young chapter can be exhausting and lead to burn out.

  1. Delegation

people-chain-bannerOnce you get that awesome little group, don’t be surprised to get a lot of you-shoulds, it’d-be-better-ifs and why-don’t-yous. Of course suggestions are welcome! However, you have no obligation to follow through on suggestions. Remember you are only one person and can only do so much. If I think it might be too much to take on, my response might be something like, “That’s a great idea! I’m happy to support you in organising that in any way I can.”

  1. Utilising national and global resources and support


Especially with marketing, don’t make everything from scratch. There are so many resources out there made by passionate and skilful activists from around the world. Check out Emboonite’s stuff on our activist material page. Also, if you hold movie nights, it might be a good idea to show a part of one of the Zeitgeist films, or a short Z-Day presentation from somewhere else in the world. Here’s a great example from Abby Martin.

I received an email a couple of months back from someone who used to be part of the Perth chapter, who explained that the core group didn’t want to have much to do with global because it was a ‘centralised’ system, which is in essence against the core train of thought. I would say coordinators have no interest in policing – we have absolutely no control over who starts a chapter or who doesn’t. We can only choose who we support and who we don’t. Networking, brainstorming, finding solutions and sharing ideas. That’s what it’s all about.

evening hangout

  1. Staying in touch with global chaptersworld

Involvement in monthly global Teamspeak meetings has kept us up to date with what’s happening with other chapters around the world. We get updated with the latest available material and latest events and share what we are doing too. You can also help with their projects from afar – be part of the global team, help with adding to online content or if you’re more technically minded you can help with their website or even decision-making processes.

  1. Start an event like “Monthly Movies that Matter”.

casey presenting 3

Our main public event in Brisbane is a perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded people and discuss the Zeitgeist Movement train-of-thought. Its advertised on the main website, Eventbrite, sent out to the Australian mailing list, Facebook (the national and local chapter pages) and Meetup. This draws in people from a range of different backgrounds and experiences and sometimes brings in people who actually don’t know much about TZM but are interested in sustainability in general. It’s a great environment for them to learn and connect. Not everyone will understand or be into it, so just focus on the successes and remember that it takes some people a while to fully comprehend several of the concepts we discuss. Keep it simple and focused on a topic that’s not too controversial, until you have a fairly solid group.

  1. Hang out!


Most importantly, I believe the success of our chapter comes down to developing long-lasting friendships. Over the years of hard work, we’ve also got to know each other personally. Events are the most exciting time of the month and in between that we have movie nights, parties, go on trips together and generally have a lot of fun. We are honest with each other and not always dead serious about changing the world – TZM activism is something to be celebrated!

]]> 0
The Zeitgeist Movement Australia Podcast Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:07:52 +0000 Read More...]]> The TZM Australia YouTube Channel has been revived with podcasts aimed at educating the general public about a range of issues and ideas related to the Zeitgeist Movement. Podcasts are like short radio shows where people can ask and have their questions answered by the radio host and guests on the show.

In the first episode, Zac and Casey discuss how they discovered the Zeitgeist Movement, veganism, consumer expectations in a capitalist system, education, human behavioural psychology, charities, atheism and religion, the monetary/market system, sustainable communities, open source and planned obsolescence.

Listen to our first podcast here:

Here are some useful links for some of the topics discussed:

Anyone else with an interest in anything related to TZM we encourage you to take part. Contact the host of the show, Zac to have your voice heard:

]]> 0
7 easy ways you can be involved in TZM Australia projects Sat, 18 Apr 2015 07:57:15 +0000 Read More...]]> Fifteen supporters of TZM met at the Brisbane Square Library on Saturday to discuss new and upcoming projects. If you’d like to get more involved, check out the projects below and contact the coordinators to share your skills, knowledge and interest.

our project meeting room at the Brisbane Square Library

Our project meeting room at the Brisbane Square Library

  1. Community Tours Project


Visiting Communities Project
This project is aimed at learning about and reaching out to existing sustainable communities. The idea is to learn about their management structures, their decision making processes, the systems they use to manage resources and their overall goals. Once discovering this, using the concept of a resource-based economy (RBE), we will share our vision and share ways in which they can live  even more harmoniously together. Although we do aim to visit a range of local communities, one of our first tours will be held in Christie Walk in Adelaide. In the projects meeting, we outlined several volunteer roles which people could become involved in.
  • Database Editor – A person who updates our database, the RBEM Knowledge Base with information we gather.
  • Tour Organisers – People who would like to contact communities and collaborate with TZM to organise dates and times. Doodle may be a good platform to help with this.
  • In-house Presenters – People who do a presentation at Monthly Movies that Matter on a community that they have visited or researched. This is especially appropriate for communities that are either in the pipeline or inaccessible due to distance and/or language. It also helps reduce our carbon emissions. (Only about 15 minutes long)
  • TZM Presenter – People who do a presentation of TZM to explain to communities our train of thought.
If you’d be interested in any of these roles or being part of any of these projects, please email Simon the project Coodinator or better still, come to the Monthly Movies that Matter meeting and make yourself known. You can also contact us through our Meetup or Facebook group and we will put you in touch with the project coordinators


  1. Outreach Program

A similar project coordinated in Vancouver, Canada


A simple project for regular attendees of our events – to survey people in the mall area before Monthly Movies that Matter – an event held on the second Saturday of each month. Rather than regular attendees sitting through the introductions, newcomers can ask questions while regulars  take to the streets talking to people about the concepts of the Zeitgeist Movement. A similar project was conducted in another chapter a few years ago, where Geisters carried around a clipboard and pencil and surveyed people on four simple, yet enlightening questions. Outreachers then return to Monthly Movies and report back on their experience. For this project we’re looking for:

  • Survey conductors – for those of you who are fairly knowledgeable about TZM
  • Question writers – questions such as “How much oil gets used per day in the world?”
  1. TZM Trivia night and Bring-a-friend day


The Outreach Project got people thinking about other ways we can reach out to people.  An idea was suggested to create a trivia night based around Zeitgeist related content, issues and ideas. This would be open to everyone and would be a fun and entertaining way to educate. For this we need a:


  • Trivia night facilitators – for our charismatic members who like to get up on the microphone and ask the questions
  • Question writers – for those who can think of questions that aren’t too easy but aren’t too hard either – a way to educate people and get them thinking but leave them feeling good too.
  • Researchers – lets get our facts right!

It was also suggested that we could have another Monthly Movies Bring-a-friend day.

  1.  TZM Australia Monthly Podcasts


The TZM Australia youtube channel is being revived with monthly podcasts, aimed at educating the general public about a range of issues and ideas related to the Zeitgeist Movement. Podcasts are like short radio shows where people can ask and have their questions answered by the radio host and guests on the show.

  • TZM Australia Podcast Guests – Anyone with an interest in anything related to TZM, whether it be in sustainability, technology, social design, communication, psychology or anything else, we encourage you to take part.

Contact the host of the show, Zac to have your voice heard::

  1. Intelligent Systems for new governance


For the techsavvy, scientific-minded folk who share our vision, we have a strong diverse team who are currently working on creating software that can create optimal decision-making – in a way that is fair and efficient. The system needs to be community-minded and open-source. Meetings are currently taking place weekly and are open to anyone who has any knowledge in this area.

  • Programmers – to help with the software design
  • Social design coordinators – to help develop the system
  1. Zeitgeist Media Festival

Zeitgeist Media Festival Logo

Each year, the TZM Global encourages chapters around the world to organise a Media Festival. Unlike Z-Day, The Zeitgeist Media Festival is not so much an information symposium, but more a platform for artists, musicians, poets and film-makers to showcase their work – to inspire, to rouse emotion, to connect. As quoted at the beginning of Moving Forward: In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable, and help to change it. – Ernst Fischer


We are looking for:

  • Musicians, Film-makers, Poets, Artists, Writers – Whoever would like to promotes TZM by performing or displaying your work at The Zeitgeist Media Festival in October
  1. TZM Australia Website

Australia Zeitgeist-Movement

You may have noticed that the TZMAU website underwent many changes this year to share more information and make it more user-friendly for visitors. We’d like to have more people contribute to the blog (like this one here) and share their thoughts on our projects and events. If you also have suggestions for ways we can make it easier to navigate please send through your suggestions.

  • Writers, bloggers, vloggers – share your thoughts and ideas with us – we’d love to have more contribution from Geisters around the country.

If you’d be interested in any of these roles or being part of these projects, please contact us through the meetup group and we will put you in touch with the project coordinators

]]> 0
Z-Day 2015 Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:37:43 +0000 Read More...]]> Each year, Zeitgeist Movement advocates from all over the world come together to learn more, connect with like-minded people and share new ideas to promote global unity, social betterment and a more humane society.

cropped-zday-2015.pngZeitgeist Day (Z-Day), the annual global symposium for The Zeitgeist Movement, was held for the 7th time this year in several different countries around the world on Saturday 14th March. The main event for Australia was held in Brisbane City at the Brisbane Square Library.

470_square,0This year was outstandingly successful for the Australian chapter, with a range of inspiring and interesting speakers. Coordinators are working hard to make all of these presentations available online as soon as possible.

I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered their time, money and effort towards making it a fantastic day. The free fruit for our guests was a very special touch!

I had the very fortunate opportunity to welcome our guests and give a brief run-down of the Zeitgeist Movement for guests who may not have heard of us before. This was followed by James Hill, who discussed how an NLRBE would be governed.

IMAG0649After James, Tom Miller from Unlimited You Education set the scene for the day by conducting a very collaborative discussion stemming from the question “Why are we here today?”. This brought about a range of reasons from our very diverse audience, that really set the group up to think about ways in which they could really connect with the group.

IMAG0651Caroline Rentel followed Tom, giving us a very special triple plug on three topics close to our heart: James Pauly’s updates on his electric vehicle conversion, updates on Beyond Zero Emissions and her novel about an RBE set in 2050.

Screenshot from 2015-03-25 16:56:24 Our audience was then wowed by Roman Spur’s amazing rental property that he transformed into a sustainable living story. In a tiny space in the city suburb of New Farm, Roman provided food including vegetables, honey and eggs for his whole family and neighbours, as well as use recycled materials to create solar power cookers and solar hot water.

IMAG0660After Roman, Simon Cole gave us a run-down of the TZM Australia Community Tours project, where a group of Brisbane Geisters aim to visit a range of communities around the country and beyond, to share our knowledge and discover the best ways we can manage groups in the early stages of developing an RBE. For more details, click here.

Screenshot from 2015-03-25 16:58:09After a quick break, John Roles decided to share his vision for Australia as a former candidate for Sustainable Population Party. John was an interesting guest, as someone who was not very familiar with TZM, but he was not only able to share his thoughts on population, growth and sustainability in Australia but connect with many people who think beyond politics.

IMAG0666Before our final speaker, Aaron Hilton the driving force behind this project, and Andreas Huemer, an expert in artificial intelligence and systems management shared their idea for system that can minimise harm and maximise abundance.

IMAG0671Our final speaker was Natalie Lawler, one of the last 100 remaining candidates for the Mars One mission. She shared updates on Mars One and explained her passion and reasons that she wanted to travel to the red planet forever. We were very fortunate to have a lot of question time for Natalie, as many people in the audience were curious about her mission.

Screenshot from 2015-03-25 17:29:41Thanks again to everyone who came along to support the Zeitgeist Movement. As stated previously, our local coordinators are working hard to make these presentations available online as soon as possible. An email will be sent to our subscribers as soon as the videos have been uploaded.

A recap of the global chapter event can be seen here. To read more about it, check out the global chapter blog here.

]]> 0
5 ways to spot bullshit Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:23:35 +0000 Read More...]]> Being a critical thinker isn’t easy.  But it’s important to minimise exploitation to yourself, others and the environment.

Here are 5 ways to spot BS

1. Research logical fallacies

A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people. It’s very easy to make logical fallacies, even with relatively reasonable critical thinking skills. Here are some of the most common ones.


On this page you can find examples of logical fallacy statements. For example, “You should eat all of the food on your plate because there are children starving in Africa”. This is called an “Appeal to Emotion” fallacy in which two facts that have no correlation to each other are used to manipulate the receiver into doing something.

2. Use good reasoning methods

There are three good reasoning methods that can be used to detect bullshit: deductive, inductive and abductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning concludes:

“When it rains, things outside get wet. The grass is outside, therefore: when it rains, the grass gets wet.” Mathematical logic and philosophical logic are commonly associated with this style of reasoning.

Inductive reasoning concludes:

“The grass got wet numerous times when it rained, therefore: the grass always gets wet when it rains.” While they may be persuasive, these arguments are not deductively valid, see the problem of induction. Science is associated with this type of reasoning.

Abductive reasoning concludes:

“When it rains, the grass gets wet. The grass is outside and nothing outside is dry, therefore: maybe it rained.” Diagnosticians and detectives are commonly associated with this type of reasoning.

If you think something seems like bullshit, check to see if they have reasoned with any of these methods – if they haven’t, you’ll probably find their reasoning in a logical fallacy as discussed above.

3. Have a bullshit spotter’s attitude

Try not to become too emotionally attached to your beliefs – if you do, you’re bound to end up in a situation where your belief is invalid and unreasonable. Good critical thinkers (bullshit spotters) are humble – they understand you also suffer from the The Dunning- Kruger effect – that is, not having the competence to know that you’re not competent . When given a different opinion, ask yourself – How could my belief be wrong? Do not believe everything you think . Be prepared to change your mind about anything you believe in. Dr. Peter Boghossian discusses this in detail in the video below.


4. Look out for bullshit slogans

Here are just a few to get you started:

It’s 100% natural!” – Since when was everything natural good for you? Arsenic is natural… but I wouldn’t recommend adding it to your coffee.

Treat others as you would like to be treated” – Going back to the point on ‘attitude’ – think carefully about this slogan – it may have good intentions but there are always exceptions.  Should a person who has committed a range of dangerous crimes be treated the same way as others? This is quite a subjective question.

Seeing is believing” – Humans have a vivid imagination, the potential to ‘see things’ and a biological trait that makes us see patterns that do not necessarily exist. If you ever read “Demon Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark” by Carl Sagan, you can find many examples of this. One example, is how humans have seen a ‘face’ in the moon for thousands of years in many different cultures. This face has been linked to a variety of religious and superstitious beliefs. However the reason we find a face in the moon is because human evolution has encouraged this pattern recognition – a baby that is more likely to recognise faces has a higher chance of survival. Also, as Neil Degrasse Tyson pointed out in an episode of Cosmos, seeing is NOT always believing – many of the stars we can see in the sky are no longer there.


5. Learn to spot evidence of bullshit

Closely linked to the logical fallacies, also keep your ear out for the following statements. You’re more likely to hear these when having a debate with a friend or family member, or when being sold something.

It’s been know for thousands of years… ” – To quote Tim Minchin – just because ideas are tenacious it doesn’t mean that they’re worthy.

Everyone knows that!” – Yeah okay, we all once knew the earth was flat, too.

I saw it on the internet” – The internet is a wonderful collection of information that has changed the way we think and live, however, it is full of bullshit. If someone says they saw in on the internet, make sure they can back up their source on the internet, or research it yourself.

Someone told me” The fact that someone told you something may increase the likelihood – but it doesn’t make it true.


With these five tips… and by thinking more about the information you are exposed to, you will have a clearer vision as to how to navigate and understand the world around you.

]]> 0