Show blog for Too Fat for Our Pants on Radio One, 91 FM, Dunedin, New Zealand. Airs Mondays 10 am - 12 pm.

If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The End of Growth

Listen to the interview with Richard Heinberg here
Check out the playlist for this show here 
Sign the petition to keep Radio One alive here

The thesis of this blog is that perpetual growth is impossible in a finite world.  I believe this to be the fundamental problem facing humanity at this point in time: it underlies the current ongoing global financial crisis, climate change, and peak oil – indeed, peak just about everything.  At heart, the drive for perpetual growth is an economic issue, and so this episode of Too Fat For Our Pants is about economics.  I am not an economist, I have never formally studied economics – my knowledge of the discipline comes from having read books about it.  Gasp! That means that there is a very real possibility that I have a better understanding of economic principles than many economists, not because economists are dumb and I'm smart, but because formal economic training is deeply flawed and incomplete.  The good news is that if I can learn and grasp basic economic principles, then so can you: this is just another one of those things that we are encouraged not to understand, in fact we are told that it is too complicated for people to understand over and over and over again. I might go so far as to suggest that the obfuscation of economics has been deliberate: a lot of money is made on the back of people’s ignorance.  Knowledge is power, as they say, so hopefully today’s show helps you to arm yourself a little better.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Local is Lovely!

Listen to the podcast of my interview with Jinty MacTavish here.
Sign the petition to keep Radio One alive here.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, as we at Radio One struggle to obviate the benefits of our existence, about how much of our relevance rests on our size.  We are small.  By definition that also makes us local, and being small and local is very quickly becoming a necessity. Not just for radio stations, but for pretty much everything – federal politics are lost to corporate interest and increasingly hamstrung by partisan ideologies, none of which seek to overthrow the corporate hijacking of government anyway.  Energy depletion means that our ability to think and operate globally will inevitably be severely curtailed; we will no longer be able to ship bananas from the Philippines or everything from China because we simply will not be able to afford the fuel.  Likewise we will find avenues of travel closing to us as fuel becomes scarcer and international travel becomes a luxury of the very rich before fading out completely.  Climate change means, and has already meant, increased frequency and severity of natural disasters, the survival of which will require renewed relationships with our neighbours and a tighter community structure.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Economics and the Fate of Free Media - Save Radio One!

Sign the Petition to Save Radio One!
In case you have been away, which many of you have, here’s a little rundown of what’s been going on.  Based on the imminence of Voluntary Student Membership, which is in fact getting less and less likely by the day, OUSA underwent a fiscal examination by an independent, private contract firm called Deloitte, to determine where expenses could be cut.  Facing the potential loss of thousands and thousands of dollars should Voluntary Student Membership be implemented, this is perhaps not the most unexpected move on the part of OUSA, though I would argue that they could have done a lot more to educate students about the negatives of VSM in the first place. Anyway, Deloitte looked at all of Planet Media, which includes Radio One, Critic, and Planet Media as an advertising sales organization.  Astonishingly, and without much in the way of explanation, Critic and Planet Media escaped unscathed, while Radio One landed on the chopping block.  Deloitte has recommended that Radio One be sold, because there is no potential profit to be made here.  The fact that our broadcast license is contingent upon our status as a charitable trust, meaning that we can legally generate no profit beyond that needed to sustain ourselves, has so far escaped everyone’s notice.