Please tell me, where will the resources come from? 2 letters from New Zealand

Here is some good sense from New Zealand. (I put these in chronological order so you read from the top down.)

On 4/6/11 at 11:59 AM +1200, John Knotts wrote in a message entitled

Re: GIMME SHELTER Newsletter Spring 2011:

Hi Lloyd

New Zealand calling. I am inspired by your work. This country has seen the greatest natural challenge ever visited on us: the Christchurch earthquake.

We are hard pressed to even house those that have lost their homes. The authorities are using parks of mobile homes; many are using portaloos and chemical toilets weeks after the event.

Infrastructure is chaotic; most sewerage storm water and power was damaged, with repairs likely to take years.

Given your methods, whole towns could be constructed if land was provided; man has an inherent ability from thousands of years of knowledge of housing himself.

Yet regulation and autocratic government takes us down the path of more regulation, engineering requirements, et al.

We have seen massive destruction of wooden buildings without any care for the husbanding of the timber resource in the central business district. One building of three stories was an old drying building for tobacco (but not sure) but it did contain thousands of board feet of Oregon clears 6”*2” about 100 years old. The walls were two layers. This was sent to land fill.

It is now impossible to build a modest dwelling in this country; even in your extreme climate you do not always double glaze; here it is mandatory. A 150 square ft building can be built but must meet all regulations. These include the banning of recycled windows and doors.

Roll on the revolution.

Fair winds at your back

John Knotts


To: John Knotts

From: Lloyd Kahn

Subject: RE: GIMME SHELTER Newsletter Spring 2011

Cc: lew


This is really good. Can I post on blog?

Delete your name?




Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2011 15:53:30 +1200

From: John Knotts

Subject: RE: GIMME SHELTER Newsletter Spring 2011

To: ‘Lloyd Kahn’

By all means Lloyd?

We need to get our message out that this is a finite world and all of us have less money to cope with regulation. We just want to house ourselves cheaply. Live more simply.

Here is a mail I sent to our National Radio program.



Dear Jim Mora 5/4/11

I listened to Rod Oram on nine to noon yesterday talk about the Governments energy policy.

His call is that the Government is putting its faith in drill baby drill and not in creating growth.

We are not going to discover a Saudi reserve any time soon either here or in any part of the world. The Americans while using 20 million barrels of oil a day say that the tar sands reserves will take up the slack of the Middle East imports lost; remembering that history tells us that revolution in a country halts production and always causes decline long term.

Tar sand extraction takes vast amounts of energy and water in the recovery of this resource. It will not keep the Wal Mart tills chiming as ramping up production to 20 million barrels a day will take a decade. By then it will be too late.

At best in NZ if we discover commercial oil at say $100US a barrel it will take at least 10 years to construct infrastructure to start exporting. Undersea pipelines and shore based construction will employ overseas experts not locals. All oil men are ageing and young oil engineers are not being trained.

We are desperately trying to gain wealth by selling minerals but do not have these in quantity or easy access like Australia. It is a bad dream.

There is a protest off the East Coast now about drilling.

Would it not be far better to farm our coastal areas for fish and mussels as the world will need food in ever growing quantities? We are a nation that produces efficiently all types of food. This employs local labor; infrastructure is not that costly and we can produce what we need onshore.

Getting back to Rod Oram I do not think we can talk about growth in any economy; population (the elephant in the room) will always be the limiting factor; the GDP figure for China is close to 10% per year for India down this year to 8.3%; therefore if this growth continues for these countries in 3.8 years their consumption would have doubled.

Please tell me, where will the resources come from? Will we find another earth?

Please forget about growth it is never going to work. We have to think of scaling back our desires live more simply do with less.

Thank you for your program.

John Knotts

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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