Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Radio programme about ITHACA COMMUNITY MONEY

A history of the ITHACA HOURS community currency
During the Great Depression when banks were closed so they could be audited - over 400 currencies called SCRIPT were used in the US to buy food and services. When the banks reopened, sometimes several months later, SCRIPT was replaced with the federal currency.

Since the beginning of the financial crisis a resurgence of interest in alternative money systems has led to many new initiatives. A new website in the US called is giving an overview over a huge number of community currencies and computer based trading systems with space for comment and discussion.

Featured on that web site are the Ithaca Hours, the oldest printed paper currency in the US. Founded in 1991 by Paul Glover it has been in continuous use, it's popularity rising and diminishing with fluctuations in the overall economy.

Each paper bill is a small piece of art and a commentary on the federal currency. At the top it says: IN ITHACA WE TRUST. - rather than In God We Trust. The currency is issued for the town of Ithaca and the surrounding farms - which means that the money will benefit local exchanges and local jobs and can never go away as it does when we take dollars to WalMart.

I'm inviting you to re-visit with me one of the most important journeys I have taken as radio reporter, my 1995 visit to Ithaca. Paul Glover, who founded Ithaca Hours in 1991 is still doing community currency work. I spoke to him in March of 2009 to update the information in this program. His web site is
For a broadcast quality mp3 version of Part ONE click HERE
For a
broadcast quality mp3 version of Part TWO click HERE

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thomas Greco Talk on Radio4all - Notes


Please read some background information:

AUDIO (mp3) download here:

COMMUNITY CURRENCIES CONFERENCE Wanganui New Zealand APRIL 17TH - 19TH, 2009 -- Audio from the first talk - Keynote Speaker -

Wanganui - Quaker Settlement, 76 Virginia Rd - The Quiet Room

Keynote: Thomas H Greco Jnr

Author of Money – understanding and creating alternatives to legal tender, and the soon to be released The End of Money and the Future of Civilisation, Greco is a sought-after advisor and conference speaker. He also offers unprecedented wealth of information on the interplay of economics and democracy through his website and associated blogs and books. He brings to the conference his 30 years study and working experience of community currency systems from around the world. Greco will also be presenting public lectures at Waiheke Tues April 7, Auckland Uni Wed Apr 8th & Wgtn Tues 14th

Greco will be joined at the conference by New Zealanders experienced in the field of local currencies and related promising initiatives capable of rejuvenating local economies. Inc:

====== TALK IN AUCKLAND ========

Global Financial Meltdown: Its Causes, and Opportunities for Localized Restructuring

International Guest Speaker Thomas H Greco, Jnr. Wednesday 8th April, 7.00pm

Venue: Auckland University Theatre OGGB5, Owen G Glenn Building , 12 Grafton Rd Auckland

The global financial crisis is no accident. It is the natural outcome of a flawed system that has long been building to a climax.

Thomas Greco explains how and why conventional money and banking malfunction, describes the comprehensive metamorphic change that civilization is presently experiencing, and outlines voluntary alternative approaches to exchange and finance that empower communities and reward people fairly.

Tom Greco is a community and monetary economist, writer, networker, and consultant, who for three decades has been working at the leading edge of transformational restructuring. He is regarded as a leading expert in monetary theory and history, credit clearing systems, community economic development and complementary currencies.

He is currently Director of the Community Information Resource Center , a US non-profit networking hub, which provides information access and administrative support for efforts in community improvement, social justice and sustainability.

Tom Greco is in New Zealand as the keynote speaker for the Community Currencies Conference being held in Whanganui April 17 - 19.

His new book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, is to be released this month (Chelsea Books). His previous book, Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, is available from the Living Economies Educational Trust.

Out of all the conversations about relocalization and community resilience, the conversations about local currencies and alternative, people-centred economics may well be the most important of all and have the biggest bearing on how communities survive or not as the world financial system implodes.

Listen also to podcastfrom Kim Hill on Saturday

File Size:11.5MB - Date: (Sat, 11 Apr 2009 )



NB: This lecture comes at short notice. Please forward this information to all friends and colleagues who may be interested.

Thomas Greco has authored three books on monetary theory and how monetary alternatives can empower communities.

Sponsored by: Living Economics Educational Trust, Transition Towns, Green Party.




Sustainable Whanganui is a network of individuals and organisations promoting more sustainable lifestyles & business practices in the Whanganui region. Use this website site to learn about sustainability, to find out what’s happening in our region and to share your information. Become part of this network by signing on to our mailing list or visit: Come visit the SW Environment Centre @ 38 Taupo Quay Whanganui for:Green Technologies, Green Bikes, Garden Beds, Worm Farms, Book and Video Library, a full range of gardening products, River Exchange Barter System, Better Homes. Ph 06 3455 048


Out of all the conversations about relocalization and community resilience, the conversations about local currencies and alternative ‘people centred economics’ may well be the most important of all and have the biggest bearing on how communities survive or not as the world financial system falters. In good times or bad the ability to create local money and commercial models of cooperation are key tools to strengthen communities and enable social and environmental development

Speakers List

Keynote: Thomas H Greco Jnr

Author of Money – understanding and creating alternatives to legal tender, and the soon to be released The End of Money and the Future of Civilisation, Greco is a sought-after advisor and conference speaker. He also offers unprecedented wealth of information on the interplay of economics and democracy through his website and associated blogs and books. He brings to the conference his 30 years study and working experience of community currency systems from around the world. Greco will also be presenting public lectures at Waiheke Tues April 7, Auckland Uni Wed Apr 8th & Wgtn Tues 14th

Greco will be joined at the conference by New Zealanders experienced in the field of local currencies and related promising initiatives capable of rejuvenating local economies. Inc:

Christoph Hensch – LETS & CES in NZ – the ins and outs of our most prevalent community currency system

Bryan Innes – Interest Free Money, creating a hybrid of the J.A.K model

Margaret Jefferies - NZ's first Time Bank, a pilot project in Lyttleton that has attracted significant funding from a philanthropic Trust.

Ramsey Margolis - New Zealand Cooperatives Association

Peter Russell - OOOBY – Out Of Our Own Backyards – a trading system based on sharing home production.

Karen Russell - sharing her experience setting up the successful Australian Barter Directory at the beginning of the last recession.

Hellen Swale - Upper Hutt XCard – A local loyalty Swipe Card with 5000 users

Helen Dew & Haydyn McGrail - Wairarapa‘s printed paper currency - WISE Vouchers

Deirdre Kent – Healthy Money Healthy Planet

Atutur, Noe Vincent Sharing from his work with reviving Traditional Banking Systems in Vanuatu

Laurence Boomert – reporting on experiments in building Whanganui CES ‘REBS’ through the local Environment Centre

THE CONFERENCE BEGINS with dinner Friday evening (registration desk opens at 4pm) and runs through to Lunchtime Sunday. The LETS AGM will be held just before lunch

Web version of Deidre Kent NZ Money Presentation:

Communication for the conference of April 17th -19th, 2009 in

New Zealand

Dear participants to the Complementary Currency conference, Wanganui

The time for a paradigm shift in the monetary domain has now come. It has been expected and forecast by a few, and many have been fervently hoping for it.
However, the unprecedented breakdown of the global banking system will also bring with it massive suffering around the world, as well as unprecedented dangers given the destructive capacity of today's technologies. The last time humanity lived with a challenge of this scale was the 1930s, which generated a wave of fascism and was economically resolved only through war.

What you are doing in these days in Wanganui is the best available antidote for these dangers: you are inventing a better monetary game. I am happy that you invited my friend and colleague Tom Greco as keynote speaker, as he has dedicated so much of his time and effort in preparation and promotion for today’s money shift.

My only suggestion is to not spend a lot of all your beautiful energy on attacking the conventional money system, spend all of it on creating that new money game. Make it so attractive that it becomes its own advertising campaign.

I wish you great success, and a lot of fun…


Bernard Lietaer*jzULa0iN40GTjxgj8e9hOSNY7tlaUwjG7kMXLrsYwzQwmJBMZ1At4SXKN0s0z9F7i08cVp8LqOatXh0Dz1Ul8HBUeS09jfz/RIMG0016.JPG?width=183&height=183&crop=1%3A1

Message from Miguel Yasuyuki Hirota

15th April 2009.

Greetings to Tom, and to my Kiwi Friends,

Currently I'm at Barcelona, Spain, near your antipode, so it's a pity that I can't see you this year.

But I've been observing that interest is growing all over the world towards the complementary currency movement.

It is high time we should start questioning the authenticity of our conventional money system and create a more democratic money system!

I'll go on travelling, both physically and virtually, to keep in touch with what is happening all over the planet, and am looking forward to working together with you again in the near future.

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Finance Crisis? -- Alternative Money!

Barter-Card is a form of alternative currency!!

Bartercard biggest trade barter company in the world!
Barter thrives in recession Business to business transactions only
No interest, new customers Joining fee high, commission for buyer and seller, international trade possible

It works well in Auckland, New Zealand.
Here is today's advert in the Corporate-embedded FAIRFAX Sunday rag:

TEXT: Do you have regular cash clients who have fallen on tough times and are struggling to pay you? -- Contact Bartercard in April and we will give you a special gift of T$200 Trade Dollars* in your account and help you recover bad debts! *on full cash new memberships when you mention this ad. 0508 BARTER 0508 227837 We mean business ...

Helen said: I imagine by joining they'll be able to access goods to the value of accounts reveivable, rather than the cash they're owed.

me: Now translate "access goods" and "accounts receivable"

Helen: ..get products and services in liew of the money they're owed.

me: Yey!

Banks create Money out of Nothing... nice humaine explanation by KOP:

powerful statistics:


The LETS Review have done an excellent job of keeping the New Zealand LETS Directory up-to-date. So after you've sent LETS-linkup your amendments, don't forget to send them to The LETS Review as well.
(Publishes list on a bi-monthly basis.)

C/- J. McKenzie
102 Centenial Ave

C/- Helen Devine
116 Palmerston St. Westport

C/- Rongo Bentson
Box 5 Broadwood Northland

Carol Tautuhi
Box 1396 Gisborne

P.O. Box 156 Takaka
phone: 03 525 8286 or 03 525 8448

Hawkes Bay G$
C/- 16B Te Mata Peak Rd. Havelock North

P.O. Box 104 Otaki

D. Robbie
41 Oreti St. Invercargill

C/- Sam
Major Rd. 3 Karamea

Box 138 Matakana

P.O. Box 350 Motueka

57 Collingwood St. Nelson

L Canfens
48 Tee St. Oamaru

H & R Martin
9 Huia St. Pahiatua

Plains Exchange and Barter System (PLEBS)
455 Worcester street, Linwood, Christchurch
phone: 3661992- answerphone

(River Exchange and Barter System)

President: Judith Paxie
Treasurer: Ngaire Wallace
9 Brooking St, Gonville, Wanganui NZ
ph: (06)345 5127
email: (treasurer)

Rotorua LETS
c/- K. Oliver
35 Clinkard Ave, Rotorua


Box 2358 Tauranga

Taranaki LETS
New Plymouth
Contact: Denise Hunter (Office administrator)
C/- Disability Resource Centre, 28 Young St, New Plymouth
ph: (06) 7591515 (24 hr answering service)

Timaru Alternative Trading System Inc.
situated about half way down the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand)
C/- 41a Heaton St. Timaru
TATS started in 1990 and has been going well ever since although the Membership is reducing and now stands at about 40 families. We are currently exploring ways to boost Membership.
Recently TATS hosted a South Island Regional Meeting, most groups were represented as well as one from the North Island. Many issues were discussed and solutions put forward and most people learned quite a lot about LETSystem that they were not aware of. This meeting was run for 100% LETS Credits much to the amazement of many that attended. TATS was declared to be the best run system in the S.I. and perhaps in the whole country.

Thames LETS
Box 229 Thames

C/- 510 Richmond Rd Auckland
web: please supply web address

Wairarapa Green Dollar Exchange Inc
C/- Helen Dew
12 Costley St Carterton
Ph/Fx: 06 379 8034

C/- Resource Centre
Dunmore St Wanaka

Wellington G$
P.O. Box 9491 Wellington

C/- Postal Agency
Kumara 7871 Westland

C/- E. Jones
9 Eaton St Waimate

C/- Maxine Wain
121 Charles St. Blenheim

ZACS Exchange

How to close an exchange

> Regretfully, HamLETS G$ Exchange will be closing from 30th June 2004. For
those that are interested, I have attached the documents that form the
process of the winding down of HamLETS as an example of 'how to close an

Ditch or Pitch - HamLETS.doc

HamLET Closure.doc

HamLETS - Report May 2004
Regretfully HamLETS Green Dollar Exchange will be closed from 30th June 2004. Since our last AGM the committee has not been effective with meetings not being attended by principle office holders and overseeing of worker being almost non-existent. Effort was made during January and February this year to contact all members to establish support for the group and commitment by members to help in the running of the group (Ditch or Pitch doc). Although members supported the concept of HamLETS there were not sufficient people available with the skills and time required for the ongoing management of the group. Letters have now been sent to all members advising them of their current balance and requesting them to close their accounts (HamLETS Closure doc). Members, of which forty remain with balances (some have already zeroed) have until 30th June 2004 to settle their accounts when any remaining credit balances will be transferred to management and debit balances will be sort in cash. The end result will be that the entire system is zeroed out. We anticipate busy trading over the next short while as members close out. As part of the closure, any remaining assets will be donated to another community group as per the rules of our constitution.


Presented By Jim McCaughan to the 2002 G$ Conference.

There are two ways that a Green Dollar Group can get Inflation, one is by inheriting it from the National currency over which we have little control. At present this seems to be at a reasonable level. The other is by internally generated Inflation and this is what I wish to focus on.

Until recently I would have said that G$ Groups, being zero balanced, should not have inflation problems. But for some time I have been puzzled by the low performance of some G$ Groups. The gradual drop in Membership after the first surge, the steady decline in trading and in some cases the total collapse of the system.

If your System has Members complaining that they can not spend their credits then you probably have Inflation.

If you have had Members in debit leaving without zeroing their account, who have not been followed up by your Management, if your Management has a large Green Dollar debit, or if your System has a large Credit on LETS Connect, or all three, then you do have Inflation.

These all represent Goods and Skills that are no longer available to balance the Credits held by other Members in your System. TOO MUCH MONEY CHASING TOO FEW GOODS.

Any departing Member leaving a debit should be encouraged to clear this before leaving, once they have left, a debit becomes a debt and should be recoverable. If they do not clear this, another option is to ask them for goods that can be offered at Markets or through a Newsletter and once sold the persons account can be credited.

The next option is to collect K$s from them up to the value of their debt and if they cannot afford the total get them onto a drip feed. Each time there is a payment their account should be credited with G$s out of a Membership Debt Account until it is paid off.

If it proves impossible to recover the debt (and sometimes this will be the case) then the account should be paid off out of the Member Debt Account and closed.

This does not improve the inflation on your System but it does put those debits under your control. A large Management debit should be steadily reduced as rapidly as possible.

On LETS Connect a large stagnant Credit represents a Debit on the LETS Connect Account on your System and this means you will have extra credits circulating on your System with no matching Goods or Skills available, except through intertrading.

To deal with these problems your Management needs to remove credits from the System, especially from high earners. In the K$ System this is achieved by raising interest rates but this is not an option open to us. However we can do this through trading and this is what each Management will need to do.

Use any K$s collected from departing Members and any spare cash that you may have to purchase goods in bulk and offer them to your Members, targeting the high earners and those with high Credit balances.

The goods will need to be attractive to your Members and should be sold with a markup. It may be possible to get surplus Goods donated or at least be very cheap. It also may be possible get funding to do this, I suggest you try it.

Another way is to import Goods from another system provided you can find a group that isn't trying to do the same. The same applies, buy in bulk at the best available price and resell to Members with a markup. This will reduce the LETS Connect Credit and any surplus gained can be used to lower the amount in the Member Debt Account.

Also it should be remembered that the LETS Connect Member Debt is a part of the overall Inflation and it is in the interests of all Groups to get this reduced as rapidly as possible.

As you reduce your own Inflation you should also send regular amounts to that account. One other thing that could be done is to target low earners, help them achieve a better turnover to allow them to earn more. The more they earn the more they will be able to spend and they will be happier with the system and will be more inclined to stay with it.

By Management actively importing Goods via the K$ system or through LETS Connect and then selling to members the turnover on your Systems should increase markedly and you will have many more happy traders and less complaints from those unable to spend and they will be much more likely to remain a member rather that give up in disgust.

I believe that this is a serious problem that effects most Groups and I think it is the main reason that a number of Groups have failed.

G$ Systems, with their accounting systems, will be in a much better position to deal with these problems than other alternative currencies who do not have records and therefore do not know what is going on in their Systems.

I have to say that Systems that use manual accounting are also quite vulnerable as it is more difficult to retrieve the information and keep track of trends.

Please tell us about your successes and failures by writing a regular report in the LETS Review. Remember your experience may help others, we are all in this together, lets make G$s in this country really work.

Jim McCaughan email: *******************************************************
I feel that the above needs to be widely distributed. Groups in NZ are now slowly coming to the realisation that Inflation is a real issue and some are now beginning to address the problem.

As well as being a TATS Committee member I am Treasurer and Bookkeeper for LETS Connect NZ. This is a group that other LETSystems join to allow Intertrading. International trading is not done at present, it was suggested some years ago but at that stage the Intertrading system was not in very good order.

Over the years a number of Groups had failed, most leaving large Debit Balances and these had to be moved into an account which we called Member Debt account. The result was that eventually practically all Debits in the system were in this account and at one stage this amount reached more than -G$18,500.00 and most Member groups had large Credit balances.

The result is that Intertrading had seriously declined as Member groups refused trades that were going to disadvantage their Balance and some were even insisting on zero trading for visitors, that is if you purchased you had to spend an equal amount. These problems are now being seriously addressed and maybe we will soon be able to consider international trade.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

North Mordor

NZ islands' names

New Zealanders are to be asked what they would like to call their two main islands, currently North and South.

The country's Geographic Board, which assigns and approves place name changes, has announced consultations on alternative English and Maori names.

The move follows the discovery that the geographically correct names, used for 200 years, were not legally registered.

The discovery was made by board researchers investigating Maori names for the two islands.

The Geographic Board wants to allow English or Maori names to be used in the future, but this aim is complicated by the fact that competing Maori words exist for each island.

They include Te Ika a Maui (the fish of Maui) for the North Island and Te Wai Pounamu (the waters of greenstone) for the South Island.

Maui was a mythological Maori demi-god who is said to have caught New Zealand while fishing from his brother's canoe.

Maori names appeared on early maps of New Zealand including charts by Captain James Cook, the British explorer and map-maker who claimed the territory for Britain.

"This is part of our country's history of European exploration and settlement. It was only from the 1950s that Maori names stopped appearing on official maps," said board chairman Dr Don Grant.

How about "Not Australia" and "Still Not Australia"?
Kevin, Austin, Texas

They should be called: "South Island - the best Island" and "North (not as good as the south) Island"
Alice, Rugby, UK, from New Zealand

Why can't we just continue to call them North and South and legally register them? It doesn't matter what you call them: people will continue to refer to them by their existing names. Mt Egmont is a classic example. Surely we have better things to worry about as a nation, like winning the 2011 rugby world cup.....
Scott Aitken, Hamilton, New Zealand

I am a Kiwi now living in Australia. Given the climate change and other more pressing issues facing New Zealand and other countries, concerning ourselves with the names of the islands is a complete waste of time. If "North" and "South" Islands haven't been registered as proper names in the registry, just do it now and let's get on with finding some answers to real problems. For a country, which produced people like Lord Rutherford and Edmund Hillary, we should know better than to get side-tracked by form over substance. Let's get our priorities right.
Bruce Sivalingam, Perth, Western Australia

I am a New Zealander and I couldn't care less what the islands are called. They have always been the North Island and the South Island in my lifetime, and they always will be. Like Mount Egmont and Mount Cook. I have absolutely no issue with places to have official Maori names and English names, but I'm fairly sure most Kiwis will continue to use the English names in this instance.
Jacq, Letchworth, England

Register the names every one is used to and will continue to use: North & South Island. Another ridiculously pointless debate from New Zealand, with the last one being 'We should change our national flag - let's make it all black with a Kiwi in the middle. Even if they get changed, no one is actually going to call them by the new names, so why bother.
Matt, Auckland, New Zealand

Why not "North Island" and "South Island" in Maori?
Ryan Jorgensen, Auckland, Nz

I have heard strong support for NW Christchurch and for SW Auckland
Sven Grammersdorf, Wellington, North Island

Why not pick names from Middle Earth to get the tourist numbers back up?

Gondor and Mordor? Wellington should be changed to Hobbiton, Auckland Rivendell. The English names are ugly anyway.
Stephen McPhillips, Denmark, from New Zealand

I would call them the 51st and the 52nd State of the USA
Bob, Auckland

No-one refers to the islands by their names. It is never "North Island" or "South Island', but always "the north island" and "the south island". In other words, by popular usage, the islands do not have names as such. While this will probably prevail, I think we have a golden opportunity here to officially designate the Maori names for the islands. And while we are about it, let's also get rid of the absurd name for the country. Again, the Maori name, Aotearoa, is much more meaningful and attractive. After that, we can hopefully ditch our embarrassing colonial flag.
Allen Gray, Oamaru, New Zealand

The whole issue of name changing has been trumped up by the New Zealand media. The names North Island, referring to the Northern Island and the South Island, referring to the southern Island, has worked well for the past one hundred years. Changing them will only cause confusion and this will also lose New Zealand business money. New Zealand has gone far too politically correct: this is another way of highlighting this fact, changing these names to Maori will serve no purpose as only a few hundred thousand people worldwide speak this language.
Benedict Xu-Holland, Wellington, New Zealand

North and South are a bit bland. Perhaps we could call the north "Jafaland", standing for "just another flamin' Aucklander" and the South "One-eye Country", because they're blind in the other. Or maybe "Dairy" and "Sheep" Islands respectively, to denote the main population. If we're going Maori, maybe "Ika" (fish) and "Waka" (canoe). Then one can say the other smells like fish, to which they can reply "go paddle it". Point being, no matter what they're called, the already-ingrained attitudes between one and the other are not going to change.
Bruce Bisset, Hastings

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jasmine loves the Pop Superstar

April 2009, Auckland, New Zealand
Michael Tse Tin Wah - 謝天華, Actor/Singer
Jasmine loves the "Laughing Gor Superstar"
The actor (Tse Tin Wah) in the series (emergency unit) is laughing brother!

English Name : Michael Tse
Chinese Name: Tse Tin Wah / Xie Tian Hua
Birthplace : Hongkong
Date of Birth : July 15, 1967
Horoscope : Cancer
Height : 5feet 10inches.(178CM)
Weight : 145pounds (65.77Kg)
Blood Type : A Type
Personality : Bright,Chieerful
Hobby : Go to the movies, Sing songs
TVB series:

As Sure as Fate
Moments of Endearment
ICAC Investigators
A Kindred Spirit
Dragon Love
Anti Crime Squad
Face to Face
Life for Life
Witness to Prosecution
Time Off
Legal Entanglement
At Point Blank
Love & Again
Virtues of Harmony
*most recent* Virtues of Harmony I

Michael Tse Tin-wah finally struck gold playing Leung Siu-tong
Who is playing the character Laughing Brother (Laughing 哥)? Michael Tse Tin Wah (谢天华)

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Sensational Power Surge - Daylight Aurora (2012?)

A Super Solar Flare


May 6, 2008: At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England's foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory. Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw.

Right: Sunspots sketched by Richard Carrington on Sept. 1, 1859. Copyright: Royal Astronomical Society:.

On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and "being somewhat flurried by the surprise," Carrington later wrote, "I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled." He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear.

It was 11:23 AM. Only five minutes had passed.

Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.

Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.

"What Carrington saw was a white-light solar flare—a magnetic explosion on the sun," explains David Hathaway, solar physics team lead at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Now we know that solar flares happen frequently, especially during solar sunspot maximum. Most betray their existence by releasing X-rays (recorded by X-ray telescopes in space) and radio noise (recorded by radio telescopes in space and on Earth). In Carrington's day, however, there were no X-ray satellites or radio telescopes. No one knew flares existed until that September morning when one super-flare produced enough light to rival the brightness of the sun itself.

"It's rare that one can actually see the brightening of the solar surface," says Hathaway. "It takes a lot of energy to heat up the surface of the sun!"

Above: A modern solar flare recorded Dec. 5, 2006, by the X-ray Imager onboard NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. The flare was so intense, it actually damaged the instrument that took the picture. Researchers believe Carrington's flare was much more energetic than this one.

The explosion produced not only a surge of visible light but also a mammoth cloud of charged particles and detached magnetic loops—a "CME"—and hurled that cloud directly toward Earth. The next morning when the CME arrived, it crashed into Earth's magnetic field, causing the global bubble of magnetism that surrounds our planet to shake and quiver. Researchers call this a "geomagnetic storm." Rapidly moving fields induced enormous electric currents that surged through telegraph lines and disrupted communications.

"More than 35 years ago, I began drawing the attention of the space physics community to the 1859 flare and its impact on telecommunications," says Louis J. Lanzerotti, retired Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories and current editor of the journal Space Weather. He became aware of the effects of solar geomagnetic storms on terrestrial communications when a huge solar flare on August 4, 1972, knocked out long-distance telephone communication across Illinois. That event, in fact, caused AT&T to redesign its power system for transatlantic cables. A similar flare on March 13, 1989, provoked geomagnetic storms that disrupted electric power transmission from the Hydro Québec generating station in Canada, blacking out most of the province and plunging 6 million people into darkness for 9 hours; aurora-induced power surges even melted power transformers in New Jersey. In December 2005, X-rays from another solar storm disrupted satellite-to-ground communications and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation signals for about 10 minutes. That may not sound like much, but as Lanzerotti noted, "I would not have wanted to be on a commercial airplane being guided in for a landing by GPS or on a ship being docked by GPS during that 10 minutes."

Right: Power transformers damaged by the March 13, 1989, geomagnetic storm:

Another Carrington-class flare would dwarf these events. Fortunately, says Hathaway, they appear to be rare:

"In the 160-year record of geomagnetic storms, the Carrington event is the biggest." It's possible to delve back even farther in time by examining arctic ice. "Energetic particles leave a record in nitrates in ice cores," he explains. "Here again the Carrington event sticks out as the biggest in 500 years and nearly twice as big as the runner-up."

These statistics suggest that Carrington flares are once in a half-millennium events. The statistics are far from solid, however, and Hathaway cautions that we don't understand flares well enough to rule out a repeat in our lifetime.

And what then?

Lanzerotti points out that as electronic technologies have become more sophisticated and more embedded into everyday life, they have also become more vulnerable to solar activity. On Earth, power lines and long-distance telephone cables might be affected by auroral currents, as happened in 1989. Radar, cell phone communications, and GPS receivers could be disrupted by solar radio noise. Experts who have studied the question say there is little to be done to protect satellites from a Carrington-class flare. In fact, a recent paper estimates potential damage to the 900-plus satellites currently in orbit could cost between $30 billion and $70 billion. The best solution, they say: have a pipeline of comsats ready for launch.

Humans in space would be in peril, too. Spacewalking astronauts might have only minutes after the first flash of light to find shelter from energetic solar particles following close on the heels of those initial photons. Their spacecraft would probably have adequate shielding; the key would be getting inside in time.

No wonder NASA and other space agencies around the world have made the study and prediction of flares a priority. Right now a fleet of spacecraft is monitoring the sun, gathering data on flares big and small that may eventually reveal what triggers the explosions. SOHO, Hinode, STEREO, ACE and others are already in orbit while new spacecraft such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory are readying for launch.

Research won't prevent another Carrington flare, but it may make the "flurry of surprise" a thing of the past.

The Largest Magnetic Storm on Record

The 'Carrington Event' of August 27th to September 7th, 1859
Recorded at Kew Observatory, London

Declination, or compass direction, (D) is the lower trace on each image and the horizontal force (H) is the upper trace. Universal Time is the time recorded here (astronomical) plus 12 hours and measured D precedes H by approximately 12 hours. For reference the marked ‘solar flare effect’, beginning at 23:15 recorded time on August 31st, is at 11:15 Universal Time on September 1st. It has been measured as 110 nT in H and 0.283 degrees in D.

Please note that these timings are approximate and should not be regarded as definitive. Also note, the size and scale of each image is only approximately similar, day-to-day. Some data have also been lost, either due to ink and paper degradation, or because the variations were so large they were off-scale.

You can also download all 12 full-size images as a poster (file size 23MB).

This is one example of the historical data contained in the British Geological Survey geomagnetic archives. We are currently re-examining our data holdings of old magnetograms and yearbooks in the hope of allowing greater access to these records in the future.

Magnetogram 27 Aug 1859

Magnetogram 28 Aug 1859

Magnetogram 29 Aug 1859

Magnetogram 30 Aug 1859

Magnetogram 31 Aug 1859

Magnetogram 01 Sep 1859

Magnetogram 012Sep 1859

Magnetogram 03 Sep 1859

Magnetogram 04 Sep 1859

Magnetogram 05 Sep 1859

Magnetogram 06 Sep 1859

Magnetogram 07 Sep 1859

The March 1989 geomagnetic storm was a a severe geomagnetic storm that caused the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid.

The geomagnetic storm causing this event was itself the result of a Coronal Mass Ejection, ejected from the Sun on March 9, 1989.[1] 3.5 Days later, at 2:44 am on March 13, 1989, a severe geomagnetic storm, due to a coronal mass ejection from the Sun, struck Earth.[2][3] The storm began on Earth with extremely intense auroras at the poles, able to be seen as far south as Texas.[4] As this occurred during the cold war, many worried that a nuclear first-strike might be in progress.[4] Others considered the intense auroras to be associated with the Space Shuttle mission STS-29, which had been launched on March 13 at 9:57:00 AM. The burst caused short-wave radio interference, including the jamming of radio signals from Radio Free Europe into Russia. It was thought that the signals had been jammed by the Kremlin.

As midnight came and went, invisible electromagnetic forces were staging their own pitched battle in a vast arena bounded by the sky above and the rocky subterranean reaches of the Earth. A river of charged particles and electrons in the ionosphere flowed from west to east, inducing powerful electrical currents in the ground that surged into many natural nooks and crannies.[4]

Some satellites in polar orbits lost control for several hours. GOES weather satellite communications were interrupted causing weather images to be lost. NASA's TDRS-1 communication satellite recorded over 250 anomalies caused by the increased particles flows into its sensitive electronics.[4] The Space Shuttle Discovery was having its own mysterious problems. A sensor on one of the tanks supplying hydrogen to a fuel cell was showing unusually high pressure readings on March 13. The problem went away just as mysteriously after the solar storm subsided.

[edit] Blackout in Quebec

Fluctuations within the magnetic field of the storm caused geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) to flow through Quebec's power lines, which are direct current, instead of the alternating current carried by the power lines.[2] The insulating nature of the Canadian Shield igneous rock directed the GICs to the power lines. The conductors then forwarded this current to sensitive electrical transformers, which require a certain voltage amplitude and frequency to function properly. Although most GICs are relatively feeble, the nature of those currents destabilized the voltage of the power grid and current spikes erupted everywhere.[2]

Accordingly, protective measures were taken in response. To save the transformers and other electrical equipment, the power grid was taken out of commission, as circuit breakers tripped all over Quebec and shut off the power.[5] Within less than 90 seconds, this wave of breaking circuits left the entire transmission grid out of service. The collapsed power grid left six million people and the rest of Quebec without electricity for hours on a very cold night. Even though the blackout lasted around nine hours for most places, some locations were in the dark for days. This geomagnetic storm caused about C$10 million in damage to Hydro-Québec and tens of millions to the customers of the utility.[2]

[edit] Aftermath

In August 1989, another storm affected microchips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market.[6]

Since 1989, power companies in North America, the UK, Northern Europe and elsewhere evaluated the risks of geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) and developed mitigation strategies.[citation needed]

Since 1995, geomagnetic storms and solar flares have been monitored from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) joint-NASA-European Space Agency satellite.

The solar storm of 1859, also known as the Solar Superstorm,[1] or the Carrington Event,[2] is the most powerful solar storm in recorded history.

From August 28 until September 2, numerous sunspots and solar flares were observed on the sun. Just before noon on September 1, the British astronomer, Richard Carrington, observed the largest flare,[3] which caused a massive coronal mass ejection (CME), to travel directly toward Earth, taking eighteen hours. This is remarkable because such a journey normally takes three to four days. It moved so quickly because an earlier CME had cleared its way.[4]

From the 1st to the 2nd, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred, causing the failure of telegraph systems all over Europe and North America.[5] Auroras were seen all over the world, most notably over the Caribbean; also noteworthy were those over the Rocky Mountains that were so bright, the glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning.[3]

Ice cores show evidence that events of similar intensity has a reoccurs rate of 500 years. Since 1869, less severe storms have occurred in 1921 and 1960, when widespread radio disruption was reported.[3]
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monetary Reform - by Tom Greco March 19, 2004


The Need for Monetary Reform and the Status of the Movement

Thomas H. Greco, Jr. March 19, 2004

What is Needed to Solve the Problem?

The denationalization of money, the separation of money and state is urgently needed.


Don't expect the politicians to do the right thing. The good news is that the answers can come from free
people exercising their rights of contract and association.

The main problems are:

.Legal tender status for FED-created money.

.The monopolization of credit by the banking cartel.

.Lack of an objective, non-political unit of account.

The unit of measure of value and the means of payment are two different things. The former is a
measure, like an inch or a pound; the latter is either a commodity or a credit instrument (an i.o.u.).
Free people can voluntarily choose to use their own accounting unit in dealings among themselves.

A particular weight of silver or gold would be better than an undefined, manipulated currency unit (e.g.,
he dollar).

Historically, the U.S. dollar was both a silver coin and a monetary unit that was originally defined as
371.25 grains of fine silver. The early paper bank notes, denominated in dollar units, promised
edemption in silver dollars, thus they were accepted as payment for various goods and services to the
extent of the value of the silver promised. When an issuing bank was not known to the seller of goods, or
he had doubts about the bank.s solvency, its notes could be refused or discounted from face value. When
paper notes denominated in dollars were forced to circulate at par, that standard was obliterated.

A unit based on a specified assortment of basic commodities would be better than a unit based on silver
or gold or any other single commodity.n any case, using a silver or gold unit of account does not mean that payment must be made in silver or
gold or that paper notes and ledger credits should be redeemable for silver or gold. Rather, if a dollar is
defined as so much silver, and I owe you 100 dollars, that does not necessarily mean that you can demand
payment in silver. It just means that I owe you 100 dollars WORTH (of something), and that worth is
determined by the current value of silver relative to all other goods and services. We need not revert to
commodity money as a means of payment in order to have an honest money system. Credit money can be
perfectly sound if properly issued on the basis of an adequate value foundation, like goods in the shops or
on their way to market. But since credit money is an i.o.u., the market must be free to refuse it or
discount it. Only the issuer should be compelled to accept his own currency at face value (par) because
hat is his promise, and his alone.

Again, goods and services pay for other goods and service. We just need an honest measure, and

Using a commodity or commodities to define a value measure is quite a different thing from using a
commodity as a means of payment. Commodity money is a primitive form; credit money is a more
evolved form.

When I describe commodity money as "primitive," that implies no value judgment. The word means

"pertaining to an earliest or original stage [of development]," so, since commodity money was the earliest
form of money, it is, in fact, primitive. While commodity money can be useful in particular
circumstances, I believe that the more evolved forms are more APPROPRIATE to the goals of personal
freedom, social justice, peace, harmony, and economic equity.

I have no gold or silver. What I do have to offer to the market is goods and services. You, likewise,
probably have no gold or silver, but offer other goods and services to the market. Ultimately, we each pay
for the things we buy with the things we sell. In other words, goods and services buy other goods and

The problem then becomes, how do we transcend the barter limitation, i.e., the "double coincidence" of
wants or needs? Sure, we can use some commodities that are in general demand as an intermediary, like
gold or silver, or, as was common in early post-war Europe, cigarettes, Hershey bars, and nylon

But it is much more efficient to simply sell to one another on credit, and then spend our credits to
requisition whatever we may want from others in the market. The supply of any chosen commodity (like
gold or silver) is limited and most of the gold and silver is closely held by those who run the system, the
central governments and central banks. They decide the price we must pay for those commodities. But
credits can be created as needed at minimal cost so all desirable trades can take place.
To be sure, credit money has been abused. The banking monopoly has perverted it into usury-debt
money. The answer is not to discard credit money, but to perfect it through the establishment of mutual
credit-clearing networks and independent private and community currencies.

This will not only liberate the exchange process but will help to knit a new social fabric to replace that
which has been corroded by the dominant system.

It is worthwhile to read the works of E. C. Riegel. His exposition of the nature of money and its workings
is masterful. His philosophy was strongly libertarian (with a small "l"), and his proposed solutions are

The State of the Monetary .Reform. Movement

Money has been, a recurrent political issue, but from World War II on into the 1980's, it became
obscured from general public view. The debate, if there was any, shifted away from the proper
structuring of money and banking to mere policy issues . how to operate a system that was deemed by its
proponents to be .the best of all possible worlds.. Even today, the vast majority of people are oblivious
to the dysfunctions inherent in the dominant monetary regime and its impact upon their personal

Beginning in the nineteen-eighties with the advent of commercial .barter. or trade exchanges, and the
emergence from the grassroots of mutual credit associations and local currencies, the money issue once
more began to attract attention. From that time until the present, we have seen a rapid proliferation of
these systems around the world until they now number in the thousands. There is a growing recognition
of systems like LETS, Time Dollars, and local currencies. We have also seen a growing wave of activist
energy directed toward attempts to reform the dominant national monetary and financial systems, with a
particular emphasis on the matter of usury.

Encouraging as these developments might be, the movement remains fragmented and has yet to make a
significant economic impact or to involve more than a handful of individuals. The typical pattern for
grassroots-based mutual credit, LETS, and community currency systems is strong initial enthusiasm and
rapid growth in participation, followed by a slow decline and volunteer burn-out, followed by the system
either going defunct or limping along at a minimal level with little trading and a much diminished
participant base.

The pertinent questions, it seems to me are:

What are the main factors responsible for this pattern?

How can mutual credit and community currency systems be made to sustain themselves, and to thrive
beyond the initial spurt of enthusiasm?

And, perhaps more importantly , as was posed by one of my correspondents,
.What are the underlying issues that are preventing everyone seeking monetary reform from working
together,. and .How can we build synergy toward empowerment of the people?.

If we can find satisfactory answers to these last two questions, we will, I think, be well on our way
toward answering the others.

Here are some of my views on that.

First of all, there are, on the one hand, those who are aiming at monetary reform, and, on the other, those
who are seeking to transcend the dominant structures of money and banking. These two approaches are
quite different from one another. The former accepts as given the socio-political foundations of the
present regime and does not question its basic assumptions. The latter takes little for granted and seeks to
reinvent money and banking to better serve their intended purposes; it is a more thoroughgoing, more
"radical," approach that begins with a particular set of principles and ideals.

Most of the reform attempts, for example, accept the dogma of statism as the dominant "religion," and
believe the fallacy that the money power should rest solely in the hands of the state. A few would admit
the possibility of supplementing state (or central bank) money with local community currencies, but fail
to see the deeper implications. As Ulrich von Beckerath says, "extension of exchange transactions
without State money is in reality the beginning of a new system of settling accounts, indeed the
beginning of a new economic order."

I do not raise this point to further divide the "reformers" from the "transformers," but to show how they
might be brought into alignment toward a common goal. If the fundamental goal is "empowerment of the
people," then action needs to be taken on every level, and every opportunity must be exploited. If we can
find a way to ramp-up the pressure toward empowerment, then it will ooze into every available nook and
cranny and expand into every opportunity that presents itself. Sometimes it will look like a step toward
reform, and sometimes it will be a new, complementary approach to mediating exchange.
There are many of us who have become aware that solving the money problem is fundamental to solving
the other critical problems facing civilization, and have made it the central focus of our energies. I
believe that those of us who are serious about making a contribution to solving it must first educate
ourselves, learning everything we can about the principles of exchange and finance.

As a comparison, we might ask, Why were the Wright brothers successful in achieving manned powered
flight when so many others had failed? It seems clear to me that it is because their approach was
systematic. They learned all the could about the principles of flight by reading what others had already
learned, by observing the phenomenon of flight in nature, and by experimenting with different
possibilities that presented themselves.

We must do the same. It is important to study both the history of money and the theory of money, to
observe how things work in nature, to study the systems that already exist, and to design our experiments
to be unambiguous in their answers. What has and has not worked in the past? Who has proposed
promising solutions that have not yet been adequately tested or demonstrated? How, where, and under
what circumstances, can those proposed solutions be adapted to today's situation?

My own inclination is toward "freedom approaches," with a particular focus on what can be done by
associations of businesses, by grassroots organizations, and even by municipal and provincial
governments. I do not wish to shift control of the money monopoly from one group to another; I seek
ways to transcend it. Thanks to some very brilliant thinkers who have preceded us, I think we now have
an adequate understanding of the principles needed to design exchange mechanisms that are sound,
effective, and economical, but more importantly, honest, fair, and empowering. And, thanks to the new
computerized telecommunications technologies, we have the necessary tools and infrastructure to easily
implement them.

If the various approaches to solving the money problem are to be harmonized toward a common goal, we
must at least have a common understanding about what money is. After 25 years of intensive research, it
has only recently become clear to me that money has evolved through several different stages. We must
make a clear distinction among the different kinds of money that have been used, and understand the
characteristics and limitations of each. [I have written about this elsewhere, for example, in an article that
was published in NORFED's recent book, The Liberty Dollar Solution To the Federal Reserve. My
article entitled, New Money for Health Communities, begins on page 306.].

The main points I make in that article will be further elucidated in another book that I hope to complete
soon. Everyone needs to understand the progression in the chain of evolution of the exchange process. It
has evolved from simple barter, to commodity money, to symbolic money, to credit money, to credit
clearing. While all of these forms are called .money,. they are each distinctly different .animals. with
distinctly different characteristics. This will be further elaborated elsewhere.
For now, I wish to emphasize the point that commodity money, like gold and silver, while it may offer a
partial solution if and when things become chaotic, remains a primitive medium of exchange. It can serve
as a store-of-value, is useful for impersonal exchange transactions, and provides portability of wealth.
But ultimately, our best security is in our relationships with each other. Mutual credit clearing will
ultimately provide a much more efficient and effective mechanism for exchange, if we can achieve the
necessary level of organization. And, this need not be limited to small local circles, but can proliferate
into a federation that can span the globe.

In 2003, a team of associates established a new website called,, dedicated to
promoting freedom approaches to solving the money problem. More and more people are aiding in the
effort and we are gradually compiling and making accessible the most insightful and promising materials
available. I particularly recommend to everyone the writings of E. C. Riegel and Ulrich von Beckerath.
Yes, there is a lot there to read, but a good start can be made with Riegel's Flight From Inflation, and
Beckerath's The Practical Realization of the Milhaud Proposals. Just these two will provide a better
education in money and banking than can be had at any university.


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The Spirit of Money - Documentary Download

You can download spirit of money from EMULE!!

only a preview.

A short clip about economist Silvio Gesell, one of the fathers of the complementary currency movement. More information at



wonderufl talk:

and search for lietaer

must see:

RNZ SAT: Thomas Greco: community currencies
Saturday, 11 April, 2009 09:05 AM
Author, advisor and speaker on money who is a guest speaker at the upcoming
Community Currencies Conference 2009 in Wanganui.
Media files LISTEN TO THIS>>
sat-20090411-0905-Thomas_Greco_community_currencies-048.mp3 (11.2 MB)

Time: April 17, 2009 at 9am to April 19, 2009 at 4pm
Location: Quaker Settlement
Street: Virgina Rd
City/Town: Wanganui
Event Type: Conference
Organized By: Laurence Boomert and friends
Latest Activity: 7 Apr

Creating Resilient Communities / Trading through troubled waters

A combined conference of LE, LETS & NZTT

Sponsored by Smart Planet NZ Ltd

April 17, 18, 19 at the Quaker Settlement, Virginia Rd, Wanganui

Designing - an energy-backed currency. Margaret Jeffries & others: (several people are working on this conversation – alcohol biofuels, electricity, firewood, food and …seaweed (James Redwood)

Printing Local Money: Representatives from Wairarapa and Golden Bay on their printed local currencies.

Sustainable Currencies: Christoph and Peter

Interest Free Money: Bryan Innes on creating a hybrid of the J.A.K model.

Healthy Money Healthy Planet: Deirdre Kent

The Power of Cooperatives: with its long successful history here is a model that works for business large and small providing the alternative to Corporatism.

Business Barter: Outlining NZ's very successful Barter card

OOBY - Out of Our Own Backyards – Peter Russell from Waiheke will talk about a new internet trading systems based on sharing home production

The Barter Directory. Karen Russell will share about her experience setting up the very successful Australian Barter Directory at the beginning of the last recession.

LETS. History Now Future

Hawkes Bay E-Dollars. How NZ’s newest LETS grew to more than 70 members in less than 6 mths

NZs first Time Bank. Margaret Jeffries - A pilot project (in Lyttelton, Christchurch) that has attracted significant funding from a philanthropic Trust with the intention to share the findings at the end of the trial and encourage large scale up-take.

Converting National/Global Currency into Local Currency: Laurence Boomert

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