Samstag, 26. September 2009

Was nun?

Kimberley und Raphael sind zurück aus Tahiti. Ich möchte mich für die großartige Arbeit, die sie vor Ort geleistet haben, recht herzlich bedanken und bin gespannt, auf ihr endgültiges Resümee. Kimberleys Einträge werden mir fehlen. Sie waren nicht nur in der Sache interessant, sie haben mich auch immer wieder amüsiert. Ich mochte die humorvolle, selbstironische Art, in der Kimberley die Widrigkeiten und ihre daraus folgenden Befindlichkeiten geschildert hat...

Was machen wir jetzt mit diesem Blog? Schließen wir ihn ab? Lassen wir ihn als ein in sich geschlossenes Dokument stehen? Oder soll ich etwa alleine im Regen stehen bleiben und weiterhin von den großen Mühen und den kleinen Freuden der Schreibarbeit am Tahiti-Virus berichten? Ein Drittel des Buches ist fertig. Fühlt sich bisher ganz gut an. Vielleicht bringe ich es in aller Stille zu Ende und wir überlegen gemeinsam, welches Faß wir an anderer Stelle aufmachen und mit welchen Inhalten wir es füllen wollen. Wäre schön, wenn sich der eine oder andere dazu äußern würde.
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Freitag, 25. September 2009


Los Angeles

Topics of the day: customs, taro, crutches, Berliner, pilot, student, bus, melting pot, beach, architect

Although I absolutely hate flying (I didn’t get sick this time) the time went by quite fast (thanks to the lack of sleep I had accumulated over the last week) and felt a bit down (bad conscience not having achieved enough added to the artificial environment around me) I surprisingly met quite a few nice people in the States.

After leaving my fingerprints, photo and scan at the passport checkpoint I encountered a really nice customs officer who winked with an eye and let me through with the fresh Taro I had in my backpack (plan on gro… cooking and eating it of course). Thanks to my little brain cell I didn’t remember to pick up my crutches (ignorance is a bliss – when you’re not in pain you just forget that it exists) which meant I got a lot of exercise – walking around the buildings trying to get them back.

I still had enough time to take a bus down to Malibu Beach (a Berliner working at an info-point recommended it). On my way I met a pilot (who had never considered what impact peak oil could have on her job) – she thought I looked hungry so she gave me (70% organic (?!)) granola bars and gummy bears. On the bus I sat next to an Australian engineering student who was also heading for the beach. I went swimming in my underwear (glad the Americans in L.A. aren’t too uptight) and then pretty much hopped on the bus to get back again. I met a lady from Scotland (who somehow knew I was studying in Scotland – do I have it stamped on my forehead?) and listened to the bus driver talking to a passenger about fish quite loudly but in a very friendly manner. L.A. seems to be a multicultural melting pot – it’s not as anonymous as I had imagined it to be – that bus ride was quite a pleasant experience although I was afraid I’d miss my connecting flight.

On the plane I sat next to a young architect from Kazakhstan. She was quite open-minded so we talked about sustainable buildings… and I told her how the Polynesians used to build their “fare” – air-conditioning seems to be a big thing/problem in L.A. too… Hope mankind will smarten up a bit: just because some ideas have been around for a while doesn’t mean they’re not up-to-date/relevant – I’m so sick of techno-fixes…

Final thoughts of the day: Air New Zealand has recycled toilet-paper (small sheets – easier to dose/meter out) and organic soap wasn’t sure if I should be happy or cynical about that… green washing or actually trying? A drop in the ocean? Where does one start to make a difference?
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Donnerstag, 24. September 2009

Au revoir Tahiti


Topics of the day: Musée de Tahiti, final things to do, leaving on a jetplane

This morning I went to pick up the pictures and get another something at the market I’d forgotten yesterday. Roti, Hinano and I went to the Musée de Tahiti – they had planned on going anyway so I was happy to tag along. We walked around separately and there weren’t many other visitors so I enjoyed the peace and quiet in the deserted exhibition rooms. I love museums!

I must say that I got the impression the information boards were written by the French… they were all quite uncritical about colonization – but again – it is not for me to judge…

Back home we had lunch, I packed my things and then cycled to the beach (by the Royal Tahitien – not sure about the water quality so close to the city but since I didn’t have much time I decided to suppress that question – we’ll probably all die of cancer anyway and compared to the majority of humankind I probably live in a relatively (!) clean environment) while Roti had an appointment somewhere. I effectively used the time to make her a little photo album and write some last-minute postcards – and of course I took the time to jump into the pacific one last time…

When I got back Roti made me a 45-minute-summer dress (she's amazingly fast! ...but I'm afraid I will hardly ever get a chance to wear it) and helped me with the newsletter I was about to send out to the roughly 400 e-mail-addresses we collected during our stay (they add up to about 0,15 percent of the population, which might not sound much but if these people perpetuate the idea it might actually take off and spread :).

Just before I left I noticed a big wet spot (upon closer inspection I smelled cat-pee) on my pillow – Roti’s cat had decided to abuse it as a comfy toilet (if I hadn’t already had dinner, wasn’t a vegetarian and didn’t know how much Roti loves that little beast…). We quickly cleaned it and then went to the airport with Vaitua (conveniently he worked tonight so at least the car was full). Roti waited with me and gave me two necklaces with shells and seeds before I went through security.

Final thoughts of the day: I am so grateful that we met Roti!
It’s unfortunate that one can’t have little doors everywhere in the world through which one could just jump for a short visit – have a cup of tea with a friend…

There was a power failure (astonishingly the first one in three months) at the airport so they couldn’t weigh my backpack (on the digital scale) – that was probably a good thing - at least for my wallet… probably not for the poor luggage-guys who have to lift the thing.

We’re so dependent on electricity – nothing seems to work without it… well, except for love, I guess – apparently the birth rate nine month after power failures increases noticeably ;D

How much technology do we need?
Were the Polynesians happier before the Europeans landed on their shores?
When I sat in that steel bird I wondered how many people around me questioned whether it was right to fly or not… I also questioned my contribution to the success of this project…
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Mittwoch, 23. September 2009

Saying Goodbye


Topics of the day: wind turbines, market, time to say goodbye

When I woke up I was slightly disoriented – the sun’s up – why didn’t I wake up? Oh, no Raphael missed his flight! His mosquito-net is gone... all his stuff is gone. Okay it’s just me – I seem to have some naturally built in “log-sleep” (don’t wake up after having had only two hours of sleep). I had a bad conscience because I hadn’t said goodbye to Raphael in the evening – meant to take him to the airport with Roti. Hope he has an okay journey and finds a place to stay in L.A….

I assembled some wind turbines, cycled to the SEDEP to say thank you to Jean-Louis then left one on Rudolf’s porch (he wasn’t home) and one for Terii Vallaux and his assistant Jessica in the city, strolled over the market to buy some (useful) things to bring back home (capture a bit of Tahiti – Monoi-Tiare-oil (which is used as natural suntan-lotion, among other things…not that anyone could use it for that purpose in Germany or Scotland ;)).

When I came back we had dinner with Hinano and Carlos whom I had spontaneously invited (last chance to see him, I guess). Carlos and Roti actually know each other quite well – this island is so small :)

Final thoughts of the day: Days just go by so fast here – this was my last whole day and I didn’t get a chance to see the big waterfalls… wonder if I’ll ever come back - I’m already in greenhouse-gas-emissions-debt for the rest of my life…
Hope Raphael’s RE-mix-simulation and thesis-writing will be successful – but as far as I can assess his character (having met him only three months ago but spent almost 24-7 with him since then) he’ll come up with a decent solution. I am not going to comment on whether I am going to miss him or not… I guess I’m just a difficult person to live with – will enjoy having my own room back in Dundee ;)
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Dienstag, 22. September 2009

Time to pack


Topics of the day: Mahé, health care, TNTV, farewell-dinner

Today I got some pictures developed and met Mahé who is working on a research project about economics and lagoon preservation in Mo’orea for an NGO that seems to have slightly similar goals to the Equilibrism e.V. (at least in terms of looking at problems – and solutions from a more holistic point of view) since we didn’t have time to meet him when we went over to Mo’orea last Thursday.

He had an infection in one of his eyes (possibly pink-eye – what Raphael had in Ra’iatea) so I accompanied him to the emergency ward of the hospital which was actually quite full but since he was coming from Mo’orea (and the last ferry leaves quite early – he’d called earlier and the staff said he would definitely be treated) they were able to speed up the process. He has to take antibiotics – not great but probably inevitable this time… The healthcare system here seems to be quite good – Mahé said it was a lot better than in France (I have no experience so I couldn’t say) – but I heard that, just like in so many other areas, they’re overspending. I think it’s important for patients at least knowing what their treatment costs (in order to appreciate it a bit more) and being encouraged to keep fit and healthy (exercise and eat properly) which is also proposed in Equilibrism. I don’t think this is currently part of the system… at least I saw some posters raising awareness about how much fat (quite graphically displayed in the form of table-spoons) is in certain foods. But then again, awareness-raising just seems to be the first step. What makes people change once they know that their behaviour is actually unhealthy/unsustainable? I guess I should take up some psychology lectures…

Since we still had a bit of time before Mahé’s next appointment we went for lunch and walked through that nice garden behind the le Haut-commissariat (next to the Assemblée) and dipped our feet into the bain de la reine to cool off a bit and watch the fish nibbling at our toes. Mahé had an appointment with someone from TNTV (in the environmental section – which amazingly exists) which came in handy since I wanted to pick up the copies of the recordings from our bicycle action, Raphael’s interview and that breakfast show we were invited to last week. Unfortunately there are copy right issues so ended up leaving empty handed but the little flower I found on my bicycle immediately made up for the disappointment (I guess it’s those little things in life that make me happy :)

Then I cycled down to the market to buy large quantities of vegetables – now that I’m leaving they’ve learnt that I never take a plastic bag… Roti and I cooked dinner while Raphael finished packing up his things. Hinano, Johann and Rudolf came over to eat with us and we talked about – the Tahiti project - of course and about what is happening at the Atitia Centre (which is part of the Gump Research Station (UC Berkeley)) in Mo’orea. There is definitely synergy to be made use of. The four will probably go on a weekend trip to have a look at the centre.

After doing the final accounting/sorting through receipts (Raphael and I had a common budget item (?) – I hate dealing with money) and some other annoying “business” on my laptop I went to bed really late.

Final thoughts of the day: Mahé and I had so much to talk about – it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get a chance to continue with our conversation… maybe the world isn’t so small after all.
We invited Eliane over for dinner but she seems to have Dengue so she couldn’t make it – hope she feels better soon…
I wonder if and if so, how the project in Mo’orea will tie in with the Tahiti Projekt… if the people we have met and become friends with (and brought together/introduced to each other) will keep in touch and continue to be so motivated when we’re gone…
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So schnell wie die Wirklichkeit ist keine Fiktion

Auch für die Zukunftstechnologien gilt, dass die Grenzen des Wachstums erreicht sind. Die Hightech-Metalle Indium, Gallium, Tellur, Tantal oder Neodym, die zur Herstellung von Mobiltelefonen, Flachbildschirmen, Satellitentechnik und anderem Schnickschnack benötigt werden, gehen aus. Das berichtet das Berliner Institut für Zukunftsstudien und Technologiebewertung (IZT)...

Eigentlich könnte man sich darüber freuen, wenn nicht gleichzeitig die Photovoltaik-Industrie betroffen wäre. Auch Hybridautos haben kaum Zukunft, ebensowenig wie Elektromotoren. Schon jetzt gibt es Engpässe in der Herstellung von Elektroantrieben oder Brennstoffzellen. Es hängt eben alles von den schrumpfenden Hightech-Metallbeständen ab. Und da die Metalle meist in Kombination mit anderen verwendet werden, ist eine Wiederverwendung unmöglich. Dem IZT zufolge werden die Metalle in den nächsten zwanzig Jahren vier- bis sechsfach höher nachgefragt werden als heute. Neben wirtschaftlichen Problemen und massiven Preissteigerungen, die angesichts der Rohstoffverknappung drohen, werden die Engpässe natürlich auch zu politischen Spannungen, wenn nicht gar zu kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen führen. China, das 97 % der Neodym-Weltproduktion kontrolliert, hat bereits eine Exportbegrenzung angeordnet.

Ihr erinnert euch: Im "Tahiti-Projekt" bauen die USA und China illegal die Manganvorkommen in den polynesischen Gewässern ab, die von der UNO vor Jahren unter Schutz gestellt und zum gemeinsamen Erbe der Menschheit erklärt wurden. Diese Knollen enthalten all die oben beschriebenen Hightech-Metalle, die unsere Industriegesellschaft so dringend braucht. Beim schreiben des Buches hatte ich noch keine Ahnung, wie aktuell das Thema werden würde, aber wie schon in der "Ökodiktatur" scheint auch beim "Tahiti-Projekt" die Wirklichkeit die Fiktion zu überrollen. Sollen die Autoren über die Weitsicht stolz sein, die sie an den Tag gelegt haben?
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Montag, 21. September 2009

Invitation to the Assemblée


Topics of the day: Assemblée, daily duties, land reform

Today we were invited to the French Polynesian Assemblée (parliament) by two of the representatives. They wanted to know more about the Tahiti project and our work in particular. I would say they seemed relatively interested but regretted that Eric and Robert weren’t there. Raphael talked most of the time so it was more about renewables than about the project as a whole. It is always important to have a look at the specific steps for starting the transition but it’s essential to keep the bigger picture in mind (Equilibrism is a holistic socio-ecological economic concept and won’t work if only a small part of the problem is treated). I kept being interrupted by a certain person –probably because what I had to say was neither valid nor diplomatic enough… All in all I would say it was quite useful to talk to some of the more motivated and open-minded politicians though and I hope they will push for change.

In the afternoon I caught up with writing the blog, sorted through all the pictures I took and fought against my e-mail flood while Raphael encountered some actual waves (he went surfing with Vaitua since it’s his last day tomorrow).

In the evening we had dinner with Vaitua and saw Roti in a talk show on TV. It was in Tahitian so I only understood “fiffi” (problem) and “fenua” (earth/home/our land)… It seemed Roti stood alone with her opinion and all her (5 male) opponents (including the moderator) kept picking on her and tried to interrupt her all the time but she didn’t let them and stood up for herself. I wish I’d have enough time here to learn Tahitian…

Final thoughts of the day: During the meeting (which took place outside under a traditional roof) we heard a splash – a curious tourist had fallen into the “bain de la reine” (little pond next to the Assemblée in which the queen used to go swimming, I guess).
It would be amazing if a land reform here actually worked – I guess that’s a very, if not the most crucial step towards a more equitable system (forgot to mention that rights over the land in Polynesia was one of the topics discussed in the talk show…I think).
We met Eliane, a German documentary film maker who has read the Tahiti Projekt and apparently helped make this meeting at the Assemblée possible.
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Sonntag, 20. September 2009



Topics of the day: writing, European Mobility week, mobilizing people, writing

Today I had a lot to catch up on blog entries and e-mails, corrected a stack of leaflets (we’d printed too many for the last bike action) and Raphael, Roti and I cycled downtown to distribute them – advertise for the one next month (which Roti will have to do on her own in case no one else turns up ;). It was so relaxing – all six lanes of the road by the port were closed for cars meaning open for runners, cyclists, skateboards,… they had a stage with loud music and dance instructors, horses in the Bougainville, a bike parcours, some car for security demonstrations (not quite sure how they fit into ecological means of transportation… maybe because you need less hospital resources and less materials to fix your car if you avoid accidents…). We distributed and possibly also talked to about 153 people before we went back to our actual work.

Raphael prepared for our big meeting and we made sure to “synchronise” our opinions (or at least appear to in front of the politicians we’ll encounter tomorrow) while I wondered about storage capacities (since apparently pumped hydro storage isn’t feasible on a big scale and there is an insufficient potential for biomass), placing parabolic trough power plants on the ocean and wrote…

Final thoughts of the day: Apparently the city spent 14 000 000 CFP on the European Mobility Week… if only NGO’s had half of that money…
I’m tired, but shall be motivated and optimistic tomorrow!
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Samstag, 19. September 2009



Topics of the day: Bye-bye civilization, hiking, farewell-dinner

Robert decided that he should take at least a few hours to experience the nicer side of the island so I decided to join him for a hike. We almost made it up to the clouds – but not quite to the top (maybe up to 1700 meters)… the view was breathtaking and we glad to be away from civilization – no cars, no rumpus, no people (except for a few scattered wanderers), no stress just fresh air, trees and a winding dirt path – nature…

After our return we had a farewell-dinner for Eric and Robert with Johann over at Roti’s house. She had prepared sushi (and other fishy things and luckily also veggies ;) – everyone loved the feast. We philosophized about politics and uncorrupt presidents – after saying good bye to everyone we made a smooth transition from daydreaming (Utopia) to actually sleeping.

Final thoughts of the day: It’s unfortunate Robert and Eric couldn’t stay a little longer – they were only here to work and didn’t really get a chance to relax.
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Freitag, 18. September 2009



Topics of the day: packing, meeting, eco-quartier, cleaning, wind-turbine-assembly, Johann, Roti

Today we packed, met up with Terii Vallaux, his assistant Jessica, Mizael, Roti and Hinano to discuss the public participation solar farm/community solar rooftop project – D2-attitude is thinking more along the lines of CO2-compensation projects (companies and individuals paying to “neutralize” their emissions elsewhere (on the smaller islands/atolls) – modern letters of indulgence (but I think I’ve mentioned this before) and Terii mentioned their lack of human “resources” meaning Raphael and I will probably sit down with Hinano and Roti to make a plan but we’ll definitely need someone who knows about the local (financial) frame, how to establish an operating company (with limited liability), etc.,… If I understood the two correctly they want to start up an “eco-quartier” which would obviously be a more holistic approach – not just looking at the energy aspect.

In the afternoon I cleaned the flat and assembled some wind turbines (the card-board ones we give away as a thank-you) while Raphael moved our things and got some help from Roti writing e-mails in French. In the evening we took Johann out for dinner to thank him for sharing his apartment and putting up with us for so long. Then we officially moved in with Roti.

Final thoughts of the day: I’m so thankful for our friends here. I sure couldn’t name many people in Germany who would just share their house/flat (with strangers !) for such a long time.
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Donnerstag, 17. September 2009



Topics of the day: strike, eco-sinners, mayor, technology and culture, Berkeley research, traditional architecture, medicine, volunteers, concrete

At 6:15 Robert and Eric picked us up and we drove to the port where Raphael’s apprehension proved to be true – the ferries to Mo’orea weren’t running because Temaru, the president wants to bring in a new large ferry which would obviously represent tough if not outrivaling competition, so they were on strike the whole day, which meant that we “had to” overcome our environmental inhibition threshold, drive to the airport and hop onto a steely bird that only took 7 minutes to fly across from Tahiti to Mo’orea. We showed up at the city hall (a modest one story building) an hour late.

After patiently listening to Eric’s elaborate explanation of Equilibrism and the Tahiti Projekt, the mayor made a modest but assertive statement: “it’s already being done”. We couldn’t hide our astonishment – the forward-looking institution he mentioned clearly represented a severe gap in our research. Why did we not know about this and why hadn’t even Roti and Rudolf heard about this?

The mayor was so kind to forewarn the researchers at the Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station, which was established in Mo’orea in 1985 by the University of California, Berkeley, that we were about to “intrude”. The research which is being conducted there seems to be quite holistic. They have launched a Biocode Project to genetically sequence every species on the island and set up a database which will be accessible to all researchers worldwide. Now the thing that sets it apart from other academic research projects: in the process of identifying and digitally cataloguing the various species, the researchers consult the elderly (locals) to find out what the species is called in Tahitian, what it used to be used for and everything else they know about it. And then there is the Atitia Center which consists of an ethnobotanic garden, a fare pote’e (traditional Tahitian meeting house), and the waterfront of a marine reserve and is devoted to community outreach and educational activities.

Hinano (not Roti’s friend – it seems to be quite a common female name here), who coordinates the Atitia Center showed us the site and explained how knowledge (about medicine, building houses, agriculture, art,…) will be passed on from the elderly to the younger generation in the fare pote’e. We met a bunch of volunteers who were just having uru for lunch and told us that they work here all day, every day – sometimes even on weekends. Robert eagerly filmed Hinano and her husband Frances who also coordinates a project at the research station.

Then we met Pierre (who wrote a book about agriculture in Mo’orea) and his son Alain, an organic farmer who also cultivates mahogany trees (to be used as a local building material) and brings in children to teach them about sustainable agriculture

After a really late lunch we drove (! lack of time…) up to the Belvedere where Robert captured the South Seas flair on film (which could be a very effective way to sell the documentary) while Eric, Raphael and I enjoyed the stunning view over the island. We rushed to our next appointment but had to realise that there was no point in shaking hands and then leaving again after two minutes. I am quite disappointed that we ran out of time – I’m sure Alex du Prel who brings out the monthly magazine “Tahiti-Pacifique” (which is independent – unlike Les Nouvelles and La Depeche) would have been very interesting to talk to.

After returning the rental car we had to wait ages for our flight back – the airport was crammed and the staff probably wasn’t prepared to deal with all the passengers that would have normally taken the ferry. We ended up getting back to Pape’ete around 21:00 instead of 18:00 – if we had only know this earlier we could have also met up with Mahé who is working on a study about environmental economics at the CRIOBE (Centre de recherches insulaires et observatoire de l'environnement)…

Back in Pape'ete Eric, Robert and Raphael went to have something to eat at a roulotte. I went "home" to do an online-test about concrete (for Civil Engineering Materials and the Environment) - my university is every... wonder if the internet is a blessing or a curse and if my professors really believe that ecofriendly concrete exists!

Final thoughts of the day: I think the end did justify the means (today)…
Our visit there was highly informative and gave us new hope.
I wish we could have spent some more time in Mo’orea…
Mixing traditions and cultural heritage with modern technology is a balancing act..
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Mittwoch, 16. September 2009

Gross National Happiness


Topics of the day: headache, EDT, life-management, redtapism, happiness

Today I actually wanted to go downtown and attack a few more passers-by with 24 questions each or at least read a bit, but ended up bumming around writing emails (the people I’m in contact with has increased exponentially thanks to the Tahiti-project) and postcards (it’s about time otherwise I’ll be back before they arrive – 3 month can just fly by…), sorting out my timetable, creating a To-Do-Mind-map (with all the things I still have to do in Tahiti and stuff I really should get done in Dundee), figuring out our expenditures (Raphael paid for everything together) and thinking about gross national happiness (stimulated by Dirk’s last blog entry). That should really be our goal: ensure that people are happy!

I managed to stay in the apartment the entire day while Raphael went to EDT (my headache didn’t really help improve the opinion I have of EDT, so I decided it would be a smarter move/more diplomatic not to join him) – astonishingly he got all the data we’d asked for and possibly even convinced them of paying the fee for him to attend the 4th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (which takes place in Berlin at the end of November) organized by EUROSOLAR and the WCRE (World Council for Renewable Energy). I wish I could go there too but I’ll be busy studying for exams…

Final thoughts of the day: Sometimes there’s just so much to do that I don’t know where to start and I lose sight of the actual objective: dramatically increasing gross global happiness!

I’m quite excited about going to Mo’orea with Eric and Robert tomorrow.
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Welch ein Glück!

Ich reise im "Tahiti-Virus" mit Maeva, Cording und Steve ja um die Welt und wie ich bereits an anderer Stelle erzählt habe, ist das Internet, ist Wikipedia und Google-Earth dabei äußerst hilfreich. Im letzten Kapitel traf meine kleine Delegation die heute immer noch unter Hausarrest stehende Aung San Suu Kyi. Im Roman ist Burma seit zwölf Jahren von der Militärjunta befreit und Suu Kyi (inzwischen 82) mischt wieder munter mit in der Politik des Landes. Suu Kyi begleitet Maeva im nächsten Kapitel in das Königreich Bhutan im Himalaya, wo das oberste Ziel der Verfassung die nationale Glückseligkeit ist! Das habe ich nicht erfunden, das ist bereits heute fest geschrieben! Um sicher zu stellen, dass der Staat seiner Aufgabe nachkommt, werden die Bürger von Bhutan regelmäßig nach ihrem Glückszustand befragt. Es gibt sogar ein mit modernsten Computern ausgerüstetes Glücksvermessungsbüro. In einem Film, den ich auf 3sat gesehen habe, sagt der Chef dieses Büros die folgenden bemerkenswerten Worte, die ich euch nicht vorenthalten möchte...

"In einigen Teilen unseres Landes haben wir bei der Glückserhebung einen hohen Frustrationsgrad festgestellt. Es lässt sich mit der Befragung ziemlich genau lokalisieren, wo die Frustration am höchsten ist. Wir klopfen alle möglichen Variablen von Unzufriedenheit ab, wir erstellen eine Art Landkarte der Befindlichkeit. Wir messen den emotionalen Querschnitt der ganzen Nation. Damit wollen wir herausfiltern, was die Emotionen der Leute negativ beeinflusst. Wenn man das regelmäßig wiederholt, kann man einen Trend für das Glück festmachen.
Durch die weltweite Finanzkrise kühlt sich die Wirtschaft gerade ab. In gewisser Weise ist es doch genau das, was wir jetzt dringend brauchen. Wir haben endlich die Gelegenheit, langsamer zu werden und die Produktion umweltgerecht umzustellen, auf mehr Freundlichkeit zu achten und die Menschen glücklicher zu machen. In Bhutan leben viele Dörfer noch am Rande des Existenzminimums. Glück und Schicksal sind aber nicht mit Geld verknüpft, sondern mit Butter, Brot und mit menschlichen Kontakten. All das garantieren wir. Ich hatte gehofft, dass die Krise ein Umdenken auf höchstem Niveau mit sich bringt, auf Regierungsebene in Amerika, Europa, Japan. Aber stattdessen reden sie doch nur darüber, wie sie mit noch mehr Geld das Geschwür der Gier am Leben erhalten können. Nichts ändert sich dort draußen ...“

Ob Frau Merkel-Steinmeier überhaupt weiß, wovon der Glückserheber redet? Wohl kaum. In den Streitgesprächen zur Bundestagswahl, die jetzt allabendlich über die Mattscheibe laufen, ist ausschließlich von Geld die Rede. Das Zauberwort heißt - na? Wisst ihrs? Ja, richtig; Wachstum! Von Ökologie ist nur die Rede, wenn sie Arbeitsplätze schafft. Das nenne ich ein mutiges neues Bewußtsein am Rande des Abgrunds. Leute schenkt euch die Wahl, denn ihr habt sie nicht. Zeigt den Politkaspern wo sie hingehören: in den Orkus (in der römischen Mythologie das Totenreich der Unterweltsherrscher)!
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Dienstag, 15. September 2009

This blog-entry doesn't deserve a title...


Topics of the day: TNTV, copra, statistics, writing, discussions

We got up at 4:30, cycled up the hill to TNTV, were loaded up with make-up (even Raphael – I thought we looked awfully artificial but hope no one looking at a screen noticed) and sat down across from Esther, the presenter of the breakfast show “Iaora te Fenua” who started with the news and then interviewed us about our project. I must say I felt a lot more comfortable in front of the camera than I thought I would (although it was live) that’s probably because I know that the Polynesian population is generally very easy-going and forgiving.

After the interview we went “home” for breakfast and then cycled over to the agriculture ministry to find out about the potential for copra as a primary energy source. We received some interesting statistics (copra production of the different islands). The curve (quantity produced against time) showed troughs for the years where cyclones occurred and peaks for the years where the government intensively subsidized the production.

I cycled over to Roti, finished digitalizing the paper-questionnaires and drew some conclusions. Strangely 65% of the women but only 44% of the men I asked prefer small installations (like solar panels and wind turbines on rooftops) to large ones (big wind parks or solar farms). I also compared the answers I got on the street to the responses we obtained from the online survey. They all have the same trend but former crowd seems to be more eco-conscious than the internet users…

Then I triked over to the Royal Tahitien to deliver a message to Eric – the two weren’t “home” yet (they’re quite busy meeting lots of people who will potentially be interviewed again for the actual documentary film which will be made in February) so I sat in the shade under the traditional handmade roof, enjoyed the breeze and the peace and quiet (only heard the cars in the distance) and wrote while I waited for them to come home.

In the evening the five of us had dinner together and discussed the project (what else could one possibly talk about ;). I cycled “home” relatively early since I was pretty exhausted from the long day – I think I’m getting old ;)

Final thoughts of the day: Today someone said to me that I have a very naïve way of perceiving injustice.
I think children look at reality in a less distorted manner than adults... How many people would chose to see the world from a child’s perspective again, if they could?

Eric and Robert said that the meeting with Christian, the publisher from “Au Vent des Iles” was quite promising. I really hope “Le Projet Tahiti” will be printed by a Polynesian publisher…
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Montag, 14. September 2009



Topics of the day: questionnaires, hydropower, Point Venus, Pomare-grave, market, Roti, asylum

Today I worked on the questionnaires again and the four of us went to look at one of the hydropower-plants which was quite interesting (it’s quite amazing how little space the two 3 MW-turbines took up on the ground – but I guess one has to consider the huge amounts of materials (pipes and dams) that one can’t grasp at first glance). Robert exhausted himself with his camera and filmed Eric, Raphael, me and the two people from EDT we talked to - although it was raining – hope his camera will forgive Robert’s ambitions nature. I guess I will spare the reader of the details of the interviews (since I wrote so much for yesterday) – just so much: there are optimists and pessimists and we need to say goodbye to the idea of “cost” in the conventional sense if we really want to get anywhere.

We managed to get some useful data for Raphael’s simulation before driving to Point Venus (a black beach with a lighthouse) where the three kept discussing the project while I took some time off and grabbed my fins to have a closer look at biodiversity (to have a close look at what we’re trying to save) through my diving mask.

Then Robert and Eric dropped us off at “home” quickly stopping by the royal grave of the Pomare family (which is made out of black coral).

In the afternoon I went to the market and then we actually wanted to cook dinner over at Roti’s all together. My social skills aren’t always the best (to say the least) so I took off to buy some crackers, visit Eric and write a bit while Raphael and Robert pursued the original plan. After calming down, talking to Rudolf and Eric (regaining optimism – at least a bit) I went back to find two empty bottles of wine and three optimistic people (all starting with R ;) happily cooking up plans. I apologized for my misbehavior and cycled home, feeling slightly better about the end of the day.

Final thought of the day: When I look up to the stars I just realize again how small I am and wonder if I should maybe forget about saving the planet (could I possibly make a difference) - but how can I even dare to think about quitting in order to blindly enjoy life, knowing that there are billions of people living today and in the future that (will) suffer?
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Sonntag, 13. September 2009

Disillusions and Aloha


Topics of the day: island tour, rain, discussions, silence, teenagers, agriculture, Marae, film

Today we set off with Robert and Eric in their rental car – using fossil fuels (just to share some of the cynical comments that were made in that poor soulless piece of steel on wheels which never harmed a fly… prescinding from a closer look at the wind shield – which would doubtlessly exhibit traces of insect intestines). We drove all the way to the Presque-Ile (Tahiti Iti) feeling like monkeys (munching on those sweet little bananas Eric had bought at one of the little stalls at the side of the road which are so common here (usually private people who have a surplus of produce in their gardens)).

We actually didn’t want to talk about “work” today but couldn’t help getting into a discussion on where and how to best start the Tahiti project – put the theory into practice (well most theories in the book “Equilibrism” (which currently isn’t available in English yet – at this point let me stress that money doesn’t stink… well it does in our current system, or maybe even in general but that’s what we (still) have to work with - so if you have any to give away, dear reader, don’t be shy ;) are proven just not all in one place – which is obviously our goal).

Up on a mountain I heard something for the first time in Tahiti - well I actually didn’t: silence. No car to be heard – a moment of tranquility can really help the soul calm down a bit. We stood by a little hut/refuge which was full of graffiti and lettering of people who wanted to eternise themselves there. We philosophised about teenagers revolting all around the world and pondered on why they often seem to rebel in the direction they do (which is mostly destructive and towards consumerism) and wondered how a whole generation could be persuaded to move onto the “right” (I know, objectivity doesn’t exist) path… I just came to the conclusion that it must be possible somehow (don’t ask how – my internal eternal optimist said so).

It rained almost all day so we didn’t go look at the waterfalls (in which Cording and Maeva, the two protagonists in Dirk’s (first) book (about Tahiti) go for a swim) we just went to see the agricultural area (in Eric’s vision including the golf course - I really like his way of looking at things :) which seemed so vast that we proclaimed it to be sufficient to nourish the entire Tahitian population. At this point I sheepishly indicated that there had been wars over resources (which aren’t mentioned in the history section of shiny tourist magazines) when Tahiti had a population 150.000 – now the island has roughly 180.000 inhabitants… I guess everyone will just have to eat less! We really need some statistics about agricultural area, productivity/fertility of the soil and how big the area needed for one vegetarian (my assumption/suggestion – starting to think about eco-dictatorship again – Dirk has planted some (more) radical thoughts into my little brain ;) Tahitian. And if we don’t like the statistics, some Tahitians will just have to move back to the islands and atolls where they were born… and the French have to go back home anyway – obviously I’m just kidding again… sorry we had a pretty cynical day, maybe because it rained so much and we had prepared for a sunny Sunday to enjoy the dolce far niente…

On our way back we listened to Eric reminiscing about past times in Tahiti (I’m afraid he got a bit disillusioned when we drove past another armada of construction workers installing a massive concrete wall) and visited the Marae (ancient cultural site made of rocks which was used for assembly, worship and other spiritual purposes – there are not many left in French Polynesia because missionaries used the rocks to build churches) in Paea which Raphael and I had been to before. Then we went to another “drive through”-marae (culture-to-go) – it looked pretty sad: buildings on both sides, weeds starting to reclaim their territory (can’t they reclaim “modern architecture” (ugly concrete buildings) instead?!) and not even a sign explaining this cultural and formerly spiritual site…

In the evening I actually wanted to get some work done but we were so exhausted (from sitting in the steel-beast on wheels all day!) that we borrowed one of Johann’s films – starring him – about time-travel and surfing (apparently it’s still a box office success in Hawaii). Back in 1911 there was only one hotel in O’ahu; people still spoke Hawaiian (I think the language has now died out), they used horses to get about, ate local food around a big table with the whole family and surfed on wooden boards -yes, and they died of pneumonia and didn’t have chocolate.
Wonder if I’d still be happier if I could travel back in time…

Final thoughts of the day: If you want to pull off a tag you either need to find a corner that is already sticking up a bit or you need to have really sharp fingernails…

How does one unite people who strive towards the same goal but all have different ideas of how to get there?

Apparently we were on the news last night – Johann will try to get us a copy from his TNTV-colleagues… (this thought seems so absolutely inane next to the others!)

Aloha means love, compassion, affection, peace, mercy…
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Samstag, 12. September 2009



Topics of the day: questionnaire, filming, pirogue, uru, Rudolf and Belinda, Curitiba

In the morning I started digitalizing the results of the paper-questionnaires I’ve done out on the streets – a quite monotonous job – but I’m already looking forward to comparing the results with the online-survey (wonder if they’re going to be noticeably different – are internet-users here just like the average person on the road?). Raphael and Robert went on the roof and also to the abandoned waste-incineration-plant to do some filming/be filmed (luckily I’m not very filmogenic which meant that I got some peace and quiet to work).

In the afternoon we went over to Rudolf and tried out his pirogue – it is really difficult to keep the balance (one has to lean over to the side with the outrigger) – Robert and I went swimming (on purpose of course), Raphael and Eric stayed dry – wonder why ;)

Rudolf made a fire and cooked an uru (breadfruit - as a starter). It tasted so good that I hardly had any of the main course (taro and other local vegetables (well, and fish – but I’m a veggie)). Rudolf’s house-mate Belinda told us how she had built her house (the traditional way without air-conditioning) and out of mostly local material but that she had to put corrugated metal sheets on top of the naturally made roof because she feared that fireworks would burn it down.

Her and Eric had a vivid (and loud) discussion about the land-reform, politics, corruption and the attitude of the people here – the rest of us listened and modestly participated ;)

Final thought of the day: On the one hand I hope that Eric and Robert get to meet some more politicians (especially the president – the meeting keeps being postponed) but on the other hand I wonder if it’s going to make a difference.
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Gruß an die Ritter vom Orden der Zuversicht

Das erste Viertel des "Tahiti-Virus" (85 Seiten) ist geschafft, es fühlt sich gut an. Wenn ich meinen Schreibrhythmus beibehalte, dürfte die Rohfassung im Februar wie geplant vorliegen.

Ich freue mich immer noch sehr über Kimberleys "Tahitianisches Tagebuch", besonders spannend finde ich es zur Zeit, über die Aktivitäten von Eric und Robert zu lesen. Seid gegrüßt, ihr Ritter vom Orden der Zuversicht!

An die Leser dieses Blogs habe ich eine herzliche Bitte: gebt die Adresse ( an Freunde und Interessierte weiter. Wir präsentieren hier schließlich eine außergewöhnliche Dokumentation über den Fortgang eines Projekt, das seinesgleichen sucht. Finanziert aus der hohlen Hand (will sagen: aus bescheidenen persönlichen Mitteln). Da täte ein wenig Zuspruch schon gut. Wie sagte John Lennon anlässlich eines Beatles-Konzerts in der Royal Albert Hall: "Die Fans auf den billigen Plätzen dürfen gerne in Begeisterungsstürme ausbrechen, den Herrschaften in den teuren Logen empfehle ich, mit ihren Juwelen zu rasseln ..."
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Freitag, 11. September 2009

Eric and Robert Spreading the Idea


Topics of the day: EDT, Mizael, interview, Roti, Jacky Bryant

At 7:00 we walked over to the bus stop just to wait about 40 minutes to get into the wrong bus (which was empty so the bus driver was so kind and to make a detour and drop us off in front of EDT). We met Francois Dupont (the superior of the last EDT-employee we met) – a deadly realistic and dominant person who doesn’t seem to have a vision for sustainable development in French Polynesia (according to the principle: we’re not the ones who are in the position to set an example – we have insufficient financial means to become cutting-edge pioneers – let’s just stick to the old system and wait for the others to take action – how I hate this attitude!). I felt like he was looking down on us – he tried to fob us off with one of those shiny but vague power point presentations and said that EDT had nothing to hide when we urged him to give us some more detailed data. It seemed like he wanted to convince us that an energy supply consisting of 100% renewables was impossible in Tahiti and prevent us from going out there and telling everyone that it was - which would obviously put EDT on the spot – people would want to see actions if the feasibility was theoretically proven.

Then we rushed back “home” (by bus) to cycle over to the Royal Tahitien (well Raphael cycled, I just sat on the cross bar - and we’re still faster than most cars in the city) where we had an appointment with a journalist from Les Nouvelles de Tahiti (the second most popular local newspaper which has smaller pictures and a bit more writing than the Depêche) while Robert and Eric had a chat with Mizael.

We went over to Roti’s for leftovers (had made way too much pasta last night) and then back to the Royal Tahitien where we met Jacky Bryant (the “green” politician who’d given us a ride “home” in his SUV after we met him at Tia and Tino’s) and the president’s daughter. The two seemed quite interested in what Eric told them about the Tahiti Project. They both got one of the rare copies of the unpublished French edition of the book. Rudolf had also invited the environment minister but he didn’t turn up… (wonder if he felt embarrassed (not having done his “homework”) and feared Eric would ask what he thought of the book Raphael and I gave him 2 month ago – obviously this is mere speculation and it’s not for me to judge).

Final thoughts of the day: Eric seems to be in his element. Even though I’ve heard him present the project to several people I still enjoy listening to him – he’s such an eternal optimist :)

Robert has a hard time understanding the people here (which doesn’t make filming any easier for him) – would be really handy to have a Babel fish!

It’s raining cats and dogs but I think I should head “home” now – and have a warm shower on the way :)
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Donnerstag, 10. September 2009

Too many Contacts…


Topics of the day: contacts, comic, documentary film contents, questionnaires

Today I wrote a bit and tried finding out the phone number of Steve Lejeune who draws futuristic dystopian comics (Tahiti in the year 2040, severely battered by climate change drugs and violence) for the Depêche (one of the two most read/looked at newspapers of questionable “informative” content). Since the Polynesians aren’t really big on reading we thought it might be an idea to contact him and see whether he’d be interested in the graphical realization of the Tahiti Project in order to make it more accessible to the general public.

Then I talked to someone from France who had contacted me via e-mail to ask about the online survey service provider we are using for our questionnaire. He’ll be coming to Moorea next week to conduct a survey on environmental economics for an NGO and forwarded me the contact details of a research institute (focusing on sustainable development) and two people there (economists) who might be interesting for Eric and Robert to meet. We want to go over to Moorea next week. Eric had the idea of establishing an information center/museum there to familiarize the locals with some of the key aspects of Equilibrism (different money system, agriculture, architecture, education, health care, clothing, transport, renewable energy,…).

In the afternoon Robert and Eric came over and we sorted out appointments with all sorts of people. We had dinner together at Roti’s and talked about the contents of documentary, collected ideas to prevent it from becoming a talking-heads-only thing. Roti (with her couturier-background) could for example show some local plants out of which one could extract fibers to spin and make fabric, Mizael (the teacher from 2D-Attitude) could be filmed teaching his class about sustainability (emphasizing the importance of a holistic learning)…

Final thoughts of the day: Wonder what I did all day - I actually wanted to digitalize the questionnaires.

So far about 300 people have taken part in our online survey and I’m quite pleased with the results form an idealistic point of view – of course I’m neutral – if people mean what they say/click/write (in the comment part) the world (or at least French Polynesia) is in apple-pie order :)
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Mittwoch, 9. September 2009

Mixed Feelings


Topics of the day: Pierre, crisis, public participation solar farm, socialising

In the morning Eric, Robert and I went to meet Pierre Blanchard (the independent consultant) while Raphael went to the TEP again to get a plan of the electricity grid. He showed us his house which is crammed with thousands of books and traditional Polynesian and Papua New Guinean (and other) sculptures and instruments and explained his photovoltaic panels. He has 6,5 kW installed and feeds more electricity into the net than he uses. When I asked about the potential/rooftop surface area of the houses in Tahiti – he rebuked me so ruggedly that I had a bad conscience for being so incompetent - I should have looked through all the data he had given us a few weeks ago before asking.

When I got back I had a little crisis (negative energy) which I would prefer not to describe in detail… five ants aren’t enough to move an anthill… unfortunately I didn’t feel like an ant in every aspect – I guess ants don’t have personal problems (although one can never say for sure)

The second half of the day turned out to be a lot more pleasant. While Eric and Robert met someone whom they might interview for the film in February Raphael and I talked to Jean-Louis (from the SEDEP). Roti and Rudolf joined us and I think the three could potentially be the nucleus of the public participation solar farm… The meeting wasn’t attended by quite as many people as we had hoped but Jean-Louis definitely has the technical know-how and motivation to support the people who “only” possess latter.

Later on Robert, Eric, Hinano and Johann joined us and we socialized for the rest of the evening. Of course the focus of our conversation remained the Tahiti project but the atmosphere was more relaxed than in official meetings and no one seemed to mind that I left the gathering for a bit to hop over the wall of the restaurant (of the Royal Tahitien – where most of our meetings seem to be taking place now that Robert and Eric are staying there) onto the narrow black beach and into the darkness of the ocean.

Final thought of the day: Time’s running up and I don’t have enough energy to get everything done – I need some intrinsic motivation!
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Dienstag, 8. September 2009



Topics of the day: Nuihau, TNTV, Pomare, planning

At 7:30 we met Nuihau, Robert and Eric at the “Royal Tahitien” (the hotel the two are staying at which is also mentioned in the book – good job Dirk: you described the place in such detail that I thought I’d been there before). Nuihau and Eric really got along very well (two generalists) and I think Robert was also quite fond of the idea of interviewing Nuihau for the documentary film in February.

At 9:00 we had an appointment with Vaimiti, the reporter from TNTV who had already interviewed us on Saturday for the bike-action. In the course of our conversation with Nuihau, Roti and Hinano had turned up so Vaimiti used the opportunity to capture their opinion on the motor show – the two demanded tax exemption for (more ecofriendly/less environmentally destructive) electric cars - then she took a shot of Raphael with a Motu (reef islet formed by broken coral and sand surrounding an island/atoll) in the background – he explained that it would soon disappear (due to the sea level rising) to suggest that it would be wiser switching over to renewables sooner rather than later. Then we cycled over to “our” 9-story skyscraper – we had to wait 5 minutes before Vaimiti arrived in her company car (we passed the traffic jam) – so she could get some shots of us with empty rooftops (lots of free space for photovoltaic panels) in the background. When I talked to Vaimiti about freedom of the press she said that she felt that she could report about relevant (environmental) issues quite openly.

Raphael called a few of our contacts to arrange meetings for Eric and Robert while I cleaned the apartment (Johann had already commented on the dust bunnies which had started populating the floor (my excuse: we weren’t “home” very much)).

In the afternoon Roti, Rudolf, Robert, Eric and I went to see Joinville (Pomare XI) whose accession to the throne was to take place on the 9th.

What amazed me most was Pomare mentioning them (a group of 50 young activists (with kids)) occupying an uninhabited atoll (Mopelia) in 1987 and building up a self-sufficient commune. In 1992 they were forcefully removed by Gaston Flosse and the French. What a shame…

I must admit Rudolf made a valid point (having “royal blood” in his veins himself) by explaining (to Robert – not in front of Pomare) that French Polynesia or even Tahiti didn’t just have one king but several. Pomare V was given power over the other kings and then made an alcoholic by the French so he was quasi artificially superior.

In the evening Raphael cycled over to the Royal Tahitien from where we set out with Robert to find a “roulotte” (restaurant on wheels) before getting appointments sorted out. We talked about the nature of mankind and tried to find a point from where the theoretical concept of Equilibrism could best be put into action (looking at plastic cups, imported steak and SUV’s around us maybe not the optimal ambiance to discuss this matter). Eric still didn’t feel too well so he stayed at “home” and just had some bananas.

Final thoughts of the day: Wonder if the “king” is going to read the book “Le projet Tahiti” which Eric and Robert gave him and if he does, what he’ll think about it…

I have the feeling that we’re bringing people together who really have a lot to tell each other: Rudolf and Roti or Nuihau and Eric for example – it’s good to watch people sharing and developing ideas. That’s what keeps alive my hope that a brighter future isn’t just some crackbrained utopian dream.
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Montag, 7. September 2009

Happy :)


Topics of the day: Eric and Robert, regional currency, documentary film

Today Roti and Rudolf picked up Robert and Eric at the airport because we thought we’d have an appointment with TNTV. It turned out we didn’t so we went to the bike-shop to get some spare parts (brake pads) for Vaitua’s bike which he has kindly lent me (one needs to break with the feet). Then we cycled over to Roti’s were she showed up with our “reinforcement” followed by Rudolf. We had a really nice (mostly local) lunch and some good conversations. Robert told Roti about the documentary film he’s planning on making (with Eric’s help) in February to show the different perspectives people in Tahiti have and portray their views on the book “Le projet Tahiti” and whether they could picture a vision like this for the year 2022.

I think Roti was very pleased to see Vaitua so interested in what Eric had to say about regional currency*. The other day she said she regretted that her children didn’t turn out like Raphael and me – as forward looking activists… We pretty much talked all day.

Just before sunset Robert and I managed to go for a brisk dip in the ocean (felt like I hadn’t been swimming in ages) before we went back to Roti’s house for some Crepes. Eric and Robert’s jetlag seemed contagious so we went to bed fairly early too.

*regional currency: encourages people to spend money on local products/in neighbourhood businesses thereby strengthening the region in economic terms, supporting self-sufficiency and in most cases reducing the ecological footprint left by the inhabitants. Interesting links: and

Final thoughts of the day: I’m so happy that Eric and Robert are here!

Today someone told me that I was going to die – as if he was an immortal :)

Hope Eric feels better tomorrow!
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Brief an die Hart und Fairs im Fernsehen

"Wenn Demokratie etwas verändern könnte, hätte man sie längst verboten." Nicht schlecht, der Satz, oder? Stammt von dem russischen Anarchisten Michail Bakunin (1814 - 1876). Etwa hundert Jahre nach dessen Tod äußerte sich Sithu U Thant in seiner Eigenschaft als dritter Generalsekretär der UNO wie folgt: "Ich glaube nicht, dass die umweltpolitischen Herausforderungen, denen sich die Menschheit heute gegenübersieht, mit demokratischen Mitteln gelöst werden können. Die Entscheidungsfindung dauert einfach zu lange, wenn sie denn überhaupt in die richtige Richtung weist." Als ich diese Worte einmal in einer Talkshow zitierte, hielt mir der Moderator folgendes entgegen: "Nun ja, auch ein UN-Generalsekretär hat die Weisheit nicht mit Löffeln gefressen." Womit wir beim Thema wären: die Medien...

Der geniale spanische Filmregisseur Luis Bunuel ( "Ein andalusischer Hund", "Der Würgeengel", "Der diskrete Charme der Bourgeoisie") hat in seinem Buch "Mein letzter Seufzer" die aktuellen apokalyptischen Reiter genannt: Überbevölkerung, kapitalistische Gier, Rüstungswahn, Energiehunger und Medien. Wobei er die Medien als den schlimmsten aller Reiter bezeichnete. Warum? Weil sie den Ereignissen ihrer Zeit hinterher hecheln und unerträglich lange wiederkäuen, was durch die Ereignisse ausgeschieden wird und als Mist auf der Strecke bleibt. Ich habe vierzig Jahre meines Lebens in diesem "Traumberuf" verbracht - genauso ist es, Herrschaften!

Nun sollte man meinen, dass die Medien angesichts des von niemandem mehr ernsthaft bestrittenen drohenden Ökozids dem Thema zumindest seriöse Beachtung schenken. Ist aber nicht so. Schauen wir uns an, was die Illners, Maischbergers, Beckmänner, Kerners, die Herren Hart und Fair und andere, welche die rar gesäten TV-Politformate besetzt halten, uns in dieser besorgniserregenden Situation, die wahrhaft nach neuen Lösungen schreit, anzubieten haben: Westerwelles nichts sagende Schnute, Gysis rotköpfige Empörung über den Sozialstaat, Steinbrücks alerte Finanzstrategie, Claudia Roths Ergebniskosmetik nach Wahlen, Seehofers geschlingertes Steuerversprechen. Angst vor Rot-Rot, Hartz V, Rentenvorsorge, Dienstwagenaffären - das ist der Stoff, aus dem die Redaktionsträume sind. Feuchtgebiete waren überall, das Tahiti-Projekt fiel trotz einiger Zusagen immer wieder hinten raus aus der Planung. Dabei hatten wir ein wirklich sehr interessantes Paket geschnürt: Dennis Meadows, Jean Ziegler, Peter Maffey, Eric Bihl. Hätte ich mir sehr gerne angeschaut.

Nun gut, es ist eben nicht erwünscht, die Dinge klar anzusprechen, ich habe damit meinen Frieden geschlossen. Das hat mit dem "Tahiti-Projekt" zu tun, das einen erfreulichen Weg geht. Das Buch hat die Qualität, Menschen zusammen zu bringen, die froh sind, dass sie ihre Sorgen im Verbund diskutieren können. Aber ganz so einfach möchte ich die Schnarchnasen im Fernsehen nicht davon kommen lassen. Wir haben einen Brief formuliert, der in den nächsten Wochen an alle TV-Redaktionen abgeschickt wird, die für unser Thema in Frage kommen. Die meisten werden nicht antworten. Diese Nichtreaktionen werden an dieser Stelle trotzdem dokumentiert, als Nachricht. Natürlich setzen wir euch auch über die Antwortschreiben in Kenntnis, falls sie denn kommen. Hier ist der Brief:

Sehr geehrte Frau Illner, sehr geehrter Herr Scobel und wen es nicht alles gibt.

In der Anlage schicken wir Ihnen den Roman „Das Tahiti-Projekt“ von Dirk C. Fleck, der gerade mit dem Deutschen Science Fiction Preis 2009 ausgezeichnet wurde. Jean Ziegler nannte den Roman „ein Buch der Hoffnung“. Warum? Weil er den Menschen im Zuge der allgemeinen Untergangsliteratur endlich eine positive Perspektive bietet.

„Nichts, was in diesem Buch beschrieben wird, ist unrealistisch oder im meist abwertend gebrauchtem Sinne utopisch,“ heißt es in der Laudatio anlässlich der Preisverleihung. „Lediglich der Mensch steht einer Umsetzung im Wege.“

Der Roman basiert auf dem von Daniel Goeudevert (Vorwort) und Peter Ustinov (Nachwort) unterstütztem Sachbuch „Equilibrismus – neue Konzepte statt Reformen für eine Welt im Gleichgewicht“. Und er ist, wie der Titel bereits verrät, mehr als ein Roman, er ist Teil eines Projektes, das auf Tahiti Wirklichkeit werden soll. Im Februar erscheint das Taschenbuch bei Piper, die französische Übersetzung ist fertig, eine englische und spanische sind in Arbeit. Zur Zeit sind zwei Studenten der Universitäten Dundee (Schottland) und Halle auf Tahiti, um dort eine Machbarkeitsstudie auf der Basis des „Tahiti-Projekts“ zu erstellen. Nachzulesen ist dies unter Informationen zum Buch gibt es unter Außerdem lohnt sich ein Blick auf die Website des Equlibrismus: . Auf der Website des Piper Verlages finden Sie Pressestimmen.

Dirk C. Fleck, der bereits 1994 für seinen düsteren Zukunftsroman „GO! – Die Ökodiktatur“ mit dem Deutschen Sciene Fiction Preis ausgezeichnet wurde, schreibt zur Zeit an der Fortsetzung des „Tahiti-Projekts“. Titel: „Das Tahiti-Virus“.

Wir glauben, dass es höchste Zeit geworden ist, unser kollabierendes Wirtschaftssystem radikal in Frage zu stellen und machbare Alternativen zu entwickeln. Dass vor allem die junge Generation, die von den Auswüchsen unserer Misswirtschaft ja am stärksten betroffen sein wird, dieses Angebot längst dankend angenommen hat, erleben wir auf unseren Lese- und Vortragsreisen ständig. Es wäre wünschenswert, wenn sich neben den Printmedien (über deren ausführliche Berichterstattung wir uns nicht beschweren mögen) nun auch das Fernsehen einem Thema widmen könnte, das immer mehr Menschen beschäftigt und beunruhigt. Prominente Unterstützung für das „Tahiti-Projekt“ gibt es inzwischen genug (für den Fall, dass man wieder einmal einen Promi benötigt, um ein brisantes Thema zu befördern).

Wir sind gespannt auf Ihre Antwort. Wie immer sie ausfallen mag, wir werden sie im Internet dokumentieren.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
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Sonntag, 6. September 2009

Ecofriendly or just less damaging?


Today I complained to Raphael that everyone is being so pessimistic and that we still have so much to do and find out – the potential for biomass and the total area of unshaded roofs in Tahiti for example…

Pessimism is dangerously contagious: valid storage capacities are either toxic batteries or ecologically questionable hydropower dams, biomass can quickly lead into the wrong direction (monocultures and pesticides), wind turbines can damage coral reefs and are concrete- and thus CO2-intensive when manufactured…

Yes, in any case all these forms of electricity generation have “minor” impacts on the environment and are a lot more tolerable than burning fossil fuels or playing around with nuclear fission…

Final thoughts of the day: Does less bad equal good?

I’ll be more buoyant tomorrow – Eric and Robert will arrive at 8:25 in the morning (with more books and a load of optimism in their luggage :)
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Samstag, 5. September 2009

The Intention Counts...


Topics of the day: bike action

In the morning we went over to Roti for some final preparations and then the two of us set off with our wheeled (wo)man-powered transport devices to buy some paper and pencils for the drawing contest, find a megaphone (luckily without success) and assemble at the “Place To’ata” while Raphael went to print our bike-art-line-exhibition (pictures of a variety of different bikes on a chord).

At quarter past twelve two and a half pedestrians (one of Roti’s friends and a mother with a toddler on her arm who had read about the demonstration in the newspaper and totally and supported the cause), two cyclists and about 5 people from the press had turned up.

At 12:30 five lonely but proud cyclists set off to conquer the streets of Pape’ete – we were amazingly cheery and got a lot of respect from drivers (although we took up an entire lane) and attention from pedestrians (or people just sitting around, which seems to be a quite popular pastime here).

On our way we handed out leaflets and picked up another spontaneous cyclist and a whole bunch of skater-boys. We rolled round the city center twice and then made our way to the “présidence” to deliver our demands to the president Oscar Temaru. His secretary Maiana Bambridge received us and agreed with pretty much everything we said but pointed out that we’d have to lobby the members of the “Assemblée”…

We didn’t do much else that day – were quite exhausted from all the preparations.

Final thought of the day: I must admit that I was quite disappointed that so few people turned up (especially considering how much time and effort went into the preparations) but I hope we got the message across (in the media, on the streets and in the “présidence”) and the skateboarders want to participate again next time – unfortunately we won’t be here but I’m sure Roti will mobilize lots of people and reach “the critical mass”!
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Auf ein Wort, Herr Präsident!

Eric und Robert sind heute nach Tahiti aufgebrochen um an dem Dokumentarfilm über das "Tahiti-Projekt" zu arbeiten und um dort Gespräche mit Leuten zu führen, die uns weiter helfen können bei der Umsetzung des Projekts.

Unter anderem ist ein Treffen mit dem Präsidenten geplant sowie mit einem tahitianischen Verleger. Denken wir an sie, schicken wir ihnen unsere besten Wünsche, damit Bewegung in die Sache kommt.
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Freitag, 4. September 2009



Topics of the day: preparing for tomorrow

We spent all day over at Roti’s painting the t-shirts, chemises, banners and flags for our bicycle-demonstration tomorrow.

Final thoughts of the day: Rudolf is organizing a meeting with Oscar (the president) and James (the energy minister) – since it didn’t work out with Thede and Tino…

Nuihau doesn’t want to come to our meeting (to discuss the public participation solar farm/wind park) – he says he’s had enough of “those” meetings where everyone just talks and disagrees and nothing happens. We’re meeting him on Tuesday so I hope we can convince him that it will not just be one of “those” meetings but people who are serious about starting a project

I’m excited about tomorrow – hope a decent number of people show up (it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality although I’m not too sure if it will be a quality demonstration – we don’t really have anything to show for – except for a few colourful banners – we don’t even have a megaphone!)
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Donnerstag, 3. September 2009

Pessimist or Realist?


Topics of the day: press conference, TNTV, EDT, market, sick, translation

This morning we had a press conference and not a single reporter showed up – it turned out Roti had sent the wrong time to the press (11:00 instead of 9:00). At shortly past 11:00 (I had already gone back to Roti’s to get some things done) a journalist from Tahiti Presse turned up and interviewed Raphael. Then Roti and I made our way to TNTV and she got to be on TV live – it was interesting to see how the news broadcast was made (they allowed me to go behind the scenes).

In the afternoon Raphael and I went to meet someone from EDT. Their head office which is situated in Fa’aa not far from the airport is really “ecofriendly” (according to their employees) they have a few PV-panels, ugly architectural features on the sides of the building shielding off some of the incoming sunlight (in order to prevent the building from getting too hot) and air conditioning that works with solar thermal vacuum collector tubes (absorption or adsorption cooling (?) – have to learn more about this (!)). On the one hand I’d say: Greenwashing! on the other hand: one (EDT) has to start somewhere…

Mr. Quentin didn’t really tell us anything new, he just said that it would be impossible or at least difficult to feed more than 20 percent fluctuating renewables (like PV and wind) into the grid and one would have to wait until an ultimate storage solution is found… I must admit he wasn’t among the most congenial people that I’ve met – he didn’t get my point about external costs of fossil fuels – he said that they would still be cheaper than renewables (even if the environmental and social costs were included) – bullshit!

He also mentioned that Australia only has one single crane capable of lifting the parts for big (MW-range) wind turbines… so setting up wind energy converters of those dimensions would be logistically “impossible”… but anyhow the wind turbines suitable for French Polynesia would have to be smaller (only up to 275 kW) in order to be foldable (to prevent damages from cyclones).

At the end of the conversation he was a bit friendlier – but maybe that was only my perception because he is willing to send us the requested data…

Back at Roti’s I felt a quite sick (already thought I’d caught Dengue or the swine flu) luckily I felt better in the evening so I worked on a translation (our “job” here really is quite diverse).

Final thoughts of the day: We only have one day left to organize things and there’s still so much to do (we don’t have a sponsor for the Toa Times yet – so obviously it’s not printed yet and we need to make posters, banners, chemises,… – wonder where Roti takes all that energy from!

The planet is heating up and people worry about finding solutions for air-conditioning instead of constructing buildings that are cool don’t require any in the first place.
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Mittwoch, 2. September 2009



Topics of the day: sponsors, bikes, chemises, kids, online questionnaire

This morning Roti, Hinano and I went to look for some more sponsors but (only) got 10 t-shirts (probably made from genetically modified cotton loaded with pesticides and manufactured in a sweatshop by some poor children in China – worst case scenario or omnipresent reality?) and went to pick up Roti’s new red tricycle (I got to cycle it home because Roti had her car (I have a drivers license but can’t really say that I’d still feel comfortable driving a car – it’s been a while)). The trike doesn’t have gears and behaves quite differently to a bike in curves but the drivers in Pape’ete tend to be relatively tolerant and easy-going so I just took the right of way… Hinano also got a bike (it’s quite funny how they both didn’t have one but ardently support the idea).

Raphael finished the poster (which Roti and I kept criticizing – we’re really giving him a hard time) and went to Air New Zealand to change his flight (again). Roti sent an invitation for our press conference tomorrow and Raphael wrote a press release about our project (he thought we should be in the newspaper with our actual project before we leave) and added two questions to our online questionnaire. I went to see the kids at the children’s home, made a few chemises/simple shirts out of the sponsored fabric we had picked up yesterday and tried to find a quote in the bible to convince churches to take part in our demonstration and e-mailed them (unfortunately not many of them have internet presence) I also invited all my “friends” to our event – wonder how many of them will show up…

Final thoughts of the day: I now have 119 “friends” on Facebook…
Still wondering whether the internet is a good invention or not…
Raurani has the swine flu… I’m not sure how long the incubation time is… hope she gets well soon.
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Dienstag, 1. September 2009



Topics of the day: leaflets, sponsors, more networking

Today we found a jackpot-sponsor! He is giving Roti a tricycle for free and donating the first prize for our “Draw the bike of your dreams” competition - a bicycle! That really motivated me! Roti and I also went to a few other shops to ask if they could sponsor us and got a roll of fabric at one of them (thanks to Roti’s connection to the fashion business). We had a thousand “permis de conduite” printed to hand out to cyclists (and other motivated people) so they join our demonstration on Saturday.

Raphael worked on the poster for the competition and I wrote an e-mail to our renewables-motivated friends here to arrange a meeting between all of them and discuss the first steps that could be taken (like establishing a limited liability operating company) to start a public participation solar farm or wind park – we feel this is a very important thing to do before we leave to get a grassroots-movement started (instead of waiting for politicians to get going).

Final thoughts of the day: The time goes by so fast and at the end of the day I can’t recall where it all went…
I’m really happy that we found a sponsor :)
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Das "Tahiti-Projekt": Ein Leser vor Ort

Heute erreichte mich ein Schreiben von Udo Blum (war auch in Wuppertal dabei). Er hat mir einen Brief eines Freundes weitergeleitet, der zur Zeit auf Tahiti Urlaub macht und dem er das "Tahiti-Projekt" als Reiselektüre mitgegeben hat. Dieser Freund, sein Name ist Peter Schrage-Aden, ist beim Bezirksamt Berlin-Zehlendorf/Steglitz für Umweltfragen zuständig. Interessant, was so einer über das Tahiti-Projekt und die Realitäten vor Ort zu berichten weiß. Hier ist er, der Brief...

Lieber Udo

Mit großem Interesse habe ich das Buch, „Das Tahiti Projekt“ gelesen, das Du mir empfohlen hattest, und zwar auf Tahiti. Ich saß in einer kleinen Ferienanlage am Meer, mit Blick auf Mo´orea, in einem blumenübersäten Garten, und genoss den Südseeflair. Nur die Anlage verlassen, zu Fuß, das war fast nicht möglich. Die PKW-Dichte auf Tahiti ist größer als in Berlin und die gesamte Bevölkerung scheint sich immer rund um die Insel zu bewegen. Da viele in Papeete arbeiten oder dort Geschäfte zu erledigen haben ist irgendwie jeder einmal am Tag mit seinem Wagen auf der Inselstrasse unterwegs. Was natürlich auch zu Staus führt. Da es keine Fußwege außerhalb der Stadt gibt, st ein sich bewegen mit dem Rad oder zu Fuß fast nicht möglich. Die Busse fahren morgens nur für die Schulen, so dass der gesamte Berufsverkehr auf Individualverkehr ausgelegt ist. Damit sind wir direkt bei einem der zentralen Themen der Projektes. Die wesentliche Entwicklungshilfe der französischen Regierung – und der EU – scheinen der Straßenbau zu sein. Auf einigen Atollen sahen wir neu angelegte Rundstraßen, sogar mit Fahrradstreifen auf beiden Seiten, für 500 Eínwohner. Das soll dem schwächelnden Tourismus helfen. Die Strassen halten bei den Klimabedingungen 10 Jahre, dann kommen die Reparaturen, für die es keine Subventionen gibt.

Ein anderer Aspekt des Buches sticht ins Auge: die Energieversorgung. Regenerative Energie wird kaum genutzt, es gibt keine einzige Windanlage und Solartechnik ist noch recht unterentwickelt. Dabei wäre es eine reizvolle Aufgabe, die kleinen Inseln und Atolle energieautark auszurüsten mit kombinierten Wind - und Solarkraftwerken. Auf allen Inseln beträgt die maximale Strecke, die mit einem PKW gefahren werden kann, 70 km, meist weniger. Ideal für Elektrofahrzeuge. Die Batterien könnten nachts mit dem überschüssigen Wind- und Wellenstrom geladen werden. Wir haben außer in den Luxushotels und auf den Golfplätzen kein einziges gesehen. Angeblich ist eine Hochbahn einmal rund um Tahiti geplant, was mir aber etwas abwegig erscheint. Zu vermerken sei, so unser Vermieter, dass auf Bora Bora mit Tiefenwasser gekühlt würde und das es auf Tahiti in der Nähe des Botanischen Garten ein Wellenkraftwerk gäbe. Ich konnte es leider nicht ansehen. (im Roman gehen hier die Attentäter an Land) Aber, die Waldschule die eine wichtige Rolle im Roman spielt, die haben wir auf Mo´orea entdeckt, bei einer Wanderung über die Insel. Gut ausgestattet, mit einem breiten Angebot für Kinder ab 5 Jahren, Wochenkurse, Lehrpfad, Übernachten im Wald mit Lagerfeuer, und sie ist energieautark.

Auch die Idee mit der Biomassenutzung aus dem Buch drängt sich auf. Überall steigen die Rauchsäulen der Feuer auf, da die organischen Abfälle fast alle verbrand werden. Jedes Haus hat einen Brennplatz. Die Fasern der Kokusnüsse werden nur zu einem geringen Teil genutzt, vor allen in den Vanille- Plantagen als Mulchmaterial. Dabei ist ihr Einsatzbereich sehr weit gefasst. U.a. als Ersatz für Torf im Gartenbau.

Angeblich finanziert die EU einen Teil des Unsinns, der hier gemacht wird, insbesondere im Strassenbau. Die Tahitianer gehen immer noch davon aus, das ihr Luxustourismus mehr Geld bringt als der Massentourismus auf Fidschi. Aber, sie scheinen an dem Ast kräftig zu sägen, auf dem sie sitzen. Das letzte Kreuzfahrtschiff, dass die Inseln noch anläuft, ist der Grosssegler Star Fleyer und das will diese Route 2010 einstellen, weil die Liegegebühren zu hoch werden und es andere bürokratische Hemmnisse gibt. Das Schiff war mit 96 Gästen nur gut halb belegt. Auf Bora Bora haben schon Hotels geschlossen. Auch auf den anderen sieht man die Ruinen am Strand stehen. Wir sind jetzt in der Hauptsaison hier aber es wirkt alles recht leer.
Die Mehrheit der Besucher kommt nur für ein paar Tage, oft als Flitterwöchner. Für 5 Tage 300 – 600 € für die Nacht zu bezahlen wird für diesen Zweck gern hingenommen. Da aber fast alles importiert wird, so gar Obst, obwohl hier alles wächst, werden die Deviseneinnahmen auch schnell wieder ausgegeben.

Die aktiven Kräfte im Tourismus, so wie wir es beobachteten sind Ausländer, oft in Frankreich geborene Franzosen, die hier ihr Glück und ein lockeres Leben suchen. Durch die hohen Transferleistungen Frankreichs und der EU kann der hohe Lebensstandard und das noch viel höhere Preisniveau noch gehalten werden. Die Richtung der Entwicklung scheint aber echt fragwürdig.

Ein besonders krasses Beispiel: Auf der Insel, die das historische Zentrum Polynesiens darstellt, Raiatea, früher auch Havaiì genannt (!) wurde vor 10 Jahren ein Kai von über 400 m Länge angelegt, dazu eine große Empfangshalle für die Gäste, die mit den Kreuzfahrtschiffen kommen sollen und eine Reihe von historisierenden Marktständen. Das alles nett beleuchtet mit gusseisernen Leuchten aus Frankreich. Nur, nach dem 11.9. kamen keine Kreuzfahrtschiffe mehr. Der Kai ist verweiste, die Verkaufsstände sind geschlossen und in der 500 m² Touristeninformation sitzt eine desinteressierte Person, die nicht in der Lage ist, einen einzigen Wanderweg zu benennen, noch die Abfahrzeiten der Fähren oder des Busses kennt. Demgegenüber macht die bedeutenste Kultstätte Polynesiens Taputapuatea einen eher bescheidenden Eindruck. Sie wurde restauriert unter der Leitung eines hawaiianischen Professors mit japanischem Namen (!) aber die Hinweisschilder und Ausstellungsgegenstände entsprechen nicht der grossen Bedeutung, die diese Stätte hat. Man sollte sich vor Augen halten, das viele Familien in Neuseeland und in Hawaii ihre Ahnen auf Familien aus Raiatea und die Kanus, die ihre Vorfahren brachten, zurückbeziehen können.

Ein anderes Beispiel: über der Cook-Bay in Mo´orea wurde am Hang eine grosse Ananas-Plantage – wahrscheinlich mit EU-Strukturfondmitteln - angelegt. Angeblich falsche Anbauweise und Pflügetechnik führten zu Bodenerosion. Die herausgewaschene rote Vulkanerde sorgte dafür, dass die Korallen in der Bay, eine der schönsten und bekanntesten der Südsee, eingingen. Der Witz an der Sache: die Ananas dient dem Export, der Erlös dient dazu, Erdölprodukte einzuführen, für die große Fahrzeugflotte der Insulaner und für die allgegenwärtigen Klimaanlagen. Wer einmal in einem traditionellen polynesischen Haus gesessen hat weiß, dass hier, bei stetigem Wind, keine Klimaanlage erforderlich ist, wenn das Haus richtig gebaut wurde. Das, in dem ich diese Zeilen schreibe, hat eine ausreichende Querlüftung und ist auch mittags angenehm kühl bei 25 °.

Ein letztes Wort zum Hausbau. Die Bungalow für Touristen sind fast alle in einer einheitlichen Form gebaut, mit spitz zulaufendem Dachgiebel. Beim polynesischen Haus ist dieser First nach oben gewölbt und dem Meer zugerichtet und offen, so dass hier die frische Briese eingefangen und in das Haus geleitet wird. Richtig gemacht führt das dazu, dass eine Klimatisierung entbehrlich ist. In den Hotels sind die Öffnungen der Häuser im Giebel meist verschlossen und können so ihre Funktion nicht ausüben. Dafür gibt es dann ein Klimagerät an jedem Gebäude. Von einer Wiederbelebung der polynesischen Baukunst ist nichts zu spüren, dafür viel vergammelter Beton zu sehen. Aber, dieses Problem arroganter nicht angepasster Bauweise ist nicht neu. Mitchener beschreibt dieses in seinem Buch „Hawaii“ 1956 sehr anschaulich am Bau der ersten Kirche in Hawaii durch amerikanische Missionare aus Neuengland 1822. Die Kirche musste unbedingt geschlossen sein, wie eben Kirchen in Europa gebaut werden. Entgegen dem dringenden Rat der Einheimischen. Ergebnis war, dass die Leute schwitzend dem Gottesdienst folgen durften weil kein frisches Lüftchen wehte.

Nebenbei: der Aga Kahn Preis für Architektur ging 2008 an einen Architekten der TU Berlin, gebürtig aus Burkina Faso, für eine Schule in seiner Heimat , die genau diese Aspekte gut und preiswert aufgreift.

So weit meine Eindrücke in Zusammenhang mit diesem diskussionswürdigen Buch, das viele spannende Lösungen vorschlägt. Von einer Union aller Polynesischen Völker - unter Einschluss und unter Führung von Neuseeland - träumen hier viele, wenn die Mehrheit auch für einen Verbleib bei Frankreich stimmt. Am 9.9. will sich der Nachfahre der letzten Königin Pomare IV, nach dem er viel Mühe darauf verwandt hat, die Nachfolgerschaft zu klären und sich in die Genealogie einbrachte – die Königin starb kinderlos – zum König krönen lassen. Mal schaun. Die Bürger Polynesiens sind als französische Staatsbürger wahlberechtigt zum EU-Parlament. Die Liste der Grünen, die ich zufällig hier bekam, sieht schon recht spannend aus. Vielleicht eine Gelegenheit, das Tahiti – Projekt auf dieser Schiene ein bisschen zu bewegen und von ihm zu lernen. Die Kleinen Inselstaaten hätten es verdient.

Für mich war es eine anregende Reiselektüre.

Grüsse aus Moórea.

P.S. leider konnte ich Dir diesen Brief nicht früher schicken da wir in der Südsee vom e-mail-Verkehr fast abgeschnitten waren und die HotSpots unverschämt teuer und langsam sind.
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