The next meeting of the 17 Group will take place on Wednesday the 7th of August at 7 pm in Unit 6 at 20 Drury St, West End. It will be addressed by Trevor Berrill on the topic:
“Australia’s Transport Dilemma”. Going by the excellence of Trevor’s previous talks and the importance of the issue, this is not one to miss.
Australia has a number of serious problems with its provision of energy for transport. It has a very high level of dependency on imported oil from politically unstable regions, with very little strategic reserves, significant greenhouse gas emissions (19% of total emissions), large distances, and a highly car and truck dependent transport sector. Does Australia have a Transport Plan that comprehensively addresses these issues? Or are we flying blind? This presentation will examine these issues and solutions. Its relevance is enhanced due to increased conflict in the Middle East and the hijacking of oil tankers by Britain and Iran.
Trevor Berrill is a Sustainable Energy Systems engineer and educator with over 40 years experience in renewable energy and energy efficiency. For more details see http://www.trevolution.com.au
Leon was very distracted by a seriously enigmatic clue in his (cyrillic) crossword puzzle in one of his (archival) copies of Pravda when we asked for his views about the current topic. Rather grumpily and absent-mindedly, he reached into his files and passed us this yellowing letter, with the words, “See if you can apply this in some way, mutatis mutandis, to your own provincial circumstances”. That was his last word before he went back to Pravda. It was only when we got back to the office that we read this:
Vladimir Lenin, Letter to Comrade Trotsky. February 1, 1920
Chairman of the Council of Workers’ and Peasants’ Defense of the RSFSR
To: Moscow-Comrade Trotsky.
The situation with regard to railroad transport is quite catastrophic. Grain supplies no longer get through. Genuine emergency measures are required to save the position. For a period of two months (February-March) measures of the following kind must be put into force (as well as devising other measures too of a comparable kind):
I. The individual bread ration is to be reduced for those not engaged on transport Work; and increased for those engaged on it.
Even if thousands more perish, the country will be saved.
II. Three quarters of the senior Party workers from all departments, except the Commissariats of Supply and of Military Affairs, are to be drafted to railroad transport and maintenance work for these two months. The work of the other Commissariats is correspondingly to stop (or to be cut down tenfold) for these two months.
III. Within a 30-50 verst wide zone along each side of the railroad lines military law is to be introduced for the purpose of conscripting labor for clearing the tracks; and three quarters of the senior Party workers from the volost’ and uyezd executive committees of the corresponding regions are to be transferred to the volosts in this area.
Chairman of the Council of Defense
V. Ul’ianov (Lenin)
We hope that, in the absence of the man himself, you find this as useful a contribution to the forthcoming discussion as we do.