Bill Hill: One Ocean

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Bill Hill has always been a fan favorite on Channel 9. In fact, his early interviews helped us crystallize the original (now referred to as OldSchool since we have other great methodologies in place on 9) Channel 9 Method of human-focused, unrehearsed real conversations with people. We haven't forgotten about you, Bill!

Bill left the company last year to pursue other interests, one of which being the making of music and music videos. Since Bill is a Niner, we decided to post one of his timely music videos, One Ocean, on Channel 9. With the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the overfishing of the oceans, the pollution of the seas, Bill has a message for us all and it comes in the form of original music plus live action video (also known as a Music Video...). Thanks for sharing, Bill. It's great to see (and hear) you again. You'll always be welcome on Channel 9. We miss you, man!

Enjoy! This is Bill Hill 5.0!! Smiley



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    The Discussion

    • billhill49

      Thanks for posting this, Charles! I think this is actually Bill Hill 5.0 Smiley


      John Leighton Beezer, who plays the two great guitar solos, is a former Microsoft Program Manager on the old eBook team...


      The music is a track from my new CD, "Dancing With The Dragon", which will be out in the next few weeks. It was all written about living and surfing here on Kauai. "One Ocean" was written while paddling out to my surf break - The Dragon. I started thinking "We call oceans 'Atlantic', 'Pacific' and so on. But they're really all joined. There's only one ocean. The dolphins don't care what we call parts of it. They go wherever they want". I meet dolphins and green sea turtles out there almost every day.


      I'd finished recording and mastering all the tracks. Then a few weeks later, the Gulf Oil Disaster happened. I started thinking:"How would I be feeling right now, if I knew there was a huge oil well blowout 30 miles from Hanalei Bay, and we were just waiting for the oil to come ashore? It would be the end of everything I love. The dolphins and turtles would be dead. You couldn't go in the ocean. You wouldn't even want to walk on the beach."


      And that's when I realized I had to do something. I decided to use the track "One Ocean" to help focus attention on the need to protect the ocean. So I started filming. I bought a $270 GoPro HDSurf camera and attached it to my standup paddleboard. I used the same camera to film the turtles, dolphins, and for the underwater shots. And I started learning video production techniques, scripting and storyboarding. Remember, I was a writer and editor for almost 20 years before I go involved with software.


      I've offered free use of the song and/or video to any organization working to protect and conserve the ocean.

    • Charles

      Bill Hill 5.0 it is!! Changed in the description text.


      Hope you're well, Bill. Great to see you on 9 again.




    • figuerres



      wow bill i will for sure watch this later as i have liked the old interviews and i live in tampa FL and part of my teen age years i lived just outside of Santa Barbara CA and had to deal with tar on the beach and oil in the waves back then ....

      we really need to get off Oil as fast as we can, but what to replace it as we use it in so many ways...

    • IDWMaster

      Take it one step at a time. First; replace gas cars with electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, then replace the power company with solar shingles, and finally; replace natural oil with synthetic oil and  synthetic plastic

    • exoteric

      That looks fun! Thanks for that lovely postcard. Smiley

    • ivan_

      THE safest and THE cleanest way for now is NUCLEAR Energy. It is also the cheapest and the fastest way to get US energy needs met.

    • billhill49

      YAAAY, Niners! I posted this on YouTube and had 500 hits in a week. Channel9 already has more than twice as many - and it's been up just a few hours! Thanks so much for your interest and support!


      In reply to figuerres: I've actually been thinking that alternative energy might end up being Bill Hill 6.0 Smiley

      We installed solar hot water here, then we installed a 24-panel PV system, with battery backup. We can be off the grid if we want, and there's more than enough power most days to keep an electric car fully charged for all the miles we do. It wasn't cheap but it has proved it's absolutely feasible to say, "I'm DONE WITH OIL!" Plastics, of course also need to be tackled as IDWMaster says above.


      Next: We haven't eaten anything but raw food for the past six months - all of it organic, most of it bought locally at the farmers' market. I wouldn't have believed it but I enjoy my food more than ever and don't miss cooked food at all. And don't give me the protein fallacy, because I've been surfing almost every day for more than a year. 


      Our range is propane. But the only thing we were using it for was boiling water for tea. So we bought an electric kettle and now we're off propane too.


      I'm waiting for the right vehicle and we'll go electric.


      Now, we live on Kauai where's there's lots of sun. But our neighbor in Carnation, WA heats his home all year round - even when there's snow on the ground - using only geothermal. He dug out a pond, ran pipe at the bottom.


      In the 1980s and 1990s everyone wanted to be a software engineer. That's where the growth was. I believe in the coming decades the growth will be - has to be - green energy. Smart software has a role to play there too.


      I believe President Obama needs to announce the 2010 equivalent of President John F. Kennedy's "Put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade" mission. Something like: "We will enable every American to drive 400 miles a day and heat and run their home without any use of fossil fuels by 2020". And then he needs to put in place a budget, similar to NASA's during that mission. I'd gladly see my tax dollars used for that.


      Anyway, I'm doing a lot of research, wondering if I really want to set up a company, and considering what it might do. But I have to do something. There's Only One Ocean.


      If you have friends who're not Niners, they can watch the video on YouTube at:








    • rhm

      Hi Bill, great mellow tunes.  Sounds like you're really enoying yourself outside the old ratrace. Looking at the video, I'm trying to imagine you doing that back in the North Sea - also an oil production centre. Think you'd need to wear more than just the shorts? Smiley

    • billhill49

      I used to surf in the North Sea. Water temperature 38F, air temperature 28F, run across the snow on the beach to get in the water, wind 30mph, windchill infinite. I think I prefer it here Smiley

    • figuerres

      Ivan : in it's current form nuclear has a heck of a lot of problems i think.... things like the waste and making sure a reactor is not a new chernoble etc....


      also i see the current state of reactors as beeing glorified "Steam Engines" a lot of stuff just wrong with the whole picture.

      lets work on this before we build more of them.

    • ivan_

      The plastic can be biodegradable. First invented by George Washington Carver, boy, almost a century ago. It is widely used. In Russia for example they sell milk in plastic bags which degrade under sunlight or in soil in just 1 year, while regular plastics takes almost 500 years to degrade. 

      Thus garbage produced by average american family will last longer  than nuclear waste from nuclear power plant. Latest generation nuclear plants can recylce waste very efficently with average degration rate of only 60 years.

      Convert to nuclear then electric cars will produce less CO2. For now, since most of the east cost is powered by coal, electric cars will actually produce more CO2 than gasoline cars. Plus coal is very dirty and kills orders of magnitude people more a year than nuclear power plants/waste.


    • ivan_

      Absolutely not true.

      There are no new generation nuclear reactors in US at all. There have been only 65 direct deaths for 30 years from nuclear plants. While hundreds of people a year die in coal mines and now this oil spill, plus indirectly all the lung cancer people get from pollution. Just look at US energy map and see how it is powered.

      New generation nuclear plants, used in France for example, are very efficient and produce less waste than average american family does.

      Now there is a joint effort between US DOE and Russian Ministry of Nuclear Energy on a new generation nuclear power plant which has almost 0 waste, becasue most of it just get recycled.

      So at the end nuclear is cheap, fast, clean and safe. You can put "...est" and the end of those words and it will be true.


    • billhill49

      We should avoid nuclear. My father worked on the construction of Hunterston A nuclear power station in Scotland. It was a first-generation Magnox gas-cooled reactor, now being decommissioned. Its replacement was the Hunterston B station with two later-generation Magnox gas-cooled reactors. Work started on those in 1967, and in  2006, British Energy found cracks in one of the two reactors, with almost a fifth of the 500 boiler tubes experiencing defects. Power Technology in August 2007 reported a sharp decline in output, with the high operating temperatures having led to wear and tear.
      I am old enough to remember when nuclear power was being advocated as the Brave New Future. It would be clean, there were no real hazards, no-one mentioned nuclear waste, and these plants were supposed to produce electricity so cheaply it would eventually become almost free. That certainly didn't happen. It was a myth.

      "Only 65 direct deaths" is sophistry, and doesn't account for the much greater long-term effects of accidents like Chernobyl, where "Health officials have predicted that over the next 70 years there will be a 2% increase in cancer rates in much of the population" exposed to radiation. Late in 1995, the World Health Organisation (WHO) linked nearly 700 cases of thyroid cancer among children and adolescents to the Chernobyl disaster. Birth defects - some horrendous - have been documented.

      The "new generation nuclear plants" are being brought to us in a collaboration between the people who gave us Three Mile Island and the people who gave us Chernobyl. And that's supposed to inspire confidence?




    • SteveRichter

      Some unordered thoughts:

      • the planet runs out of oil in, what, 150 years?  Coal and natural gas will also be depleted in a time frame close to that of oil.
      • Once the use of fossil fuels ends, the earth should recover from the damage done. No?
      • It is the huge and growing population of the world which is what endangers us and the planet.
      • Every  year, something like 3 million more people immigrate into the US. Those additional people both increase the American use of oil, they also decrease the amount of open space in the country. The less open space, the less the capacity to capture energy from the Sun.
      • I could go on, speculating about what comes of society and the planet when 10 billion people run out of the natural resources which enable a huge population to support itself. But I will not. I don't want to sound overly hysterical.
      • Holy cow, man. Think of what the future holds for us! 
    • billhill49

      I agree. Over-population is the #1 issue, the cause of all the others. Tribal conflicts in Africa (like Rwanda, for instance) aren't REALLY about tribal differences. Those are really just convenient lines along which to separate people into THEM and US. They're about too many people competing for too little (usable) land.

      The ocean has been overfished because too many people eat too many fish. We drill in dangerous places because too many people burn too much oil. I could go on, and on, and on. But it's the ultimate cause of all the problems.

      Jared Diamond's book, "Collapse" is a must-read. Read the history of ChacoCanyon, for instance. Then do some research on Los Angeles, - where its water comes from, where its power comes from, how the entire lifestyle of the city is built on cheap gasoline, etc.

      If we don't find a balance ourselves, nature will impose one. Widespread famine, or a nice plague with a 95% mortality rate, or...

      And we don't have anything like 150 years.

      I don't mean to be depressing. There are things that individuals can do. Like opting for a more sustainable lifestyle. Or - like some couples I know - opting not to have children.

      You can't fix the world. But you can change yourself.




    • elmer

      USA Military budget for 2010 (including contingencies) is: $664 billion


      You could do an awful lot of R&D into energy solutions for part of that.

    • elmer

      Oil supplies are unlikely to last anything like 150 years, but that's almost beside the point.


      The falling rate of discovery, the inflated figures of OPEC and the rampantly increasing demand from China and India, means that it will very soon become far too expensive to use as a means of powering a motor vehicle.

    • figuerres

      Bill also not to be depressing but to just add to the list look at Easter Island and what people did there....

      I wonder if at some point some local looked around and said something like "Man we are really up a creek!"


      with all our tech have we really learned much ?  we are still doing a lot of crazy stuff...


      sometimes I think of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien


      there is a passage in Lord Of The Rings where Gandalf talks about wisdom and that if you break a thing to try and learn about it then you have already failed.

      "Smashing Atoms" is I think what he was really talking about indirectly.


      but you can apply that idea to anything .... you do not learn very much from destorying a thing, other than how to destory it.


      this by the way is not a stand against studying accidents etc.... just a  look at the deeper meaning of what it is to learn and understand things.

      and the need to gain not just "Knowlege" but also "Wisdom" and they are not the same.


    • billhill49

      Easter Island is one of the case studies in Diamond's book, "Collapse" - which I believe should be a core part of every school curriculum.


      It's easy to be seduced by technology to the point where you ignore everything that isn't "technological progress". The key in this - as in everything else in life - is balance. From the reverse perspective, it's easy to decry technology as a "death force" and ignore its benefits. Have you read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"?


      Tolkien - as he says very categorically - despised allegory in all its forms. So he was not writing specifically about "Smashing Atoms" or about the evils of trench warfare in the First World War, as has been suggested. He left it to his readers to draw their own parallels. Yours is a valid one.


      "Knowledge" and "Wisdom" are definitely not the same. In my mind, for instance, there's no real difference between torturing prisoners to obtain information about an enemy's plans, and torturing animals to gain information about human diseases. We can only justify the latter because most of us are what I call "Human Racists"; i.e. we believe humans are the Master Race and so can do anything we want to "sub-human" forms of life - eat them, experiment on them, exterminate them for the benefit of humans. Exactly the reasoning Hitler and the Nazis used to justify the Holocaust. First convince people of the "sub-humanity" of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals etc. Then you can do whatever you want.

    • billhill49

      MSDN or C9 obviously has a block on the "N" word which is the shortened form for Hitler's National Socialist "Democratic" Party, even when it's correct usage and not used an an insult.

    • figuerres

      True I and many many other keep "reading in to" his works, hard sometimes not to do that i think due to the amazing way he wrote.


      Zen and MM - no sorry have not.

      As a Teen I did read Ram Dass if you know who he is/was.

      He really gave me a lot of ideas.

      also I read a *LOT* of Sci Fi .... Robert A. Heinlein is a huge favorite of mine

      I have the Unabriged hardbound that his wife got published after his death of "Stranger In A Strange Land"

      he had an interesting code for how humans should live, can't recall the name but there is a guy who lived thru WWII who talks about our Ultimate responcibility to take ownership of our actions and our in-actions and not try to pass them off with bull like "I was tempted" or "Peer pressure" You did it. END. that's it.  stand up and take your punishment or reward as needed.


      Be Here Now!


    • billhill49

      Ram Dass I know, although haven't read much. I went a different route. Took up yoga in 1971, the book I had recommended vegetarianism and no alcohol if you wanted to make real progress. I haven't touched either since. It was clearly not necessary to kill animals or fish for food or to stay healthy - so why do it?  I have read "Stranger" many times.

    • elmer

      Actually, although it makes for a terrific fable, Jarred Diamond's assertions are quite tenuous and based on a lot of assumptions. It's commonly agreed by archaeologists that introduction of disease from Europeans was primarily responsible for the demise of the native Easter Island inhabitants, rather than the environmental impact of cutting down all the trees or any social traditions.

    • figuerres

      While I am sure that the "Last Straw" may have been  that I think the years of no outside contact and the lack of food had a role to play....

      not to mention the way the records do show that folks hid in caves ... I think it must have been fairly nasty there before any european came there.

      so when the whites came there were how many ? 2 or 3 thousand ?

      so what about the estimates of 10 to 15 thousand as the prior numbers....  *SOMETHING* was going on that had zero to do with whites.



    • billhill49

      First, I don't agree with everything Diamond says. However, he makes it clear that he doesn't support single-cause explanations in any of these societal collapses. Secondly, I read "Collapse" in the context of having read the excellent "Guns, Germs and Steel" several times - in which he makes clear the devastation created by European diseases on "native" cultures.

      However, quoting from "Collapse": "Even before Magellan became the first European to cross the Pacific in 1521, abundant evidence attests to massive human impacts on Easter: extinctions of all the land bird species, disappearance of porpoises and tuna from the diet, declines of forest tree pollen in Flenley's sedimentary cores before 1300, deforestation of the Poike Peninsula by around 1400, lack of radiocarbon-dated palm nuts after 1500, and so on". Significance of "disappearance of porpoises and tuna from the diet" is that there were no trees left large enough to build the bigger canoes necessary to venture out far enough from shore to take porpoises and tuna.

      There's no hard evidence of a European visit to Easter before Roggeeen's arrival in 1722. Diamond says, though, that the islanders nonchalant, unafraid and curious reaction to Roggeveen's ship suggest prior experience of Europeans.

      But that couldn't have happened before Magellan...

      The first specific mention of an epidemic on Easter is of smallpox, in 1836. Even Diamond doesn't believe that was the first epidemic, though.

      He believes climate change may also have played a role, as did Easter's isolation from volcanically active areas - which provide a source of soil renewal in airborne ash etc. It was a combinations of factors.

      Nothing is ever as simple as a single-cause explanation. But it sounds like you bought one. Did you really read Diamond's books?




    • Charles

      Bill's new album:" target="_blank">



    • billhill49

       @Charles: Thanks, Charles!

    • billhill49

      @Jocuri Barbie: I agree

    • Duncanma

      Opening these comments, as Bill's videos are getting viewed again

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