Guard changes at Feds

Federated Farmers has a new president and CEO.

Dr William Rolleston, former vice-president was elected unopposed to lead the organisation and Graham Smith takes over as CEO.

As Vice-President since 2011, I am honoured to be entrusted with a leadership role following in the footsteps of some farming greats,” says Dr Rolleston, Federated Farmers new President.

“Federated Farmers is New Zealand’s foremost rural advocate with a proud past and strong future. 

“Our National Council knows that the President must represent the views of all members and Federated Farmers is a broad church. I endorse this principle.

“I believe we can learn from all form of farming systems, including  organic practices, so long as these are underpinned by robust science.

“Given the overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activity, including agriculture, plays a significant role in climate change, science and innovation are key to the future of farming. Science and innovation are also key to the water quality sphere.

“I am fortunate that our Grain & Seed Industry Group chairperson, Ian Mackenzie, is staying on the Board for another year.  His work in the Land & Water Forum was publicly acknowledged yesterday by our Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon Nathan Guy. 

“Ian is widely respected even among the environmental lobby.  His expertise and wise counsel will be welcome.

“As will be the support of my Vice-President, Wairarapa’s Anders Crofoot.  As our buildings spokesperson, I must acknowledge the success Federated Farmers has had in convincing Government to remove farm structures from its earthquake prone buildings Bill.

“A $170 million saving for farmers is an auspicious start for my tenure and a tangible example of the value Federated Farmers delivers for its members and farming in general.

“I will draw on the myriad of skills that the West Coast’s Katie Milne offers, especially on the high profile areas of rural security, employment and adverse events. 

“As a Board Member at large, she is joined in that capacity by Mid-Canterbury’s Chris Allen, who is fast developing expertise in water policy.

“I look forward to working with my newly elected Industry Group chairs, Rick Powdrell from Bay of Plenty for Meat and Fibre and Andrew Hoggard from Manawatu-Rangtikei for Dairy.

“Both are exceptionally talented farmers with an outstanding grasp of industry issues.

“Speaking of extremely talented people, Bruce Wills has been an inspiration to me.  His focus on environment collaboration and communication has done much to represent the modern face of farming.  These are themes I wish to continue with the new Board.

“As a Board it speaks volumes about Federated Farmers that someone of Graham Smith’s calibre came to us to be our new Chief Executive. 

“As Graham has started the handover process with Conor English I wish to thank Conor for his guidance over the period I was Vice-President and before that as a provincial president.

“I am excited by the future,” Dr Rolleston concluded.

Wills and English have overseen a change for the better in Federated Farmers for which all involved in farming and the wider rural community should be grateful.

They have provided a strong foundation on which the new leadership can build and carry on the much-needed work representing and advocating for farmers, farming and rural New Zealand.

48 Responses to Guard changes at Feds

  1. AGW denier.
    Bodes ill for farming in New Zealand.


  2. “Given the overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activity, including agriculture, plays a significant role in climate change, science and innovation are key to the future of farming.”

    Well well, maybe not!
    Science and innovation, eh!
    Bet that involves physical structures and chemical and genetic intervention.
    Nothing new in that, sadly. The farmers union needs someone who can see beyond the prevailing failing system and haul farming back from the position it holds in threatening the environment.


  3. Roger Barton says:

    That’s right RG show them the respect they deserve …just like the sort of comments my Southland mates pass back to me about some of their regional councillors.
    If you want to change Fed Farmers direction of travel pay your sub and get involved or at least get your chosen brethren to do so. If your arguments are so compelling it’ll be a doddle to get everyone to see logic
    Having spent considerable time off farm representing farmers in a variety of forums I reckon Brucw Wills has done us proud…certainly happy to pay a subscription for the broad range of activities undertaken.
    There we go I’ve said my bit!


  4. robertguyton says:

    Yes, Roger, some of those regional councillors are AGW deniers too and that’s frightening really. Bruce did a good job leading the farmers’ union. He almost reached the point where he understood the most important issue facing farmers world-wide. I don’t think, based on what members of the farmers’ union have told me, that Rolleston will continue that line of thinking. More likely, he’ll regress and take the union with him. That’s my considered view.


  5. robertguyton says:

    Climate change – that’s going to create serious drought issues in Greytown, by my reckoning. It’s bad enough already. Somebody must do something.


  6. Willdwan says:

    Global warming (remember that?) was supposed to make it wetter. There is a reasonable consensus across the divide concerning the direct ‘forcing’ effect of CO2 on the atmosphere…about one degree of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2. Not worth worrying about. The debate is over the possible feedback effects. The initial warming will increase evaporation of the oceans meaning more clouds and rain. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas so alarmists’ models multiply the greenhouse effect by about x3. But deniers note that clouds also reflect sunlight back into space (albedo effect) and estimate the feedback effect as -0.5. This is the point of difference between the two sides.

    Either way it should get wetter. Drought is usually associated with a cooling climate. Of course there are many reasons for regional climate changes. But nothing that can’t be fixed with new taxes I guess.


  7. robertguyton says:

    Wetter in places, drier in others. Over all, less predictable, more tempestuous. I don’t know where you got your impressions from, Will. It makes sense, doesn’t it, that a warmer atmosphere with higher energy will be more active = less stable. In any case, why are you dismissing the work of the scientists who are closely involved with the issue, day in day out? Are they not the bona fide authorities? If you don’t believe they are, could you please explain why?


  8. Willdwan says:

    I’m quoting the work of scientists closely involved with the issue. Not all scientists are in the pay of Big Carbon.

    “Higher energy will be more active = less stable.” That is too simple. Our weather systems have their genesis in the temperature difference between the poles and the equator. Warm air in the tropics rises, creating a flow from the colder regions, the jet-streams complete the cycle. The coriolis effect created by the earth’s rotation turns these movements into the cyclonic systems which constitute our weather.

    But AGW has a stronger effect at the poles than the equator, reducing the temperature difference. So if you still believe in AGW you could make a case for predicting calmer, less extreme weather. Another little detail; a warmer upper atmosphere tends to have the effect of shearing off the top of hurricanes, which reduces their ability to intensify.

    I think the real problem with AGW is oversimplification. Climate is so complex, I doubt we’ll ever really understand it.


  9. “Not all scientists are in the pay of Big Carbon.”
    Will. I challenge you to expound upon or explain that claim.
    Who is/are “Big Carbon”?
    Who do they pay and how much do they pay?
    If you can’t do this, I call bullish*t on all of your arguments. I believe your belief in “Big Carbon” is denier-conspiracy nonsense and that you can’t back your claim with anything rational. At all. But I await with bated breath. Don’t let me down, Will. I’ll not let it go if you do.


  10. willdwan says:

    C’mon Robert, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Most science now is funded by governments, and all governments need taxation.

    But you’re trying to deflect my arguments, whether I choose to name names and numbers or not has nothing to do with my observations about climate. Why don’t you just discuss them on their own merits?

    I’ll give you another to think about while you’re rebaiting you’re breath. Positive feedbacks are extremely rare in nature, I can’t think of any that don’t quickly collapse and return to equilibrium. I’d say that if CO2 really came with a strong positive feedback, the planet would have frozen or boiled long,long ago.


  11. willdwan says:

    I have one more thing to add while I’m at it. I’m not a big fan of the ‘thumbs down’ thingy. I never use it myself, though God knows I’m tempted sometimes. Seems so negative and kind of lame.

    Of course anyone with a sense of humour will give this a down vote:)


  12. Ah but, Will, it does matter that you claim that something you call “Big Carbon” is corrupting the discussion around climate change and especially the scientists who warn us about the dangers thereof. You believe there is this thing, “Big Carbon”, therefore unless you can show that it’s a sound belief, something we can measure the rest of your claims against, then we cannot accept anything you say as worthwhile. I propose that your belief in this “Big Carbon” reveals your lack of credibility and unless you can show that “Big Carbon” is real and that the climate scientists work for it, under it or whatever, your position will look like that of Colin Craig in regards the moon landing. I’m sure that you can see that having made the claim, you are defined by it. Of course you can and should strengthen your position by explaining “Big Carbon” to us and make credible your arguments around AGW, but will you, Will?
    Seems you can’t or won’t, which is hugely disappointing for those who hold similar denialist beliefs, but hugely revealing and funny to those of us who don’t.


  13. TraceyS says:

    ^ You now speak on behalf of the “denialist”? Wow, what a turnaround!


  14. JC says:

    “Of course you can and should strengthen your position by explaining “Big Carbon” to us and make credible your arguments around AGW, but will you, Will?”

    The full costs from Big Carbon run into the trillions, and thats just the US. Meantime the most thats been ascribed to skeptics is less than $100 million with the largest known amount being paid directly to a specified organisation is about $6million to the Heartland Institute.

    Here’s Forbes on the warmist US funding:

    Other reports suggest about $13 billion per year paid to the warmist industry, ie, maybe 6-7000 times more than the skeptics.. yet the warmists complain about the massive funding and influence of this largely volunteer group of people who are running rings around the climate hucksters.



  15. JC – you’ve not added any clarity at all to what “Big Carbon ” might be. As well, you’ve thrown in “the warmest industry”. What is that, exactly? Another vague ‘scary beast’ manufactured by conspiracy theorists like yourself, because that’s what your are believing, isn’t it, that it’s all a conspiracy to fool people in order to get their money – yes?
    Tracey – you remain confused.


  16. Will – I see you believe that it’s the governments of the countries that the scientists work in that are “Big Carbon”. Do you mean all governments that have climate scientists doing science on climate? Could you please name those governments so that we can identify exactly who “Big Carbon” is? Thanks.


  17. TraceyS says:

    “Seems you can’t or won’t, which is hugely disappointing for those who hold similar denialist beliefs…”

    You would know this how, Robert, since you are by your own definition not a denialist? Do “denialists” tell you this is how they feel or do you read minds?

    Then again, perhaps “denialists” are really just ordinary people who want to keep on questioning? Like you, like me.


  18. willdwan says:

    Deniers are often accused of being in the pay of ‘Big Oil’ or ‘Big Ag’ etc. So ‘Big Carbon is just a ‘back at ya’ way of referring to government billions as you know perfectly well.

    Do you think nobody notices you desperately focusing on a bit of sarcasm instead of the logical arguments?

    I love the irony of the term ‘Deniers.’ After all, so-called climate change deniers’ main point is that climate is constantly changing, always has and always will.


  19. So Will, can I take it that you don’t believe the climate scientists who together describe AGW and its dangerous outcomes are being paid to present false information in order to allow those agencies/governments who pay them, to tax populations as part of some global fort?
    If you don’t in fact believe that, then you must accept that the science from those climate scientists is genuine and valid, given the wide range of scientists it comes from and their status in the scientific community; that is, they are as correct as it is possible to be. More correct, in fact, than a much, much smaller and less independent group of scientists who represent the ‘other side’ of the argument, the side you appear to align with.
    That being the case (please explain if you don’t accept this reasoning and why – I’d be very interested to have the idea tested), you and I should agree that AGW is as they describe and will result in what they predict. The question then is, what should you and I do in response. That could be anything from “nothing” to “everything possible”. I’d like to talk about that too. I believe there is a lot we can do to prepare for the outcome described by the climate scientists we’ve agreed are correctly describing the situation, on a personal level, community level and as a country. You’ll be well aware that I believe National are taking the wrong approach, as in my view did and are, Labour. Governments, including local government (my own Southland Regional Council included) are bound-up in politics and largely unable and unwilling to do much that is useful about this threat to our collective well-being. But I have ideas to ease that unwillingness and lack of action 🙂
    Over to you, Will.


  20. fort!


  21. farmerbraun says:

    Robert the point is that , after all this time and money , the IPCC says it cannot put a figure on ECS; the only number that matters. To be fair they said , right at the outset, that it was well nigh impossible to predict the climate.

    So you are perfectly free to believe media hype , and all manner of alarmist nonsense, but you must accept that there is no scientific basis for your belief.


  22. farmerbraun says:

    ” they are as correct as it is possible to be. ”

    Yes obviously ; they admit that it is not possible to be correct about future climate. The failed climate models are scientific evidence that they are wholly correct.
    That does not mean that a future model might not get it right; but why it is right is the critical understanding that is currently lacking.


  23. farmerbraun says:

    ““I believe we can learn from all form of farming systems, including organic practices, so long as these are underpinned by robust science”.

    I have to say that it is difficult to give any credence to Rolleston if he believes there is such a thing as a ” scientific consensus”.
    A consensus is just that. Science does not come into the process.


  24. Mr E says:

    Robert says
    “Climate change – that’s going to create serious drought issues in Greytown, by my reckoning. It’s bad enough already. Somebody must do something.”

    NIWA’s report (2008) called “Climate Change Effects and Impact Assessment” including the IPCC’s revised findings indicate that the Wellington area- more specifically will have wetter summers. By 2% in fact.

    There is no indication that Greytown will have more droughts at all. Information is to the contrary.

    Robert suggests “by my reckoning” is science. It is not. Increased droughts will only happen in “some Eastern areas”.

    Roberts has, in the past, suggested he is Anti-science. His latest statements seem to corroborate this. I think when he chooses to ignore climate change science and ‘reckon’ his own, he is a climate change denier.


  25. Will – interesting comments from you…can I just get some clarification from you?
    “you must accept that there is no scientific basis for your belief”
    If you ask that of me, given that I base my views on the significant majority of climate scientists, you too must accept that there is no scientific basis for your belief, given that yours is based on the science of the nay-saying scientists. Or perhaps your view isn’t based on science at all? I’m keen to hear your response.
    Secondly, can you comment on my belief that, while scientists admit that 100% certainty isn’t possible, 98% probability is, and that is what the climate scientists base their actions on? We can’t know absolutely, but can be very confident that certain predictions will occur. You seem to believe that because it’s not 100%, the predictions should be thrown out, as with the baby with the bathwater. I’d like to know how you reconcile this.


  26. Will – Mr E, in claiming that Greytown will not suffer increased droughts because the “information is to the contrary”, is showing that he believes that accurate predictions can be made.
    In any case, my ‘prediction’ for Greytown is was one made in jest, following a comment from Roger Barton. I have no idea what the fate of Greytown might be. I have family there and they are farmers. I’ll ask them when I am there next (3 week’s time!) Mr E missed the subtly of that, as is common for him. The rest of his ad hom/passive/aggressive rant is not worth a jot and I’d ask “Mr E” if he wouldn’t mind letting Will and I get on with a rational, constructive discussion, without his shallow witterings distracting us from drilling down to what might be a revelation on the topic.


  27. willdwan says:

    Sorry Robert, I can’t really follow what you’re getting at. You’re not very clear when you get excited. Take the pills mate.

    For what it’s worth, I have serious doubts about the wilder claims AGW proponents make, scientists or not. Paul Erlich and Rachael Carson are/were scientists, both mad as snakes and dead wrong. And infant sciences like climatology are very prone to error. They get better with time. But most of my scepticism is reserved for the tax heavy solutions. They obviously won’t achieve anything, so why insist on them? Farmers are practical people, they like solutions that they can see will deliver results, and like all businessmen they like to measure the outcomes. Carbon taxes just seem like yet another way to seize the hard earned fruits of our labour, .


  28. TraceyS says:

    Carson wasn’t dead wrong about DDT but provides a lesson that scientists don’t always see the wood for the trees, particularly when they are very passionately involved with their field of study:

    “Neither Rachel Carson, nor the green movement – nor the US government seemed aware of the dire human consequence of banning the manufacture of DDT and its lookalikes before substitutes were available … In 1963 malaria was about to become effectively controlled. The insecticide ban led to a rise in malaria deaths to 2 million yearly, plus over 100 million disabled by the disease.” (Lovelock, J: 2014)

    That’s where the rest of us come in.


  29. I wasn’t aware, Will, that we were discussing “the wilder claims AGW proponents make”, nor did I realise were were discussing tax. You seem to have jumped from establishing our positions on the validity of the science that describes AGW, to your two pet issues.
    Have I got that right?


  30. And I’ve been conflating farmerbraun’s comments with yours, Will.
    That’s my mistake and I apologise for confusing you. His views add to the discussion, imho.


  31. farmerbraun says:

    Just to clarify ; what the scientific process tells us to date is that it is not possible to put a figure on ECS. Nobody disagrees with that.
    The IPCC says that and so does everybody else.
    The fact is that we are still not in a position to say that there will be a problem or that there will not : we just don’t know.
    That is the only possible scientific conclusion currently in respect of climate.

    In addition , though not relevant to climate , everyone agrees that cheap, clean, renewable energy is necessary for the current “civilization” to go on indefinitely.


  32. That it’s “not possible to put a figure on ECS” does not mean that “we are still not in a position to say that there will be a problem or that there will not : we just don’t know.”
    The IPCC scientists are clear that, Houston, we have a problem! We have it now and it is worsening! How are they able to declare that we are in trouble? They listen to their fellow scientists in other fields that describe the effects they are recording: botanists, glaciologists, marine zoologists et al who have been saying for sometime now, there is a worrying deterioration of the systems they study and the common denominator for that, is AGW.
    “Waiting for a number”, farmerbraun seems to have blunted your common sense to a dangerous point.
    Here’s a number for you: 400.44 ppm.
    Do you know what that refers to?
    You’ll find the answer on the website.


  33. farmerbraun says:

    Robert that makes no sense whatsoever.
    If , as the IPCC says , we do not know what will be the effect on Global Average temperature from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 , then we do not know if it will be big or small, positive or negative, dangerous or harmless , or trivial ; undetectable even.

    That is what ECS is ; the sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of CO2
    We do not know what its value is.

    I am not waiting for a number : I build resilience into my operation as a matter of survival.

    Of course we are having an effect on our ecosystem, but we know what the common factor in that effect is ; it’s population pressure.
    Every species does this .

    To date there is no clear evidence that the climate has been affected by anything humanity has done.

    And there cannot be scientific conclusions about that until we know exactly how climate works.
    If we do not know exactly how climate works then it is impossible to accurately attribute any change that we might observe to any single factor

    It’s basic fifth form science ; falsifying the Null hypothesis.


  34. “To date there is no clear evidence that the climate has been affected by anything humanity has done.”

    Let me ask you then, farmerbraun, do you think humanity’s activities have affected the climate in any way?


  35. farmerbraun says:

    “affected the climate in any way?”

    It is stating the obvious to say that we have affected our environment.
    What we do not know is whether the climate is, or is not , controlled by powerful factors which we cannot overcome i.e factors which are outside of our influence. What we can say is this –

    Other things being equal , a rise in atmospheric CO2 may produce some warming.
    But other things are never equal. The climate is a dynamic system.
    If rising CO2 is having an effect then it is indiscernible or trivial.
    According to all observations , climate is much as it has been in recent times i.e. slowly rising temperature since about 1850.
    So no I do not think our activities have affected the climate in any way.
    Further I do not know of any mechanism by which we could profoundly affect the climate (barring nuclear holocaust).
    We do not know how climate is controlled.


  36. “To date there is no clear evidence that the climate has been affected by anything humanity has done.”

    “It is stating the obvious to say that we have affected our environment.”

    Your two statements seem contradictory, farmerbraun.

    You do go on to explain that “the climate is dynamic” and that you
    ” do not think our activities have affected the climate in any way.”
    So you accept that the environment is affected by man’s activities, but not the climate. Only nuclear holocaust, you say, could do that.
    But that’s in complete contradiction to what the IPCC scientists are saying. They are saying that greenhouse gases created by mankind’s industry, is affecting the climate, by increasing the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
    You are at loggerheads with all of those scientists. I believe that they are very much more likely to be correct than you. You are also contradicting the position taken by the new president of the Federated Farmers (farmers’ union) who declared that he accepts that our activities have affected the climate, so you seem to be out on a limb with the likes of Tracey and that’s no good thing, farmerbraun.
    “We do not know how the climate is controlled”, you claim, but that is nonsense. Climate scientists know a great deal about how the climate works, what drives it, what results from various inputs and much, much more. It seems to me that you want to believe that climate is an unknowable phenomenon, so that you can claim immunity from being responsible for anything it does.
    Finally, your claim that any effect from rising Co2 levels being trivial, just sounds like denial at its most naked. The scientists say otherwise. I’ll side with them on this one.


  37. Mr E says:

    While I wait for rational I read:
    “Take the pills mate.”
    “alarmist nonsense”
    Than this:
    “I wasn’t aware”
    “nor did I realise were were discussing tax”
    “I’ve been conflating”
    “I apologise for confusing you”
    And this:
    “You are also contradicting the position taken by the new president”
    After you said
    “AGW denier. Bodes ill for farming in New Zealand.”

    WOW! Just wow! I’m almost star struck!


  38. farmerbraun says:

    “The scientists say otherwise. ”

    Robert , you are reduced to argumentum ad vericundiam.
    Not to mention that the statement is also false .. but you are still free to believe what you want to.

    The scientific process has been unable to establish that an increase in atmospheric CO2 will be a problem.

    I am content to side with reality ; when reality changes then so will my view.

    You do yourself no favours by name-calling.


  39. farmerbraun says:

    So here is the empirical evidence , which you are free to ignore.

    Figure 9.2a in AR5 (IPCC) makes it absolutely clear.
    All of the warming — that is all of the warming — of the last 75 years occurred in a single stretch of roughly 15 years, from 1983 to 1998.
    The warming over that stretch was significant, no doubt, but it was entirely driven by two extraordinary ENSO events, primarily the 1997/1998 “super” El Nino.

    Even so, the warming of the 1930s almost precisely matched it, to the point where if one cuts the 20th century temperature record into two pieces and display them side by side, it is not at all easy to tell which one is warming with the help of CO2 and which is warming without it.

    Of the last 75 years of the temperature record, 60 of them have been neutral to slightly cooling, 15 of them warming.

    One then has a choice. One can either pick the single 15 year stretch of warming and claim that this is somehow the correct behavior and everything else is anomaly, or one can not pick at all and use the warming trend from1850 to the present of perhaps 0.05 to 0.06 C/decade as the trend of all of the data.

    Either way, the climate has been neutral now for longer (17 years and counting) than the sole warming burst of the last 75 years lasted. (15 years)

    That’s reality for you.


  40. farmerbraun says:

    Just to make that perfectly clear:-

    Either way, the climate has (recently) been neutral . . . for longer (17 years and counting , since 1997) than the sole warming burst of the last 75 years lasted. (15 years from 1983-1998)

    So that does not contradict the unassailable evidence that we have had only 15 years of warming in the last 75 .


  41. Name-calling??

    Argumentum ad vericundiam is an interesting concept and works for your argument only if I invoked it to try to prove that your facts are wrong, which I didn’t. The AGW ‘argument’ is one where teams present facts by the bucket-full to support their particular argument and neither ‘side’ changes their position one iota. I would suggest that swopping facts, countering one with another, trumping one set of figures with another set, is pointless at the level we are discussing, given that we are amateurs (apologies to you, farmerbraun, if you are in fact a climate scientist). From the positions we occupy, citing the view of authorities is the most useful thing we can do. We can quibble, but the body of scientists that’s purpose is to sort through the data, says one thing most strongly and that contradicts very clearly, the position you have taken. Certainly you can cite details that would take me a great deal of effort to address, but my question in response to each of them is, why hasn’t the body of expert scientists taken your view, why aren’t they saying what you are saying, because they are not. You are a very-much-minority voice, presenting facts that the climate scientists will have access to, yet aren’t declaring that human activity has not had any more than a trifling effect on the climate, if any effect at all, as you are, are they?
    From my position as a layman, I look at your claims, and where I can’t counter or confirm them as true or otherwise, look to those who work at a professional level with the issue and check to see if they have reversed their positions. They haven’t, therefore I’m comfortable continuing to accept their considered views over your considered views. My apologies for that.


  42. farmerbraun says:

    That’s OK. That is why I only referenced material that came from the IPCC, and only material that is undisputed by both “sides.”

    I only presented data ; you must interpret it for yourself. That is difficult given that the IPCC scientists are invariably misreported.

    My real point was that reality is winning this debate. I’m very comfortable with that.

    In fact my career as a farmer has depended entirely on getting an accurate read on reality , especially in regard to climate and weather.

    Just for the record: AGW is a hypothesis, not an argument. AGW is not a theory, and may never advance to that status. It depends upon whether or not reality provides support for the hypothesis.

    P.S. I will agree that – ” just sounds like denial at its most naked. ” – is not name calling . . . just. 🙂


  43. Your career as a farmer and your ability to “read” the weather and understand the climate – does that involve predicting what’s ahead? I just wonder how you do that. Do you ‘do science’ and rely entirely upon the data you collect before taking any actions, ’cause you know, you just can’t know, with climate. Do you, perhaps, look to experts for their opinion on climate trends for your region? Or maybe you talk with others who have “common sense” about climate patterns and make judgements based in part, on those?
    Superb morning, btw, in Riverton. Not a cloud in the sky, calm as a millpond. Winter here so far, has been summery – warmer than we’ve ever known it to be. The plants are acting strangely, if you regard potatoes continuing to grow through winter, their tops green and healthy as odd. Of course, I won’t extrapolate out to the rest of the planet from what the weather is like where I live, just as you wouldn’t, farmerbraun.


  44. Mr E says:

    Winter has been summery. Invercargill is currently 2 degrees. forecast to get to 10 degrees.

    Expert weather advice there from Robert Guyton.


  45. farmerbraun says:

    Yes I do science. I accept that we know a little bit about the shorter weather cycles ; knowledge that is based entirely on observation. I have farmed long enough to have observed those cyclical changes for myself.
    From a farming point of view , all I have to do is work with those cyclical changes, having observed what they mean for my farm which is not irrigated.
    In fact all I really need to know is when the change points are likely to occur , give or take a couple of years.

    So I am beginning to think about the return to a predominance of el Nino in about 15 years time, and what i should do to capitalise on that shift.
    Having farmed through one such cycle (1975-1999), I am confident that I will do a better job of it next time, probably still without irrigation , even though abundant water is immediately available for the taking.


  46. Mr E – I said, “winter”, not “today”.
    You can’t see, it seems, the wood for the trees.

    farmerbraun. Very sensible of you. I admire your attitude to irrigation, provided I’m reading you right. Adapting your practices to the climate and conditions, rather than imposing an engineering solution on the farm is my much-preferred action also. That said, and thinking about the long-term approach you take, I’m surprised that you don’t regard the long-term predictions of the climate scientists more seriously. Still, you’ve explained your position well and I can see your view is entrenched 🙂
    Naturally, my view on climate change remains as it was, as does yours. I did however, learn that you believe the climate is to powerful and agent to be changed by humans, which amazes me, as from what I’ve seen from diagrams, the atmosphere is surprisingly thin and doesn’t extend from the surface of the planet very far at all. It looks kinda finite to me and from what I read, we are putting significantly large amounts of gas into that … gas. Expecting there to be no effect from doing that seems naive to me.


  47. too powerful an agent


  48. farmerbraun says:

    Yes I did apprehend that you believe the causes of climate change are more proximate. I take the view that we don’t know that.


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