Word of the day

July 8, 2015

Concatenation – a series of interconnected events, ideas or things; the action of linking things together in a chain or series, or the condition of being linked in such a way; the operation of joining two strings together.


Rural round-up

July 8, 2015

Federated Farmers “Resilient Agri-business” Conference:

Massey Professor Ralph Sims challenged Federated Farmers National Conference today that New Zealand is not doing enough to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“In spite of what the Government says, there is no policy in place apart from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), [and] I’ve no idea how we are going to meet our target of a five per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions before 2020.

“We can buy carbon credits from the Ukraine (it’s cheap) or grow more trees and reduce transport emissions, but that’s not going to make much a difference to our carbon dioxide emissions before 2020,” he said. . .

Women of Waikato Announced Best Young Butchers:

In the fourth leg of the 2015 Alto Young Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year regional finals, the best young butchers of the Waikato have been announced, and the female entrants have come out on top.
Alana Empson from New World Hillcrest was the winner of the Alto Young Butcher category, while Amanda Naughton from PAK’n’SAVE Clarence Street topped the Competenz Butcher Apprentice category.

In a competitive cutting test, entrants were expected to turn a beef rump, pork loin and a size 20 chicken into a display of value-added cuts in a time allowance of just two hours.

 

 


Flag of the day

July 8, 2015

The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.

There are more than 4000 in the gallery already.

This is Wakatearoa by Mari Pettersson:

flag


More ambitious climate change targets

July 8, 2015

New Zealand will commit to a new, more ambitious climate change target, Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser announced:

“This target is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030,” Mr Groser said. “This is a significant increase on our current target of five per cent below 1990 emission levels by 2020.”

New Zealand will submit the target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. All countries are expected to table targets as part of work towards a new climate change agreement, due to be concluded in Paris in December.

“While New Zealand’s emissions are small on a global scale, we are keen to make a fair and ambitious contribution to the international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the most harmful effects of climate change,” Mr Groser said.

“Almost 80% of our electricity is renewable already, and around half our emissions come from producing food for which there aren’t yet cost-effective technologies to reduce emissions. So there are fewer opportunities for New Zealand to reduce its emissions right now.

Those who think New Zealand isn’t doing enough forget that we’re already doing quite a bit.

Some of that is because there aren’t many of us and we don’t have a lot of heavy industry but do have a natural advantage in generating renewable energy

It’s also important t take a global perspective and acknowledge that although farming contributes a high percentage of our emissions, most of what we produce goes to other countries few if any convert grass to protein as efficiently as we do.

“However, I’m optimistic about the future – our investment in agricultural research is beginning to bear fruit and the cost of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles continues to fall. I think in 5-10 years we’ll be in a good position to reduce our emissions in both agriculture and transport.

“In setting the new target, the Government needed to ensure it was achievable and to avoid imposing unfair costs on any particular sector or group of people. . .

“New Zealand’s target is equivalent to a reduction of 11 per cent below our 1990 emission levels by 2030. Our target is expressed against 2005 emission levels similar to the approach of other significant players including the United States and Canada,” Mr Groser said.

“The target will remain provisional until we ratify the new international agreement. The detailed rules and guidelines for national reduction targets are likely to be set after the Paris meeting. These will cover matters such as the rules on accounting for the land sector, and ensuring international carbon markets meet high standards of environmental integrity.”

“The Government will adopt an appropriate mix of policies to ensure the target is met. In particular, we will begin a review of the Emissions Trading Scheme this year, which will include scope for further public discussion on what New Zealand will do domestically.” Mr Groser said.

Federated Farmers says the new target is an ambitious one:

Federated Farmers Climate Change Spokesperson Anders Crofoot says in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which says reducing fossil fuel use will need to be the major focus to achieve this target. However agriculture will also play its part in development of technologies which will increase productivity whilst reducing carbon intensity of primary sector products.

“Agriculture takes its responsibilities as New Zealand and global citizens seriously and the primary sector already has an impressive track record in achieving carbon efficiency.”

“We continue to play an on-going role in meeting the world’s demand for nutrient-dense protein and finding solutions which addresses both climate change concerns and the food security dynamic.”

“To date, the amount of carbon released in producing a block of butter here in New Zealand is the lowest in the world. It is important to make sure our approach to reducing New Zealand’s emissions does not undermine our critical export industries.”

“In a resource-constrained world, it is vital to use resources efficiently and wisely. Climate change does not begin or end at New Zealand’s borders and New Zealand plays a vital world leading role as one of the most emission efficient food producers and exporters in the world.”

Beggering agriculture here would cause great harm to our economy and it would also increase emissions as less efficient producers in other countries increased production to fill the gap left by us producing less.

Anders Crofoot says New Zealand’s primary sector has made huge gains in carbon efficiency in the past three decades, through enhanced animal and plant genetics, as well as through a much greater understanding of livestock digestion and metabolism. He says our agricultural emissions intensity has declined more than 20 percent since 1990.

“Reducing emissions from biological systems such as dairy cows is not easy. That’s why since 2003, New Zealand’s agricultural sector has invested $30 million to help find solutions. AgResearch scientists have already identified five different animal-safe compounds that can reduce methane emissions from sheep and cattle by 30 to 90 percent. Further trials are needed to confirm that these compounds can reduce emissions in the long term, have no adverse effects on productivity and leave no residues in meat or milk. But all going well, we could possibly see a commercial product for use on-farm within five to ten years.”

“Continued investment will be required to develop science to reduce and treat biological agricultural emissions. This is how we can make a considerable contribution to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by getting larger developing country emitters to adopt our technologies.”

“New Zealand is already sharing its developments and gains through the Ministry for Primary Industries and Federated Farmers Global Research Alliance World Farmers Organisation Farmer Study Tours. The aim is to increase global understanding on agricultural greenhouse gas research and engage farmers on environmental management practices that support sustainable productivity.”

Mr Crofoot concluded “The task before us now is to work on solutions built off an understanding of the strengths we have as an agricultural producer, and how best we can grow those strengths in a manner that improves emissions efficiency and farm productivity.”

Business New Zealand says the target is challenging but achievable :

. . .”Our unique profile, with unusual predominance of agricultural and transport emissions, means we must be deliberate about how we achieve reductions without harming the economy.

“Key to this will be a balanced outcome for all countries taking part in forthcoming negotiations in Paris, facilitating investment, technology development and access to markets in a way that provides New Zealand businesses with the confidence to invest in low-carbon solutions for emission reductions over the long term.”

Balance is indeed the key – balance between all countries and between environmental and economic concerns keeping in mind it is the most vulnerable people who would  pay most dearly if that balance isn’t achieved.


Quote of the day

July 8, 2015

Social media is a tool. What drives the tool is the thought process before, now with social media it gets out there so much quicker and it can spread so quickly and get all these people ‘liking’ and putting their two cents worth in there. Before social media you wrote it on the back of the toilet wall or wrote a letter to the editor and it didn’t cover the same area. –  Dr Donna Swift


July 8 in history

July 8, 2015

1099 First Crusade: 15,000 starving Christian soldiers marched in a religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders looked on.

1283  War of the Sicilian Vespers: Battle of Malta

1497  Vasco da Gama set sail on first direct European voyage to India.

1579 Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, was discovered underground in the city of Kazan.

1663  Charles II of England granted John Clarke a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.

1709  Great Northern War: Battle of Poltava: Peter I of Russia defeated Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava, effectively ending Sweden’s role as a major power in Europe.

1716  Great Northern War: Battle of Dynekilen.

1758  French forces held Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, New York.

1760 French and Indian War: Battle of Restigouche – British defeated French forces in last naval battle in New France.

1775  The Olive Branch Petition signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies.

1776  The Declaration of Independence was read aloud in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Liberty Bell was rung.

1822 Chippewas turned over huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom.

1838 Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German inventor, was born (d. 1917).

1839 John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist, was born (d. 1937).

1853 Commodore Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay.

1859  King Charles XV/Carl IV acceded to the throne of Sweden-Norway.

1864 Ikedaya Jiken: the Shinsengumi sabotaged the Choshu-han shishi’s planned attack on Kyoto, Japan at Ikedaya.

1874  The Mounties began their March West.

1876  White supremacists killed five Black Republicans in Hamburg, SC.

1882 Percy Grainger, Australian composer, was born (d. 1961).

1889  The first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published.

1892  St. John’s, Newfoundland was devastated in the Great Fire of 1892.

1893 The New Zealand Racing Conference was formed to control the thoroughbred horse racing industry.

NZ Racing Conference established

1898 The shooting death of crime boss Soapy Smith released Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip.

1908 Nelson A. Rockefeller, 41st Vice President of the United States, was born (d. 1979).

1920 Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, Danish industrialist (Lego Group), was born (d. 1995).

1926 Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-born psychiatrist, was born (d. 2004).

1932  The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level of the Great Depression, bottoming out at 41.22.

1933 Marty Feldman, English comedian and actor, was born (d. 1982).

1948 The United States Air Force accepted its first female recruits into a programme called Women in the Air Force (WAF).

1960 Mal Meninga, Australian rugby league footballer, was born.

1960  Francis Gary Powers was charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union.

1961 Andrew Fletcher, English musician (Depeche Mode), was born.

1962 Ne Win besieged and dynamited the Ragoon University Student Union building to crash the Student Movement.

1965  Train robber Ronald Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison, London.

1966 King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi was deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi.

1928 Shane Howarth, New Zealand/Wales rugby player, was born.

1969 IBM CICS was made generally available for the 360 mainframe computer.

1970  Richard Nixon delivered a special congressional message enunciating Native American Self-Determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination Act.

1977  The ashes of Ahn Eak-tai, a Korean conductor and the composer of the national anthem Aegukga, were transferred from the island of Majorca to the Korean National Cemetery.

1982 Assassination attempt against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Dujail.

1982 – Senegalese Trotskyist political party LCT was legally recognised.

1992 Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe created the office of High Commissioner on National Minorities.

1996 A man armed with a machete wounded three children and four adults at a primary school in Wolverhampton. Teacher Lisa Potts received the George medal for protecting her pupils, despite being severely injured.

1997 NATO invited the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance in 1999.

1999  Allen Lee Davis was executed by electric chair by the state of Florida, that state’s last use of the electric chair for capital punishment.

2003  Sudan Airways Flight 39, with 116 people on board, crashed in Sudan; the only survivor was a two-year-old boy who subsequently died as a result of his injuries.

2011 – Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle programme.

2014  – Israel launched an offensive on Gaza amidst rising tensions following the killing of Israeli teenagers.

2014 – Brazil lost 1-7 to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final. The event is known as Mineirazo.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: