Word of the day

July 10, 2019

Spraff – to speak excessively or pointlessly; to speak nonsense.


Sowell says

July 10, 2019


Rural round-up

July 10, 2019

From vodka to high country – Sally Rae:

Geoff and Justine Ross are best known as entrepreneurs and founders of the hugely successful 42 Below vodka company. But they have traded city life for a rural adventure at Lake Hawea Station where they are using the skills gained in business to apply them to the rural sector. They speak to agribusiness reporter Sally Rae.

Geoff Ross was always going to be a farmer.

But the career path he took to farm ownership was not necessarily what he envisaged growing up on a deer and dairy farm in the North Island.

His wife Justine recalls how she wanted to marry a farmer; in fact, she thought she was marrying a farmer. It did not quite pan out like that. . .

Keeping the farm in the family – Luke Chivers:

Kairuru farmer Amanda Henderson says there’s a whole lot more to farming than picking a paddock and putting some animals in it. The fourth-generation sheep and beef farmer is dedicated to shifting the perception of New Zealand’s primary sector. She spoke to Luke Chivers.

When people think of agriculture, not all think of science, innovation and technology. 

But, thankfully, one South Islander is set on changing that.

“I believe education is critical in the agricultural sector,” 33-year-old Amanda Henderson says. . .

Farmers find perfect match in 100% grass-fed wagyu beef producer group – Sally Rae:

Southland farmers Mike and Kirsty Bodle are looking to create a point of difference – or X-factor – in their farming operation.

The couple moved south from the North Island 14 years ago and bought a drystock farm after deciding they liked the region.

After a few years, they bought a neighbouring property to convert to dairy but when the dairy market started experiencing volatility, they decided they needed to spread their risk to cover themselves during those times . .

Chewing out the vegetarian preachers – Steve Wyn-Harris:

I was a vegan myself once.

It was in India 40 years ago in a small village where it seemed everyone was vegan, going by the menus in the cafes.

But it was only for one day.

The next village appeared to eat meat and nothing else. . .

Kiwi healthcare company HoneyLab on the cusp of going global – Esther Taunton:

A decade after it was set up, healthcare company HoneyLab is on the cusp of going global, co-founder Dr Shaun Holt says.

A clinical study recently proved the company’s flagship kānuka honey jell, Honevo, is as effective in treating cold sores as well-known pharmaceuticals.

It was the second big win for the product, which has also been proven effective in treating rosacea, and growing international interest is keeping Holt busy. . .

Comedian Te Radar brings the light touch to agricultural events – Gerard Hutching:

After two decades on TV screens, the stage and the comedy circuit, beloved entertainer Te Radar has become the go-to jester for the agricultural crowd, and with good reason.

The funnyman has serious cred in rural circles; he grew up on a dairy farm in north Waikato, on the isthmus bordered by the Waikato River that juts into Lake Waikare. His father was a top elected official in Federated Farmers.

No stranger to the milking shed, he helped on the family farm until he was 20. But dairying held no long term attraction. . .


Are electric vehicles as green as they’re painted?

July 10, 2019

Stuff asks which are the cleanest and dirtiest car brands in New Zealand?

. . .Actually, the car brand currently on sale in NZ with the lowest emissions of all is Tesla, which boasts an unbeatable CO2 output (or non-output?) of 0.0. Obviously that’s because they are fully electric, which means the only connection with CO2 these cars might have, would be from what emerges from any gas or coal-fired power stations that generate the electricity in the first place.

But, as so often in the climate change argument, this doesn’t give the whole picture. It counts only the emissions from running the car, what about the emissions in making it, in particular the battery?

A friend has recently returned from Africa where he saw a continual procession of fuel tankers making the journey from the coast to supply mines in the Congo so that cobalt and lithium can be exported to allow people in rich countries to buy electric cars to save the world.

If you take into account the emissions from the many thousands of kilometres those tankers travel and everything else involved in their manufacture and disposal when judging the CO2 output of electric and hybrid cars, would they still be as green as they’re painted?

I don’t know the answer to that question and it raises another: how can we know what is green and what is greenwash if only the emissions from running vehicles are quantified and not those from their manufacture to their eventual end?

The answer to those two questions is even more important now the government is proposing a ‘feebate’ scheme on the sale of new vehicles.

The Government’s proposal for a sweeping fuel-efficient vehicle policy is being criticised because it doesn’t apply to the majority of cars being sold.

It would only apply to newly-imported used and brand new light vehicles from 2021 onwards, and would only hit those vehicles when they are sold for the first time – taking in about only a quarter of vehicle sales.

School Strike 4 Climate NZ criticised the proposal and said all vehicle sales should be affected by fuel efficiency standards.

The “feebate” scheme wouldn’t cost the taxpayer anything, instead using money gained by putting a fee on imported high-emissions cars in order to make imported hybrids, electric cars, and other efficient vehicles cheaper with a subsidy. . .

It wouldn’t cost the taxpayer anything but who would it help and who would it hurt?

The proposed penalty on ‘gas guzzling’ vehicles is a painful, regressive tax, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “Let’s be very clear: this is a tax on Otara vehicles to subsidise Teslas in Remuera.”

“Only a few, largely high-income, motorists will benefit from this subsidy, while many more low income motorists will have to choose between a nasty penalty or delaying the purchase of a new car. And as this tax leads driver to hold on to their existing vehicles for longer, we’ll miss out on improvements to safety and environmental standards.”

Older cars are less efficient and also not as safe as newer vehicles, but what’s the environmental impact from holding on to them longer?

Would spreading the emissions from making them over a longer period compensate for the emissions from driving them?

What about utes and trucks that are used for business and transporting goods and for which there are no hybrid or electric alternatives.?

“Successive Governments have already whacked motorists hard with hikes to petrol tax. Now Julie-Anne Genter is mixing it up with scheme to ‘take from the poor, give to the rich’.”

“Just because something is shrouded in environmental branding doesn’t make it any less nasty to the poor.”

Electric and hybrid cars cost less to run than petrol or diesel ones and newer vehicles are more efficient than older ones so  people who can’t afford newer, more expensive vehicles will be paying a bigger proportion of the fuel tax.

London has emission charges and diesel vehicles, including taxis, have to use AdBlue  to their fuel. When we were there recently we noticed the air was much cleaner than it had been several years earlier.

Clean air is to be encouraged but until the total lifetime emissions, not just from driving vehicles, but from their conception to their ultimate end, are quantified, we won’t know if the policy will make a positive difference or not to global CO2 emissions or not.

The emissions picture is a very complex one to which the ‘feebate’ policy, like so many other climate change ones, provides a simple answer but we don’t have enough information to know if it’s the right one.

The push towards electric vehicles raises two other questions: does our electricity generation and transmission have the capacity for a significant increase in electric vehicles?; and what will replace fuel taxes when the uptake of hybrid and electric vehicles reduces them to the point a replacement is required?


Quote of the day

July 10, 2019

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe who was born on this day in 1943.


July 10 in history

July 10, 2019

48 BC Battle of Dyrrhachium: Julius Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia.

988 The city of Dublin was founded on the banks of the river Liffey.

1212 The most severe of several early fires of London burns most of the city to the ground.

1452  King James III of Scotland  was born (d. 1488).

1460 Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick defeated  the king’s Lancastrian forces and took King Henry VI prisoner in the Battle of Northampton.

1499  Portuguese explorer Nicolau Coelho returned to Lisbon, after discovering the sea route to India as a companion of Vasco da Gama.

1509  John Calvin, French religious reformer, was born  (d. 1564).

1553 Lady Jane Grey took the throne of England.

1584 William I of Orange was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard.

1645  English Civil War: The Battle of Langport.

1778 American Revolution: Louis XVI of France  declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1789 Alexander Mackenzie reached the Mackenzie River delta.

1802 Robert Chambers, Scottish author and naturalist, was born  (d. 1871).

1804  – Emma Smith, Inaugural President of the Women’s Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born (d. 1879).

1806 The Vellore Mutiny, the first instance of a mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company.

1821 The United States took possession of its newly bought territory of Florida from Spain.

1830 Camille Pissarro, French painter, was born  (d. 1903).

1850  Millard Fillmore was inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States.

1859 Big Ben rang for the first time.

1864  Austin Chapman, Australian politician, was born (d. 1926).

1871  Marcel Proust, French writer, was born (d. 1922).

1875  Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, was born (d. 1955).

1903 John Wyndham, British author, was born (d. 1969).

1909 Donald Sinclair, British hotel manager, inspiration for Fawlty Towers, was born  (d. 1981).

1913  Death Valley, California hit 134 °F (~56.7 °C), the highest temperature recorded in the United States.

1921 Belfast’s Bloody Sunday: 16 people were killed and 161 houses destroyed during rioting and gun battles in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

1921 Harvey Ball, American commercial artist, was born (d. 2001).

1925 Meher Baba began his silence of 44 years. His followers observe Silence Day on this date in commemoration.

1925 Scopes Trial: The so-called “Monkey Trial” began with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.

1931 Alice Munro, Canadian writer, was born.

1938  Howard Hughes set a new record by completing a 91 hour flight around the world.

1940 Tom Farmer, Scottish entrepreneur, was born.

1940 World War II: the Vichy government is established in France.

1940  World War II: Battle of Britain – The German Luftwaffe began attacking British convoys in the English Channel thus starting the battle (this start date is contested).

1941 Jedwabne Pogrom: the massacre of Jewish people living in and near the village of Jedwabne in Poland.

1943 World War II: The launching of Operation Husky began the Italian Campaign.

1943 – Arthur Ashe, American tennis player and journalist, , was born (d. 1993).

1947 Arlo Guthrie, American musician, was born.

1947  Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was recommended as the first Governor General of Pakistan by then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Clement Attlee.

1951 Korean War: Armistice negotiations began.

1954 Neil Tennant, British musician (Pet Shop Boys), was born.

1962  Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.

1966 The Chicago Freedom Movement, lead by Martin Luther King, held a rally at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

1967 New Zealand adopted decimal currency.

NZ adopts decimal currency

1968 Maurice Couve de Murville became Prime Minister of France.

1973  The Bahamas gained full independence within the Commonwealth of Nations.

1973 – National Assembly of Pakistan passed a resolution on the recognition of Bangladesh.

1971  King Hassan II of Morocco survived an attempted coup d’etat, which lasts until June 11.

1976 The Seveso disaster in Italy.

1976   One American and three British mercenaries were executed in Angola following the Luanda Trial.

1978  President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania was ousted in a bloodless coup d’état.

1980 Alexandra Palace burned down for a second time.

1985  Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sank in Auckland harbour.

Rainbow Warrior sunk in Auckland harbour

1991 Boris Yeltsin began his 5-year term as the first elected President of Russia.

1991  The South African cricket team was readmitted into the International Cricket Council following the end of Apartheid.

1992 In Miami, Florida, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations.

1997 Scientists reported the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton which supported the “out of Africa theory” of human evolution placing an “African Eve” at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

1997 – Partido Popular (Spain) member Miguel Ángel Blanco was kidnapped in the Basque city of Ermua by ETA members, sparking widespread protests.

1998 The Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by former priest Rudolph Kos.

2000 A leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline explodes, killing about 250 villagers scavenging gasoline.

2000  EADS, the world’s second-largest aerospace group is formed by the merger of Aérospatiale-MatraDASA, and CASA.

2002  At a Sotheby’s auction, Peter Paul Rubens’ painting The Massacre of the Innocents sold for £49.5million (US$76.2 million) to Lord Thomson.

2003 A bus collided with a truck, fell off a bridge on Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong, and plunged into the underlying valley, killing 21 people.

2005  Hurricane Dennis slams into the Florida Panhandle, causing billions of dollars in damage.

2006 Pakistan International Flight PK-688 crashes in Multan, Pakistan, shortly after takeoff, killing all 45 people on board.

2008  Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boškoski is acquitted of all charges by a United Nations Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.

2011 – Russian cruise ship Bulgaria sunk in Volga near Syukeyevo, Tatarstan, leading to 122 deaths.

2015 – The opening ceremony for the 2015 Pan American Games took place in Toronto.

2016 – Portugal beat France in the UEFA Euro 2016 Final.

2017  – Iraqi Civil War: Mosul was declared fully liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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