Word of the day

July 15, 2019

Folliful – full of folly; foolish; having a liking for playing pranks.


Rural round-up

July 15, 2019

Mystery chopper hangs over stock – Neal Wallace:

Southland farmers are feeling under siege by campaigns believed to be by animal welfare and environmental activists questioning intensive livestock wintering practices.

There have been multiple reports in recent weeks of a helicopter with a camera on the front hovering over stock being wintered on crops in various parts of the province.

Separately, Waikato businessman Angus Robson has confirmed he plans to travel to Southland as part of a campaign highlighting questionable wintering practices. . .

Bacteria key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from sheep – Esther Taunton:

New Zealand scientists have singled out the microbes responsible for producing methane in sheep, a discovery which could help reduce emissions from livestock.

Scientists from AgResearch and Otago University are part of a global team that has identified processes that control methane production in sheep and other ruminant animals like cattle and deer.

As well as identifying gut bacteria which produce hydrogen during digestion in sheep, the researchers discovered which organisms feed on that hydrogen in the production of methane.  . .

New NOIC chief executive – Sally Brooker:

Andrew Rodwell brings international leadership experience to his new job as chief executive of the North Otago Irrigation Company.

He has replaced Robyn Wells, who spent nearly nine years in the role.

Mr Rodwell has a BSc from Canterbury University and a finance diploma from Auckland University’s Graduate School of Business.

As New Zealand’s trade commissioner in Los Angeles he focused on food and agritech, then formed and led a United States subsidiary for Telecom New Zealand. . .

Beekeeper buzzing after honey medals – Richard Davison:

A South Otago beekeeper is enjoying a sweet buzz after flying high at the country’s top honey awards.

Allen McCaw, of Milburn Apiaries near Milton, received the Supreme Award at the ApiNZ National Honey Competition in Rotorua recently, after hauling in two golds, a silver and a bronze medal for his creamed honey entries.

Although he and wife Maria were now working towards retirement, he still enjoyed competing with the honey from his ”cottage” factory to the rear of the couple’s 6.5ha smallholding on State Highway 1, Mr McCaw (69) said. . .

Young Farmers posts big loss – Colin Williscroft:

A one-off gift let Young Farmers record a surplus for its latest financial year instead of a significant loss.

The organisation reported a profit of $4.61 million for the year ending September 30, 2018.

But that was because it was bequeathed a farm valued at $5.5m. 

Its trading results show losses of about $900,000 for the year though chief executive Lynda Coppersmith is confident the organisation is on the right track to ensure that won’t happen again. . .

Stratford shearer Gavin Mutch wins for Scotland at world championships – Mike Watson:

Stratford shearer Gavin Mutch returned to the podium at the world shearing championships in France.

The Scottish-born shearer combined with compatriot Calum Shaw to win the teams’ event at the championships in Le Dorat, western France, at the weekend.

​Mutch and Shaw finished ahead of Welsh pairing Alun Lloyd Jones and Richard Jones, and New Zealand’s Cam Ferguson and Rowland Smith, who were third. . .


Submit on Carbon Zero Bill

July 15, 2019

Submissions on the Carbon Zero Bill close tomorrow.

The Bill as it stands is deeply flawed.

It will impose enormous economic costs on the country; severely decrease New Zealand’s export income and GDP; and destroy rural communities.

It will at best have a tiny impact on global emissions and at worst will increase them as food production losses here are replaced by increases from  less efficient producers in other countries.

The more submissions pointing our flaws and suggesting better alternatives, the better the chance of effecting change.

You can make submissions here.

Federated Farmers’ submission is here.

Alliance Group’s submission is here.

Mine follows, you’re welcome to use any or all of it in making your own one.

Comments on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Bill

  • 1. If we accept the science on climate change we must apply the best science in response to it.

Forestry is a short-term band aid on fossil fuel emissions.

Pine trees are not a long-term solution to meeting our emissions targets. Allowing pine forests to be used as carbon sinks will not encourage the behaviour change required to reduce emissions

Forestry should be used to offset biological emissions not fossil fuels.

Farmers should be able to claim full offsets for all available carbon sinks.

The point of obligation has to be on-farm to achieve behaviour change

Allowing farmers to off-set biological emissions with trees provides them with the incentive plant more.

The Methane targets in the Bill are impractical, without serious reductions to stocking rates (and damaging the NZ GDP). There currently exist no technologies that can meet these reductions as alternatives to reducing stocking rate.

Gene editing should be permitted in New Zealand as a tool to reduce methane emissions and genetic modification should be researched to determine if it has a place in reducing emissions.

  • 2.  If we are following the Paris Accord in reducing our emissions we must follow the Paris Accord in ensuring that carbon sinks do not come at the expense of food production.

Subsidies for planting trees and lower hurdles for foreigners buying farmland to convert to forestry than those who would continue farming are turning productive farmland into forests.

The right tree in the right place is not forests on farmland well suited to raising stock or crops.

If our response is to be sustainable it must be sustainable in the full sense – not just environmentally but economically and socially too.

Turning productive farmland into forestry is already reducing jobs in, and taking people from, rural communities. It is neither economically nor socially sustainable.

Nor is it environmentally beneficial: Environment Commissioner Simon Upton’s report Farms, Forests and Fossil Fuels, found that forests could be used to offset biological emissions but not carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

  • 3. If we are thinking globally and acting locally we must take into account the impact of anything we do not just on New Zealand’s emissions but global emissions.

Food insecurity is one of the possible impacts of climate change.

New Zealand feeds 40 million people and leads the world in doing it efficiently.

Even DEFRA (the UK’s equivalent of MPI) says that it is better for the environment for people there to eat imported lamb from New Zealand than local produce: 

Policies which lead to less food being produced here might lower New Zealand’s emissions but will increase global emissions as less efficient food production is increased in other countries.

Policies which incentivise forestry over farming are in direct contradiction to the Paris Accord. That includes lower hurdles for foreigners seeking to buy farmland for forestry than those who would farm it.

The One Billion Trees programme has not thought past the first 30 years, when high harvesting costs and high carbon prices will be a disincentive to harvest. That will leave a “Green Elephant” – many thousands of hectares of trees that  return no harvest value and no carbon value for their owners, and no economic benefit to New Zealand.

Replacing pastoral land with exotic forests in the name of reducing net emissions risks severely impacting this country’s GDP.

Allowing the carbon price to “drift” upward from $25/tonne will create severe distortions in investment markets. The carbon price as it relates to forest sinks should be capped/regulated to prevent these distortions in the market.

The forest harvesting business should have the same environmental standards imposed on it as pastoral farming does.

The right tree in the right place, off setting emissions in the right way is forestry on land not best-suited to farming and off setting biological emissions not fossil fuel emissions.

  • 5. If we are to take climate change seriously we need the knowledge to make the right choices.

Recycling is promoted as better for the environment, but if the environmental impact of transporting and processing is taken into account, is it really better than sending waste to landfills?

Running electric cars emit no emissions and hybrid cars emit lower ones than petrol and diesel vehicles. But if the entire life cycle of the vehicles and their components including mining the lithium and other minerals for batteries and then disposing of them are taken into account, which is better?

Recommendations:

  1. New Zealand’s response to climate change must be based on the best science.
  2. The Carbon Zero Bill must follow the Paris Accord’s recognition that climate change mitigation is not at the expense of food production.
  3. All impacts of the Carbon Zero BIll must be sustainable in the full sense – environmentally, economically and socially.
  4. The definition in the Bill of “net emissions” only allows for land-use change and forestry. The definition of net emissions in the Bill should be amended to allow for “other forms of sequestration” including regeneration of native bush, smaller scale permanent plantings or soil sequestration.”.
  5. Forestry must not be used to offset fossil fuel emissions.
  6. Farmers must be permitted to offset biological emissions with forestry.
  7. There should be no tax on biological emissions
  8. Gene editing should be permitted in New Zealand as a tool to reduce methane emissions and research into genetic modification should be permitted to determine if it has a place in reducing emissions.

Quote of the day

July 15, 2019

Education doesn’t make you happy. Nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free – if we are. Or because we’ve been educated – if we have. But because education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. It opens our eyes, our ears, tells us where delights are lurking, convinces us that there is only one freedom of any importance whatsoever, that of the mind, and gives us the assurance – the confidence – to walk the path our mind, our educated mind, offers. ― Iris Murdoch who was born on this day in 1919.


July 15 in history

July 15, 2019

1099 First Crusade: Christian soldiers took the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem  after the final assault of a difficult siege.

1207 John of England expelled Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton.

1240  A Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.

1381  John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, was hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England.

1410  Battle of Grunwald: allied forces of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the army of the Teutonic Order.

1573 Inigo Jones, English architect, was born (d. 1652).

1606 Rembrandt, Dutch artist, was born (d. 1669).

1685  James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth was executed at Tower Hill  after his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor.

1741 Alexei Chirikov sighted land in Southeast Alaska and sent men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1779 Clement Clarke Moore, American educator, author, and poet, was born  (d. 1863).

1789 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, was named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.

1799  The Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.

1806  Pike expedition: United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike began an expedition from Fort Belle Fountaine to explore the west.

1815  Napoléon Bonaparte surrendered aboard HMS Bellerophon.

1823 A fire destroyed the ancient Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

1838 Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage.

1850  Mother Cabrini, Italian-born Catholic saint, was born  (d. 1917).

1870 Reconstruction era of the United States: Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

1870 Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory were transferred to Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories were established from these  territories.

1870 The Kingdom of Prussia and the Second French Empire started the Franco-Prussian War.

1888  The stratovolcano Mount Bandai erupted killing approximately 500 people.

1905 Dorothy Fields, American librettist and lyricist, was born (d. 1974).

1906 Rudolf “Rudi” Uhlenhaut, German automotive engineer and test driver (Mercedes Benz), was born  (d. 1989).

1911 Edward Shackleton, English explorer, was born  (d. 1994).

1914 Akhtar Hameed Khan, pioneer of Microcredit in developing countries, was born (d. 1999).

1914 – The first large group of men wounded at Gallipoli to return to New Zealand arrived in Wellington on the Willochra.

1914 Hammond Innes, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1915 – The first large group of Gallipoli wounded to return to New Zealand arrived in Wellington on the Willochra as part of a draft of around 300 men.

First Gallipoli wounded arrive home

1916  In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporated Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).

1918 World War I: the Second Battle of the Marne began near the River Marne with a German attack.

1918 – Joan Roberts, American actress, was born.

1919   Iris Murdoch, Irish writer, was born (d. 1999).

1920 The Polish Parliament establishes Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship before the Polish-German plebiscite.

1926  Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentine dictator, was born (d. 2003).

1927  Massacre of July 15, 1927: 89 protesters were killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.

1929  First weekly radio broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio show, Music and the Spoken Word.

1931 Clive Cussler, American author, was born.

1933 Jack Lovelock’s set a world record for a mile run at Princeton University, beating the old record for the mile, held by Jules Ladoumegue, by almost two seconds. It was dubbed the ‘greatest mile of all time’ by Time Magazine.

Lovelock smashes world mile record

1934 Continental Airlines commenced operations.

1943 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Irish astrophysicist, was born.

1946 Linda Ronstadt, American singer, was born.

1946  Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, was born.

1947 Peter Banks, British guitarist (Yes), was born.

1954 First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.

1955 Eighteen Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.

1956 Marky Ramone, American musician (Ramones), was born.

1959  The steel strike of 1959 began, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.

1974  In Nicosia, Greek-sponsored nationalists launched a coup d’état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.

1979 U.S.President Jimmy Carter gave his famous “malaise” speech, where he characterised the greatest threat to the country as “this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.”

1983 The Orly airport attack in Paris left 8 people dead and 55 injured.

1996  A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashed on landing at Eindhoven Airport.

2002  Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan handed down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

2003  AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation was established on the same day.

2006 – Twitter was launched, becoming one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

2014  – A train derailed on the Moscow Metro, killing at least 24 and injuring more than 160 others.

2016 – Factions of the Turkish Armed Forces attempted a coup.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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