Word of the day

July 16, 2019

Questive – querying; interrogative.


Sowell says

July 16, 2019


Rural round-up

July 16, 2019

Saving the planet one post at a time – Mark Daniel:

Working as a farmer and fencing contractor for 15 years made Jerome Wenzlick very familiar with fence posts — now he’s “saving the planet one post at a time”.

Over these 15 years, Wenzlick says he saw quality slipping, wastage rising because of breaking posts and at times post availability was a problem.

He had a ‘eureka moment’ during a fencing job next to an old rubbish dump where he had posts breaking on plastics hidden below the surface.

“Surely if plastics are this tough we should be making fence posts from them,” he mused. . . 

The nation’s least worst farmers – Luke Chivers:

Banks Peninsula farmer and self-confessed radical Roger Beattie is never short of new ideas for the primary sector. Luke Chivers visited him to hear about some of the maverick’s pet projects.

On the south side of Banks Peninsula, where the wind gives the tussocks a permanent bend and the next stop is Antarctica, Roger Beattie is mustering his next big plan.

The wild sheep breeder, blue pearl and kelp harvester and would-be weka farmer wants to explain how unique foods and fibres can be produced by combining the diversity of nature with Kiwi can-do ingenuity. . .

How to make $700 a day from trees – Steve Wyn-Harris:

Let us talk about planting trees.

It is, after all, the season for doing just that.

I’m not planting the big numbers I once did, mainly because I’ve filled in all the places where trees were a better option but partly because I’m slowing down.

I’ve planted something like 60,000 trees myself, which sounds reasonably impressive until I mention 30,000 were pine trees. . .

From the ground up – Maureen Howard:

We’ll need to feed extra billions by mid century while being kinder to the land and reducing planet-heating carbon emissions to zero. The challenge has prompted some to call for a great food transition.  Maureen Howard talks to a farmer playing his part.

“It’s like cottage cheese, but black,” says Peter Barrett of the soil that lies beneath Linnburn Station, his 9300ha beef and sheep station at Paerau in Central Otago.

Above ground, depending on the time of year, sheep may be spotted grazing beneath the gaze of yellow sunflowers, surrounded by a mix of up to 30 other plant species.

Not just a pretty postcard, Linnburn Station is home to 25,000 winter stock units. In fact, this is farming close the limits. Much of the terrain is exposed rocky high country and for the past two years, the already low mean annual rainfall has declined to just 170mm. Temperatures fluctuate from below zero to 40degC. . .

The record-setting $10,000 dog – Sally Rae:

This is the story of a dog called Jack.

Bear with, as it can get a little confusing given that Jack – sold for a record price of $10,000 at last week’s PGG Wrightson Ashburton dog sale at Mayfield – was bred by another Jack.

Lake Hawea Station farm manager Jack Mansfield (24) bred Jack the heading dog, giving him to his great-uncle, renowned triallist Peter Boys, when the pup was 2 months old.

Mr Boys owned Jack’s sire and it was “general rule of thumb” to give a pup in return.

Mr Boys, a retired farmer who lives in Timaru, named the pup Jack and trained him up. . .

Rural Safety and Health Alliance kicks off – Sharon O’Keeffe:

Sometimes you need to go back to square one when tackling something as important as farm safety, particularly when there hasn’t been a significant improvement in the statistics.

A new partnership of rural research and development corporations is investing in a fresh approach to improve primary production’s health and safety record centred on innovative research and extension.

The partnership, called the Rural Safety and Health Alliance will invest in practical extension solutions informed by industry input on work, health and safety risks. . . .

 


If we accept the science

July 16, 2019

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is calling for a science-based changes to the Carbon Zero Bill:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is urging the Government to adopt a science-based approach to changes to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill so the country can meet its Paris Agreement commitments while ensuring a more equitable framework for all sectors of the economy.

Jeremy Baker, B+LNZ Chief Insight Officer, says the organisation’s submission is a pragmatic one that reflects the sector’s commitment to being net carbon neutral by 2050, the latest science on methane’s contribution to climate change, and the principles of fairness and equity that mean no one sector is carrying proportionally more of the load than any other.  

The Bill as it stands contradicts a lot of the science, ignores the economic and social impacts and places a far bigger burden on agriculture than other sectors.

“From the start, B+LNZ has consistently called for a science-based approach and that all sectors need to play their part equally in meeting New Zealand’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. 

“What we’ve put forward in our submission reflects the rapidly evolving science on methane as well as the reality that achieving gross reductions in fossil fuel emissions will be what ultimately makes a difference in getting global warming under control.”

B+LNZ’s submission also reflects recent survey data from UMR which indicated 69 percent of New Zealanders support farmers having access to the same tools as fossil fuel emitting industries to offset their emissions, such as using trees.

Science supports planting trees to off-set short-lived biological gases like methane from stock. It does not support forestry for longer-lived emissions from fossil fuels.

B+LNZ’s proposed targets for the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill are:

  • 10 percent gross reduction in methane by 2050; 
  • If further reductions in methane are required, these should not exceed a further 12 percent net reduction by 2050; 
  • The development of gross reduction targets for carbon dioxide 2050; 
  • Net zero carbon dioxide by 2050; and 
  • Net zero nitrous oxide by 2050.
  • B+LNZ is seeking climate change policy frameworks, including greenhouse gas targets, that enable individuals and communities to build resilience across all their well-beings, including ecosystems, community and cultural wellbeing, and economic wellbeing. 

While climate policy and adaptation pathways need to provide for clear and timebound outcomes to enable business and community certainty, including investment certainty; they will also need to provide carefully crafted frameworks to enable the flexibility and innovation required to meet those outcomes. 

If we accept the science about climate change we must accept the science that shows the best way for dealing with it.

Anything else is not sustainable economically, socially or environmentally.

Beef + Lamb’s  full submission is here.

Submissions close today – you can make one here.


Methane target impossible

July 16, 2019

DairyNZ’s submission on the Carbon Zero Bill says the methane target must change.

DairyNZ has released its submission on the Zero Carbon Bill and is calling on the Government to revise the methane target in the Bill to one that does not put at risk New Zealand’s world-leading dairy sector.  Farm profit could go down by as much as 42 percent and have a huge effect on national and regional economies under the current proposed range.

“Dairying in New Zealand is world-leading in producing low emissions milk. We have a reputation for sustainability, and we want to keep it that way,” says DairyNZ Chief Executive Tim Mackle.

“We are committed to playing our part in the transition to a low-emissions economy alongside the rest of New Zealand, but it must be done fairly, and consider the science as well as the economic impacts.

“DairyNZ supports much in this Bill.  However, we still have strong concerns about the proposed 2050 methane reduction target range, and our continued support for the Bill is conditional on this changing” said Dr Mackle.

The Bill contains a 2030 methane target and a 2050 methane target range.

“While the 10% reduction by 2030 will be very challenging, we believe we can make a decent crack at it.  Our modelling indicates an average annual cost could be up to $13,000 per farm between 2020 and 2030. That’s why we are advocating for the target to be checked by the Commission once they are established, and regularly reviewed. 

“However, the 2050 target is just not realistic and must be changed. 

Setting a target that’s impossible to reach disincentives even trying.

”The Government’s proposed 2050 target range of 24 – 47% is not soundly based in science in a New Zealand context and it is higher than official advice.

“The economic modelling used to inform the Bill was also undercooked and did not include a robust analysis of the implications for dairy farmers. This is a fundamental issue, given the significant role of the dairy industry in New Zealand’s economy.

The Bill concentrates on the environment without taking into account the economic and social impacts of its prescription.

That is not sustainable.

“DairyNZ is calling for the 2050 target to be up to 24%, and regularly reviewed whilst the science remains unsettled.  We are also seeking that farmers to get recognition for their planting as a way of offsetting emissions. This figure reflects a fair-share reduction in methane required to stay below the 1.5-degree threshold and is broadly in line with the analysis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, and other climate scientists, and is a prudent yet ambitious approach.

“DairyNZ estimates that with an up to 50% cut in methane dairy farmers total profit could reduce by between 33 to 42 per cent across the 2030-2050 period. This is a substantial loss in income and is more than ten times higher than the cost of $2,500 per farm estimated in the Regulatory Impact Statement.

That’s not just money out of farmers’ pockets. It’s money lost from the New Zealand economy and any loss of production is also a loss of export income.

“As a sector we have come a long way and we know we need to do more to help our farmers reduce and manage their emissions.  That’s why we’ve been working over the last two years on our Dairy Action for Climate Change programme to build understanding and knowledge.

“DairyNZ will be there to support our farmers through the transition to a low emissions future. We will be announcing a new programme in August aimed specifically at improving greenhouse gases, water quality and profitability on farms at the same time to support a just transition.

“Farmers are putting a lot of effort into planting on their farms, which have water quality, biodiversity, biosecurity, and greenhouse gas benefits. Policies must see farmers getting recognition for this as every bit helps.

“We believe our position is an ambitious but fair approach that is informed by science.  We hope that bipartisan support for this Bill can be achieved.

“Dairy in New Zealand has changed and innovated over the last 30 years, and we will continue to do so into the future. We can do this if the settings and support are right.” Dr Mackle concluded.

Further progress won’t be achieved with the imposition of unrealistic targets.

Such large reductions in methane are impossible unless and until science provides better ways of achieving them.

DairyNZ’s full submission is here.

Submissions on the Carbon Zero Bill close today. You can make a submissions here.


Quote of the day

July 16, 2019

Reading isn’t a competition. It isn’t how many words you can read. What even tiny children can do with a book is make their own personal exploration of a story. I think books are a wonderful piece of technology, I hope they survive. There’s never been a time for an ideal childhood, mine certainly wasn’t, but I do think that if there’s anything wrong with childhood today is that there’s too much on offer and everything moves at great speed. What I want children to do is linger, turn the page, see themselves as readers long before they can read.Shirley Hughes who celebrates her 92nd birthday today.


July 16 in history

July 16, 2019

622 The beginning of the Islamic calendar.

1054 Three Roman legates fracture relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal Bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as starting the East-West Schism.

1194 Saint Clare of Assisi, Italian follower of Francis of Assisi, was born (d. 1253).

1212  Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa: Forces of Kings Alfonso VIII of Castile, Sancho VII of Navarre, Pedro II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal defeated those of the Berber Muslim leader Almohad, thus marking a significant turning point in the Reconquista and medieval history of Spain.

1377  Coronation of Richard II of England.

1661 The first banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco..

1683 Manchu Qing Dynasty naval forces under traitorous commander Shi Lang defeated the Kingdom of Tungning  in the Battle of Penghu near the Pescadores Islands.

1769  Father Junipero Serra founded California’s first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

1779 American Revolutionary War: Light infantry of the Continental Army seized a fortified British Army position in a midnight bayonet attack at the Battle of Stony Point.

1782  First performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s opera The Abduction from the Seraglio.

1809  The city of La Paz  declared its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and formed the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.

1862 American Civil War: David Farragut was promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.

1872 Roald Amundsen, Norwegian polar explorer, was born (d. 1928).

1880 Emily Stowe became the first female physician licensed to practice medicine in Canada.

1911 Ginger Rogers, American actress and dancer, was born (d. 1995).

1915  Henry James became a British citizen, to dramatise his commitment to England during the first World War.

1918 Czar Nicholas II, his family, the family doctor, their servants and their pet dog were shot by the Bolsheviks, who had held them captive for 2 months in the basement of a house in Ekaterinberg, Russia.

1927 – Shirley Hughes, English author and illustrator, was born.

1928 Anita Brookner, English novelist, was born.

1931 Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia signed the first constitution of Ethiopia.

1935 The world’s first parking meter was installed in the Oklahoma capital, Oklahoma City.

1941 Joe DiMaggio hit safely for the 56th consecutive game.

1942 Holocaust: Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel’ d’Hiv): the government of Vichy France ordered the mass arrest of 13,152 Jews who were held at the Winter Velodrome in Paris before deportation to Auschwitz.

1945 World War II: The leaders of the three Allied nations, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Harry S Truman and leader of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin, met in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany.

1945  Manhattan Project: The Atomic Age began when the United States successfully detonated a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon.

1948 Following token resistance, the city of Nazareth, capitulated to Israeli troops during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War’s Operation Dekel.

1948 – The storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, marked the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane.

1951 King Léopold III of Belgium abdicated in favour of his son, Baudouin Iof Belgium.

1951  J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye was published by Little, Brown and Company.

1952 Stewart Copeland, American drummer (The Police, was born.

1957  United States Marine major John Glenn flew a F8U Crusader supersonic jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record.

1960  USS George Washington (SSBN-598) a modified Skipjack class submarine successfully test fired the first Ballistic missile while submerged.

1965 New Zealand’s 161 Battery, stationed at Bien Hoa air base near Saigon, opened fire on a Viet Cong position in support of the American 173rd Airborne Brigade.

NZ artillery opens fire in Vietnam

1965 The Mont Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opened.

1969 Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first manned space mission to land on the Moon was launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

1973 Watergate Scandal: Former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield informed the United States Senate that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.

1979 Iraqi President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and was replaced by Saddam Hussein.

1981 Mahathir bin Mohamad became Malaysia’s 4th Prime Minister; his 22 years in office, ending with retirement on 31 October 2003, made him Asia’s longest-serving political leader.

1983 Sikorsky S-61 disaster: A helicopter crashed off the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities.

1990 Luzon Earthquake struck in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac, Philippines with an intensity of 7.7.

1994 Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.

1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr., piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, died in a plane mishap, with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette.

2004  Millennium Park, considered Chicago’s first and most ambitious early 21st century architectural project, was opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

2007  2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake: an earthquake 6.8 in magnitude and aftershock of 6.6  off Japan’s Niigata coast, killed 8 people, with at least 800 injured, and damaged a nuclear power plant.

2008 – Sixteen infants in Gansu Province, China, who had been fed ontainted milk powder, were diagnosed with kidney stones; in total an estimated 300,000 infants were affected.

2013 – At least 23 children died at a school in Bihar, India, after consuming food tainted with organophosphorus compounds.

2015 – Four U.S. Marines and one gunman died in a shooting spree targeting military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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