Word of the day

July 18, 2019

Famelicose – often or constantly very hungry.


Sowell says

July 18, 2019


Rural round-up

July 18, 2019

Suggestions definitely off the agenda – Neal Wallace:

Fonterra will not retain 50c of the milk payout, as suggested by commentators, or change the way it sets the milk price as part of its business reset, chief financial officer Marc Rivers says.

It is confident it can address its debt issue and strengthen its balance sheet without those measures.

The reset is on track to meet its target of $800m this year while reduced spending will boost its profitability.

“We’re both tightening our belts and looking for savings but also looking at our investment portfolio,” Rivers said. . .

Speculators push lamb prices up – Neal Wallace:

Speculators have pushed North Island store lamb prices 35c/kg above the same time last year despite winter slaughter prices being similar to last year.

Affco’s recent $9/kg contract for prime lambs appears to have hyped the store market even though AgriHQ analyst Nicola Dennis says other meat companies are offering winter slaughter prices that mirror last year’s at about $7.50 to $7.80/kg.

The contract is available only in August to Affco clients who have been regular suppliers and applies only to stock processed at North Island plants. . .

Grower group still busy after 100 years – Pam Tipa:

A group of vegetable growers centred on Pukekohe in South Auckland say regulatory changes could be do-or-die for their growing enterprises.

The Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA) celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and vice president Kylie Faulkner says the advocacy role of the group is crucial.

“There are a lot of changes happening now with the Resource Management Act, the National Water Policy Statement and how the different councils are approaching those rules,” she told HortNews.  . . 

Vege growing nice addition to farming business – Peter Burke:

It’s easy to see what the small central North Island town of Ohakune is famous for. On the outskirts of the town is a huge carrot and a children’s play area based on this popular vegetable.

Peter Burke reports on a vegetable grower who has helped enhance the town’s great reputation.

Ron Frew started growing carrots in 1967, just after coming home to Ohakune from completing his university degree. Since then, he and his family have built up a huge farming business which includes growing carrots and potatoes.

They also have a dairy farm and a large sheep and beef property running 25,000 breeding ewes and 650 breeding cows.  . . 

Protein competition on the rise in China – Sally Rae:

Increased protein competition in China is being cited by Rabobank as something to watch as strong demand for beef from China drives up export returns.

In Rabobank’s latest Agribusiness Monthly report, animal protein and sustainability analyst Blake Holgate said the China Meat Association had announced the Chinese government would be expanding its sourcing of animal protein products in an attempt to replace the lost pork production that had resulted from the African Swine Fever outbreak.

That might include allowing imports of Indian buffalo and lifting the current ban on UK beef. There were also reports of an increase in the number of international meat facilities being accredited for export into China. . .

Why George Monibot is wrong – grazing livestock can save the world – L. Hunter Lovins:

George Monbiot’s recent criticism of Allan Savory’s theory that grazing livestock can reverse climate change ignores evidence that it’s already experiencing success

In his recent interview with Allan Savory, the high profile biologist and farmer who argues that properly managing grazing animals can counter climate chaos, George Monbiot reasonably asks for proof. Where I believe he strays into the unreasonable, is in asserting that there is none.

Savory’s argument, which counters popular conceptions, is that more livestock rather than fewer can help save the planet through a concept he calls “holistic management.” In brief, he contends that grazing livestock can reverse desertification and restore carbon to the soil, enhancing its biodiversity and countering climate change. Monbiot claims that this approach doesn’t work and in fact does more harm than good. But his assertions skip over the science and on the ground evidence that say otherwise. . .

 


Forests won’t offset fossil fuel emissions

July 18, 2019

Environment Commisioner Simon Upton says forests won’t offset carbon emissions:

The Government’s Zero Carbon Bill could see millions of hectares of land converted to forestry, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton says.

That is in spite of the Paris Accord stating climate change mitigation shouldn’t come at the expense of food production.

Upton told a meeting of the Middle Districts branch of the Farm Forestry Association in Feilding carbon dioxide emitters will pursue forest offsets on a potentially huge scale, which could see millions of hectares of land go into forestry by the second half of the century.

The Bill allows carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels to be offset by planting trees, an approach that worries him.

“For forests to be a legitimate offset for fossil carbon dioxide emissions there needs to be a broad alignment between the warming caused by emissions and the climate mitigation benefits of the sinks that are meant to be offsetting them. The problem is that there is no such alignment.”

Fossil carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere has a warming effect that lasts for centuries to millennia. 

“By contrast, most forests store carbon on timescales that last decades to centuries. 

Forests will replace productive farmland and reduce food production but won’t fulfil the aim of mitigating carbon emissions.

“Furthermore, forests are vulnerable to many threats, including fire, pests and diseases, which will be further exacerbated by climate change itself.”

Allowing fossil fuel emitters to use the landscape as a place to store emissions will put farmers in direct competition with fossil fuel emitters for land, he said

That’s already happening and being encouraged by government policy that takes a far more lenient approach to foreign buyers who plan to plant farmland in trees than those who plan to farm.

An Upton report, Farms, Forests and Fossil Fuels, advocates a progressive shift to zero carbon dioxide emissions without relying on forest sinks.

“My report made it clear that to safeguard against dangerous climate change we need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as our top priority. 

“The Earth’s average temperature will not stabilise at any level until carbon dioxide emissions reach zero. 

“Progress on nitrous oxide and biological methane can help to reduce peak warming but only if fossil carbon dioxide emissions are on a trajectory towards zero.

“By contrast, I concluded that the use of forest sinks as one means of mitigating biological emissions was more justifiable because the durations of the warming effects of biological emissions are better aligned with the duration of the climate mitigation benefits of trees and because it makes practical sense to manage land – whether for forestry or for farming – in an integrated way. 

“There is no question that we need to reduce our gross emissions of biological gases. 

“But to the extent that we can’t, forest offsetting is a much less risky business than it is with respect to carbon dioxide.

This is the opposite of what the government’s Zero Carbon Bill prescribes.

It won’t allow farmers to plant trees to offset emissions from their stock but will allow fossil fuel emitters to offset their emissions with forests.

Upton said allowing only biological emissions to be offset by trees has the advantage of letting farmers balance sources and sinks across the landscape and address other environmental and socio-economic concerns in parallel. 

“Land-use change would be driven largely by landowners seeking to rebalance the natural capital on which they depend rather than a largely external grab for sink space by the fossil economy. That re-balancing would ideally be done across property boundaries to get the right trees in the right place and the right animals on the right land, taking into account the multiple environmental problems we’re trying to fix.

The right trees in the right place and right animals on the right land makes sense environmentally, economically and socially.

It’s what he calls the landscape approach, which aims to integrate climate mitigation with efforts to address soil erosion, biodiversity loss and water quality. 

This approach is backed by science and it is the one that ought to be taken.


Quote of the day

July 18, 2019

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.Nelson Mandela who was born on this day in 1918.


July 18 in history

July 18, 2019

390 BC Roman-Gaulish Wars: Battle of the Allia – a Roman army was defeated by raiding Gauls, leading to the subsequent sacking of Rome.

64 Great fire of Rome: a fire began to burn in the merchant area of Rome.

1290  King Edward I of England issued the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.

1334  The bishop of Florence blessed the first foundation stone for the newcampanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone.

1389  Kingdoms of France and England agreed to the Truce of Leulinghem,  inaugurating a 13 year peace; the longest period of sustained peace during the Hundred Years War. 1656  Polish-Lithuanian forces clashed with Sweden and its Brandenburg allies in the start of  the Battle of Warsaw. 1670 Giovanni Bononcini, Italian composer, was born (d. 1747).

1811 William Makepeace Thackeray, English author, was born (d. 1863).

1848   W. G. Grace, English cricketer, was born  (d. 1915).

1855 New Zealand’s first postage stamps were issued. The adhesive, non-perforated stamps for the prepayment of postage were the famous ‘Chalon Head’ design that portrayed a full-face likeness of Queen Victoria in her coronation robes.

NZ's first postage stamps go on sale

1857  Louis Faidherbe, French governor of Senegal, arrived to relieve French forces at Kayes, effectively ending El Hajj Umar Tall’s war against the French.

1862  First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Swiss Alps.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island – the first formal African American military unit, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, failed in their assault on Confederate-held Battery Wagner.

1867 Margaret Brown, American activist, philanthropist, and RMS Titanic passenger, was born (d. 1932).

1870  The First Vatican Council decreed the dogma of papal infallibility.

1884 – Death of Ferdinand von Hochstetter, the Austrian geologist who was the first to describe and interpret many features of New Zealand geology.

1887 Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian soldier, politician and convicted traitor, was born  (d. 1945).

1890 – Frank Forde, Australian educator and politician, 15th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1983).

1900 – Nathalie Sarraute, French lawyer and author, was born (d. 1999).

1908 Mildred Lisette Norman, American peace activist, earned the moniker Peace Pilgrim, was born  (d. 1981).

1908 – Beatrice Aitchison, American mathematician, statistician, and transportation economist, was born (d. 1997).

1909  Andrei Gromyko, Soviet diplomat and President, was born (d. 1989). 1909 – Mohammed Daoud Khan, President of Afghanistan, was born (d. 1978). 1914  The U.S. Congress formed the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving definite status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.

1918 Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born (d. 2013).

1923 Jerome H. Lemelson, American inventor, was born (d. 1997).

1925  Adolf Hitler published his personal manifesto Mein Kampf.

1936 In Spanish Morocco, military rebels attempted a coup d’état against the legitimacy of the Spanish government, this led to the Spanish Civil War.

1937 Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author, was born (d. 2005).

1942 Bobby Susser, American songwriter and record producer, was born. 1942  World War II: the Germans test flew the Messerschmitt Me-262using only its jet engines for the first time. 1944  World War II: Hideki Tojo resigned as Prime Minister of Japan due to numerous setbacks in the war effort.

1950 Glenn Hughes, American singer (Village People), was born (d. 2001).

1957 Sir Nick Faldo, English golfer, was born.

1963 Martín Torrijos Espino, former President of Panama, was born.

1965  Russian satellite Zond 3 launched. 1966  Gemini 10 launched. 1968  The Intel Corporation was founded in Santa Clara, California. 1969  After a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy drove an Oldsmobile off a bridge and his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, died.

1971 Sarah McLeod, New Zealand actress, was born.

1976 Nadia Comăneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

1982 – 268 campesinos were slain in the Plan de Sánchez massacre in Ríos Montt’s Guatemala.

1984  McDonald’s massacre James Oliver Huberty opened fire, killing 21 people and injuring 19 others before being shot dead by police.

1984  Beverly Lynn Burns became first female Boeing 747 airline captain. 1986 A tornado was broadcast live on KARE television when the station’s helicopter pilot made a chance encounter.

1992  The ten victims of the La Cantuta massacre disappeared from their university in Lima. 1994 The bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (Argentinian Jewish Communal Center) in Buenos Aires killed 85 people (mostly Jewish) and injures 300.

1995  The Soufriere Hills volcano erupted. Over the course of several years, it devastates the island, destroying the capital and forcing most of the population to flee.

1996  Storms provoked severe flooding on the Saguenay River. 1996 Battle of Mullaitivu. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam captured the Sri Lanka Army’s base, killing over 1200 Army soldiers.

2005  Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, first public joint statement by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then U.S. President George W. Bush.

2012 – At least 7 people were killed and 32 others injured after a bomb exploded on an Israeli tour bus at Burgas Airport, Bulgaria.

2013 – The Government of Detroit, with up to $20 billion in debt, filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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