Word of the day

July 22, 2019

Blellum – a lazy talkative person; an idle boring chatterer; a babbler, indiscrete talker.


Sowell says

July 22, 2019


Rural round-up

July 22, 2019

Large farms have more eco-options – Colin Williscroft:

Harder hill country farms have more options for increasing productivity and eco-efficiency than easy hill country farms, AgResearch scientist Alec Mackay says.

Farmers on extensive sheep and beef farms on hard hill country can continue to make production and eco-efficiency gains by increasing the reproductive performance of ewes and lamb weaning and growth rates, he told the Animal Production Society’s annual conference.

They can shift from breeding cows and older cattle to buying and finishing younger cattle. . .

Stinginess upsets plant breeders – Richard Rennie:

The Government has been accused of leaving plant breeders short when it comes to addressing Treaty of Waitangi issues around plant variety rights.

Policy makers are in the process of seeking breeder input on the revised Plant Variety Act to better protect breeders and their seed and germplasm.

Maximum fines are only $1000 and offer little disincentive to the theft of plant intellectual property. . .

Steak award gives company confidence – Sally Rae:

It’s a long way from Mataura to Dublin.

But that was the journey taken by Alliance Group’s steak, which won a gold medal in the World Steak Challenge in Ireland.

The company’s Pure South handpicked 55-day aged beef, processed at its Mataura plant, won a gold medal for ribeye and a bronze medal for fillet.

There were more than 300 entries from 25 countries and the title of world’s best steak was awarded to a grass-fed Ayrshire ribeye steak reared in Finland and entered by JN Meat International, from Denmark . . .

Latest survey: most employers delighted with RSE:

A survey of New Zealand companies involved in the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme has garnered positive results.

The survey, by Immigration New Zealand, shows 45 percent of the RSE members grew their businesses as a result of employing workers from the Pacific.

Immigration’s Pacifica Labour and Skills Manager, George Rarere, said a stable, seasonal workforce meant more employers were able to expand, invest more in equipment and offer jobs to locals. . .

Flexi-milking – same Milk more sleep – Anne Hardie:

Flexible milking frequencies have proved a solution to a Westport farm’s problems with dry summers, Anne Hardie reports.

Last season John and Jo Milne milked their cows twice a day, 3 in 2, 10 in 7 and once a day to achieve good production results during a severe drought on their Westport farm and plenty of sleep-ins.

You read it right – 10 in 7. From mid-December to the end of February they were milking the cows 10 times during the week which meant twice a day (TAD) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then once a day (OAD) on the other days. And through the season they changed milking frequencies four times. . .

Exciting year in dairy for Kimberley – Yvonne O’Hara:

Kimberley Simmons (15) is passionate about dairy cows and has had an excellent year so far, dairy-wise.

It has included a trip to International Dairy Week in Australia in January, and a win in a national competition last month.

The Menzies College year 10 pupil lives with her parents Teena and Sandy and brother Jack on a 61ha property near Dacre.

The family runs 175 cows and several chickens, and they have three studs – the Brydale Jersey Stud, the Lowburn Milking Shorthorn Stud and the Lowburn Holstein Friesian Stud. . .

 


Science isn’t settled on response

July 22, 2019

Bjorn Lomborg accepts that climate change is a real, man-made problem but he says trillions of dollars will be wasted on ineffective policies:

Climate campaigners want to convince us that not only should we maintain these staggering costs, but that we should spend a fortune more on climate change, since our very survival is allegedly at stake. But they are mostly wrong, and we’re likely to end up wasting trillions during the coming decades. . . 

Global warming is a real, man-made problem — but it is just one of many challenges facing humanity. We shouldn’t base our policy decisions on Hollywood movies or on scare scenarios but on the facts. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, even if we did absolutely nothing to respond to global warming, the total impact by the 2070s will be the equivalent to a 0.2 per cent to 2 per cent loss in average income. That’s a challenge that requires our attention — but it’s far from the end of the world.

Over-the-top environmental activists are not only out of synch with the science but they also are out of touch with mainstream concerns. A global poll by the UN of nearly 10 million people found that climate change was the lowest priority of all 16 challenges considered. At the very top, unsurprisingly, are issues such as better education, better healthcare and access to nutritious food. We need to address climate change effectively — but we should remember that there are many other issues that people want fixed more urgently. . .

Climate change, like many issues which become politicised, is generally a pre-occupation of educated, healthy, people with more than enough to eat and generally with middle or upper incomes.

Many of them while wanting “something “ to be done are unaware of how costly, ineffective and unsustainable most of the “somethings” being promoted are.

The present approach to climate change isn’t working. If fully implemented, analysis of the leading climate-economic models shows that the Paris Agreement will cost $US1 trillion to $US2 trillion every year in slowed economic growth. Our response to climate change is so expensive because alternative energy sources remain expensive and inefficient in most scenarios. It is still very expensive to switch from fossil fuels — hence the fortune being spent on subsidies, to little overall effect.

Despite costing a fortune, the Paris Agreement will have virtually no impact on global temperatures. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has estimated that even if every country makes every single carbon cut suggested in the Paris treaty to the fullest extent, CO2 emissions would be cut by only 1 per cent of what would be needed to keep temperature rises under 2C. Incurring an annual $US1 trillion cost while failing to rein in temperature rises is a very poor idea.

A realistic and credible response to global warming needs to bring China and India on board. They are not going to slow their economies and imperil the fossil-fuel-driven growth that is lifting millions out of poverty.

When 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel laureates looked at the gamut of potential climate solutions for my think tank, Copenhagen Consensus, they found that the current approach, which tries to make fossil-fuel energy as expensive as possible, is very inefficient. Moreover, it is likely to fail since citizens in most countries are unlikely to accept the steep energy price hikes that these policies require. We can look to France’s “yellow vest” protests or to the elections in The Philippines, the US and Australia of politicians who loudly reject these policies to see that voters are making their choices heard. . .

Price increases would have to be prohibitively high to slow people’s use of fossil fuels and that would come at a very high political cost.

What’s needed instead, is much more research to find the green technologies that will replace fossil fuels. Lomborg says that would leave money to fix other problems.

His suggestions for those fixes include access to contraception; better nutrition for pregnant women and infants; and more investment in agricultural research:

This will make farmers able to produce more nutritious, reliable crops, especially in developing and fragile countries. We can generate extra yield increases by investing in agricultural R&D and by boosting the use of better (sometimes genetically modified) seeds, which give farmers more resilience and ability to withstand climate shocks, while lifting the poorest out of hunger. For a cost of $US2.5bn a year, we can produce benefits worth $US85bn. Each dollar spent will help generate more food security, reduced food prices and other social benefits worth $US35. . .

He also recommends treating TB which is still a scourge in poor countries.

Then he comes to trade:

The most powerful thing governments could do to transform lives would cost next to nothing at all: embrace freer trade. During the past 25 years, China lifted 680 million people out of poverty through trade, and there are similar stories from Indonesia, Chile and others. Genuine, global free trade would have benefits that would reach every single country. Far more than any aid dished out by donor countries, lowering trade barriers is the most powerful way to reduce extreme poverty. A completed global Doha trade deal would make the world $US11 trillion richer each and every year by 2030 according to research considered by the Nobel laureates. . .

This is such a simple solution that would help the poorest people most but it needs the political will to achieve it.

In developing nations, the increased wealth from the Doha deal would be equivalent to an extra $US1000 for every single person, every single year by 2030. This alone would cut the number of people living in poverty by 145 million in just 11 years. The annual cost would be $US20bn in pay-offs to those sectors (such as farmers in wealthy countries) who would lose out, and who politically are holding up the deals.

The list goes on. We could halve malaria infections for $US500m annually, save a million children’s lives through $US1bn of increased immunisation, triple preschool access in Africa for $US6bn and get every child in Africa through primary school for $US9bn. We could halve global coral reef loss for $US3bn, and save two million babies from death every year for $US14bn through policies such as providing expecting mothers with nutrients and protection from disease, having nurses and clean facilities at birth and ensuring best practice childcare afterwards.

All of these amazing policies will cost in total $US78bn. Together with the $US84bn for green energy R&D, the total comes to $US162bn — or what we’ll spend on subsidising inefficient renewables this year.

The total benefit to humanity from achieving this total list of policies will be around $US42 trillion. This would be the same as increasing the average income in the world by 50 per cent, and the benefits would mostly help the world’s poorest.

Of course, we also can spend 10 times as much on the Paris Agreement and generate about a thousand times fewer benefits from slightly reduced temperatures.

The choice really is clear. Do we want to be remembered in the future for being the generation that overreacted and spent a fortune feeling good about ourselves but doing very little, subsidising inefficient solar panels and promising slight carbon cuts — or do we want to be remembered for fundamentally helping to fix both climate and all the other challenges facing the world?

Whether or not the science on climate change is settled the science on the response is not.

One reason for that is the response is driven by politics and bureaucracy rather than science.

But Lomborg’s prescription would not only be more effective, it would be a lot more politically palatable than any of the current ones which will add huge costs with little if any benefit.

You can read more from him at lomborg.com  and you’ll find the think tank he heads, the Copenhagen Consensus, here.


NZ 52 – Aust 51

July 22, 2019

The Silver Ferns have won the Netball World Cup, beating the Australian Diamonds 52 – 51.

It’s New Zealand’s first World Cup title in 16 years and fifth overall; the last time they tasted glory was in Jamaica in 2003. . .

 


Quote of the day

July 22, 2019

The weight of rages will press hard upon the employer – William Archibald Spooner  – who was born on this day in 1844.


July 22 in history

July 22, 2019

838 – Battle of Anzen: the Byzantine emperor Theophilos suffered a heavy defeat by the Abbasids.

1099 – First CrusadeGodfrey of Bouillon was elected the first Defender of the Holy Sepulchre of The Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1209 – Massacre at Béziers: the first major military action of the Albigensian Crusade.

1298 – Wars of Scottish IndependenceBattle of Falkirk – King Edward I of England and his longbowmen defeated William Wallace and his Scottish schiltrons outside the town of Falkirk.

1456 – Ottoman Wars in EuropeSiege of Belgrade – John Hunyadi, Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary, defeats Mehmet II of the Ottoman Empire.

1484 – Battle of Lochmaben Fair – A 500-man raiding party led by Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany and James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas were defeated by Scots forces loyal to Albany’s brother James III of Scotland; Douglas was captured.

1499 – Battle of Dornach – The Swiss decisively defeated the Imperial army of Emperor Maximilian I.

1510 Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence, was born  (d. 1537).

1587  Colony of Roanoke: a second group of English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.

1793 Alexander Mackenzie reached the Pacific Ocean becoming the first Euro-American to complete a transcontinental crossing of Canada.

1805  Napoleonic Wars: War of the Third Coalition – Battle of Cape Finisterre – an inconclusive naval action was fought between a combined French and Spanish fleets under Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve of Spain and a British fleet under Admiral Robert Calder.

1812  Napoleonic Wars: Peninsular War – Battle of Salamanca – British forces led by Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) defeated French troops.

1844 William Archibald Spooner, English priest and scholar, was born  (d. 1930).

1849 Emma Lazarus, American poet, was born (d. 1887).

1864 – American Civil War:  Battle of Atlanta – Confederate General John Bell Hood led an unsuccessful attack on Union troops under General William T. Sherman on Bald Hill.

1890  Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, American Kennedy family matriarch, was born (d. 1995).

1894  First ever motorised racing event was held between the cities of Paris and Rouen – won by comte Jules-Albert de Dion.

1908 Amy Vanderbilt, American author, was born (d. 1974).

1916 A bomb exploded on Market Street, San Francisco during a Preparedness Day parade killing 10 and injuring 40.

1932 Oscar De la Renta, Dominican/American fashion designer, was born.

1933 Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world traveling 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

1934 “Public Enemy No. 1″ John Dillinger was mortally wounded by FBI agents.

1936 Tom Robbins, American author, was born.

1942  The United States government began compulsory civilian gasoline rationing owing to the wartime demands.

1942  Holocaust: the systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto began.

1943  Bobby Sherman, American singer and actor, was born.

1944 Anand Satyanand, former Governor-General of New Zealand, was born.

1944 Estelle Bennett, American singer (Ronettes), was born (d. 2009).

1944  Rick Davies, British musician (Supertramp) , was born.

1944  The Polish Committee of National Liberation published its manifesto, starting the period of Communist rule.

1946  King David Hotel bombing: Irgun bombed King David Hotel in Jerusalem, headquarters of the British civil and military administration, killing 90.

1947  Don Henley, American musician (Eagles), was born.

1951 Dezik (Дезик) and Tsygan (Цыган, “Gypsy”) were the first dogs to make a sub-orbital flight.

1962 Mariner programme: Mariner 1 spacecraft flew erratically several minutes after launch and had to be destroyed.

1970 Craig Baird, New Zealander racing driver, was born.

1976  Japan completed its last reparation to the Philippines for war crimes committed in Japan’s imperial conquest of the country in the Second World War

1977  Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping was restored to power.

1980 Scott Dixon, New Zealand racing driver, was born.

1983 Martial law in Poland was officially revoked.

1987 Lotto went on sale for the first time with a first division prize of $360,000.

Lotto goes on sale for first time

1992   Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar escaped from his luxury prison.

1993  Great Flood of 1993: Levees near Kaskaskia, Illinois ruptured, forcing the entire town to evacuate by barges operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

1997 The second Blue Water Bridge opened between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.

2002 Israel killed terrorist Salah Shahade, the Commander-in-Chief of Hamas’s military arm, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

2002 – Prince Felix of Denmark was born.

2003 Members of 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attacked a compound in Iraq, killing Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay, plus Mustapha Hussein, Qusay’s 14-year old son, and a bodyguard.

2005  Jean Charles de Menezes was killed by police as the hunt started for the London Bombers responsible for the 7 July 2005 London bombings and the 21 July 2005 London bombings.

2011 – Twin terror attacks in Norway:  the first being a bomb blast which targeted government buildings in central Oslo, the second being a massacre at a youth camp on the island of Utøya.

2012 – Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

2013 – A series of earthquakes in Dingxi, China, killed at least 89 people and injured more than 500 others.

2013 –  Prince George of Cambridge was born.

2015 – Three people died and 17 were injured in a collision between a Pendolino train and a lorry that occurred near Studénka, north Moravia, in the Czech Republic.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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