Sowell says


Word of the day


Hideosity – hideous aspect; a very ugly object; the state or condition of being hideous; extreme ugliness; something hideous; repulsive, especially to the sight; revolting; orally offensive; detestable; an eyesore.


Sowell says


Rural round-up


Changing look for NZ lamb? – Nigel Malthus:

New Zealand meat producers will have to change their breeding priorities to take a full advantage of a new optical meat quality monitoring system being developed by AgResearch.

Clarospec system is designed to analyse meat cuts in real time as they go through a meat processing plant, using hyperspectral imaging to provide objective measures of meat quality.

AgResearch says the technology can provide information on key aspects such as structure and composition that influence flavour and texture.

“This technology will support a shift from volume to value and allow lamb producers to tailor production to meet the needs of global consumers,” project leader, Dr Cameron Craigie told Rural News. . .

Falling harvests nip NZ wine’s worldwide growth in the bud – Bevan Hurley:

New Zealand’s winemakers have enjoyed a $1.9 billion bumper year on the export markets, but now it’s the end of the golden weather.

At Trader Joe’s flagship wine store in New York’s Union Square, queues of shoppers stretched along East 14th St during the early months of 2021.

With restaurants closed to indoor dining, Manhattanites would often wait 30 minutes in the sub-zero temperatures during the depth of the Covid winter, eager to restock their depleted wine racks.

Once inside, the popular US supermarket chain’s chatty, knowledgeable staff were happy to share their thoughts on the Oyster Bay and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blancs displayed prominently on their shelves. . . 

Rising Star: Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Quinn Morgan

Quinn Morgan laughs when you ask if he always wanted to be a dairy farmer as a kid.

“Growing up I was more in love with my Playstation. My stepdad was a dairy farmer for a few seasons but I was more a city-slicker type kid, rather than going out there and doing everything,” he told Country Life.

But after just one season as a dairy farmer, Quinn has won the prestigious Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award. Just as impressive; he’s only 26. . . 

Luxury eco-holiday in a dome at Lake Hawea, Wanaka – Isabel Ewing:

Jet boating, heli-skiing, skydiving, bungee – much of the tourism in the Southern Lakes region revolves around speed and adrenaline, but a family-owned business on the shores of Lake Hawea is all about allowing their visitors to slow down.

“People who come here live such busy lives, and it’s about getting them to unwind and just relax,” says Richard Burdon, owner of The Camp and Cross Hill Lodge & Domes.

“A lot of the American clients have pot plants on top of their ovens, and they don’t find that family time to slow down.”

Burdon and wife Sarah have owned the lakeside campground for 10 years, and they’re also third-generation owners of Glen Dene and Mt Isthmus Station, a working farm set in the jagged country framed by lakes Hawea and Wanaka. . . 

Time and place:

Working in a rural but desk-based role has really made Waikato/Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year Kieran McCahon reflect on the very different health and safety challenges of being “hands-on on farm”. 

McCahon grew up on his family’s 1000-cow dairy farm on Northland’s Pouto Peninsula, near Dargaville.

He gained a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Master of Management, majoring in Agribusiness, as a DairyNZ scholar, and joined DairyNZ full-time 18 months ago as a solutions and development specialist.

“I recently moved back to Northland to continue my role with DairyNZ, which also means getting more time on the farm,” McCahon said. . . 

Can dairy be sustainable? Yes and here’s why :

Frank Konyn figures there are about 150 breweries within a reasonable drive from his dairy farm in the County of San Diego, Calif.

He frequents 19 of them but it has nothing to do with grabbing a cold one after a long day of milking cows. Instead, he makes weekly stops to pick up something the brewers no longer want: spent grains that remain from creating some of the area’s trendiest microbrews.

On an average week, Konyn collects about 225 tons of the grain that serves as protein-rich feed for his nearly 900 milking cows. He has plenty left over for a nearby dairy farmer’s herd.

Konyn began hauling the unwanted byproduct in 2009 with a pickup truck. Today, he owns five semi-trucks and 40 “roll-off” containers that are 18 feet long and are left at each brewery to be filled. . . .

Yes Sir Humphrey


Can you believe . . .?


50 Shades of Green has managed to express their frustration in one sentence:

Can you credibly believe any policy that says plant your food productive land in exotic trees so you don’t have to change your behaviour?

The only answer to that is an emphatic ‘NO!’

How green are EVs?


The government’s decision to charge ute buyers more so EV buyers pay less is open for criticism for several reasons.

* It’s broken the promise of no new taxes.

* The Prime Minister’s assurance that electric utes would be available soon was quickly dismissed by the industry.

* She then made a judgement on which Ute uses are legitimate.

* She compounded that when questioned by  Jamie Mackay on The Country by saying that her fiancee’s ute was ‘ a little bit different’ because it was sponsored ( at 1:50). Quite how a sponsored ute, the advertising on which is designed to encourage people to buy more, makes a difference that makes it more legitimate than others isn’t clear.

* And what she didn’t do was explain how the electricity needed to power all the extra EVs will be generated when we’re already importing coal.

* But the biggest criticism is that it is not clear how green EVs are and whether they really are better for the environment than those with internal combustion engines.

Troy Bowker says the policy is based on a fundamentally flawed understanding of the impact electric vehicles (EVs) battery production and disposal have on the environment.

. . . No one in Government seems to have stopped to ask just how environmentally friendly EVs actually are.

In New Zealand, few have asked what we know about the supply chains of EV batteries, including the human rights implications of using child labour to mine essential elements necessary to make the large EV batteries.

The point being missed, ignored, or not properly debated, is the total cost on the environment from the manufacture, use, and disposal of EVs versus petrol or diesel cars.

There is plenty of research to suggest EVs are actually worse for the environment overall than fossil fuel cars, just as there is research they are better.

None of that research properly deals with the CO2 emissions from the disposal and recycling of batteries. The EV industry lobby groups all tell us to not to be concerned and to “hope” that technology catches up so that the production and disposal of EV batteries will at some stage have a much lower carbon footprint. Surely this is putting the cart before the horse . Why can’t they address the elephant in the room regarding disposing of millions of EV batteries in a climate friendly manner and provide hard facts to support this? They can’t and they won’t because they simply don’t know.

In future, when EV supporters in Parnell, Kelburn and Fendalton step into their Audi e-tron or Jaguar I-Pace to pick up the kids from their private schools, they will be directly benefitting from the car tax imposed on farmers, tradies and anyone else who either has no choice but to buy a petrol or diesel vehicle, cannot afford an EV, or simply doesn’t actually want to own one.

These urban liberals are the people Labour has chosen to subsidise rather than genuine hard working farmers, nurses, teachers, tradies and other middle income New Zealanders.

And what about the low income families of Otara, Porirua and Burwood who drive 15 year old people carriers because that’s all they can afford?

Some of those families – who are traditional Labour voters – can’t afford to heat their homes with electricity, or properly feed and clothe their children, let alone spend $60,000 to buy an EV.

A $6000 subsidy on a $60,000 EV is hardly relevant when all of your disposable income is paid in rent, food and heating your home. . .

All of that would be a very high price to pay if it had a positive environmental impact, but that is open to question expecially regarding the 350kg batteries that are needed to power EVs.

The manufacture of these batteries does not come without an environmental cost. Once CO2 emissions from the production of batteries are taken into account, Germany’s Institute of Economic Research argued EVs do more harm to the environment than a modern diesel engine.

Manufacturing is only the start of the problem. After an EV battery loses its ability to hold its charge, the metals and chemicals inside them contain toxic substances that are currently very difficult and expensive to dispose of cleanly. Technology hasn’t developed enough globally to come up with a way to either dispose of them safely, or recycle them in the volumes required.

If Labour wants all of New Zealand’s approximately four million vehicles to be EVs, then before they tax us even more can they please outline the plan to dispose of millions of toxic used EV batteries generally driven by the urban elite? This is not an unreasonable request. . . 

Recycling the batteries is untested; exporting them for another country to deal with is unethical.

As we stand today, the only viable alternative is to bury them here in New Zealand in land fill. Huge areas of land would need to be converted to graveyards for toxic used EV batteries. Suddenly the clean, green future with EVs that Labour advocates looks extremely dirty.

Used EV batteries are prone to spontaneous combustion, emitting poisonous gases into our air. The gases from the fires would travel large distances and be a huge risk to animals and humans. . . 

Compounding the environmental costs are questions over the working conditions in mines, where many workers are children, and EVs look even dirtier.

Under the Guiding Principles of Human Rights published by the United Nations, all member states and their business communities have an obligation to ensure the supply chain of goods they import are free from child labour exploitation. Clearly this is not the case for EVs.

These issues need to be addressed openly and transparently with the public, most of whom assume EVs are actually good for the environment and aren’t produced with the help of child labour in poor countries. . . 

If even some of these concerns are valid EVs aren’t nearly as green as they’re painted and if it’s government policy to encourage their use we need to have honest, scientifically verifiable, answers to the question of how green EVs really are.



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