Word of the day

27/09/2022

Cosyism – insidious processes by which public positions, jobs and contracts sometimes go not to the best-qualified applicants but to the friends, contacts and family members of people in power. It’s an apt term for a famously small society in which cousins and mates are always – cosily – rubbing up against each other in public life.

Hat tip: Max Rashbrooke


Sowell says

27/09/2022


Rural round-up

27/09/2022

Too many famers still stuck in connectivity ‘slow lane’ :

Coverage, reliability and speed of mobile and internet services for many farming families and businesses are treading water, if not going backwards, the 2022 Federated Farmers Rural Connectivity Survey shows.

More than half of the nearly 1,200 farmers who responded to the survey report internet download speeds at or less than what could be considered a bare minimum (20 megabytes per second/Mbps) and those who said their mobile phone service had declined in the last 12 months jumped from 20% to 32%.

“For a sector that underpins the lion’s share of New Zealand’s export earnings, and one where productivity gains and reporting requirements are increasingly aligned with used of technology, apps and devices, this is really concerning,” Federated Farmers national board member and telecommunications spokesperson Richard McIntyre says.

“It’s a given that it’s easier and more profitable to deliver high standards of mobile and broadband to urban areas. But rural families and farm businesses – who due to remoteness and road travel times can really benefit from strong on-line connectivity access – must not be left behind.” . . 

Why does everyone want to work on a farm? – Brianna Mcilraith:

Job-hunters might be looking for a lifestyle and career change on the farm, if Trade Me data is anything to go by.

The site said agricultural jobs were the most-viewed listings last month.

The top five job listings were for South Island agriculture, fishing and forestry roles, and of the 100 most-viewed listings in August, more than half (55%) were in those categories.

Trade Me Jobs sales director Matt Tolich said 18 of the most popular listings were for shepherds and a further nine for stock managers. . . 

Biosecurity Bill passes first reading :

An opposition member’s bill boosting penalties for biosecurity breaches has passed its first reading with near unanimous support.

In the name of National MP Jacqui Dean, the bill is aimed at deterring incoming visitors from bringing in illegal biosecurity items such as fruit or other food.

The Increased Penalties for Breach of Biosecurity Bill would double the existing penalty from $1000 to $2000, upon conviction.

It would also increase the on-the-spot fine for a false declaration from $400 to $1000. . . 

Frontline biosecurity ranks bolstered :

Biosecurity New Zealand has welcomed 17 new quarantine officers to help protect Aotearoa’s borders from invasive pests and diseases.

Eleven officers graduated on Friday after completing an intensive 10-week training programme. They will work at frontline border locations in Auckland to ensure international travellers and imported goods comply with New Zealand’s strict biosecurity rules. The other six new officers have joined Biosecurity New Zealand’s border teams in Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.

The graduates will bolster Biosecurity New Zealand’s frontline ranks as international passenger traffic begins to gather pace following the reopening of borders, says Mike Inglis, Northern Regional Commissioner, Biosecurity New Zealand.

He says Biosecurity New Zealand will have recruited nearly 60 new quarantine officers by the end of this year. There are plans to recruit a further 20 Auckland officers in early 2023. . . 

Alun Kilby from Marisco wins Marlborough 2022 Young Winemaker of the Year :

Congratulations to Alun Kilby from Marisco, who came became the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Marlborough Young Winemaker of the Year. The competition was held on 21st September at MRC and the winners were announced at the Awards Dinner the same evening

Alun, 28, was thrilled to take out the title and the judges commented on his broad range of knowledge and skills as he scored consistently well across all sections.

Congratulations also goes to Thomas Jordaan from Vavasour who came second and to Ruby McManaway from Yealands who came third.

For the first time, there were ten contestants competing in the Marlborough regional competition. “It’s exciting to see how many aspiring Young Winemakers want to stretch themselves and start making a name for themselves” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers. . . 

Mick Ahern wins HortNZ’s Industry Service Award for 2022 :

Horticulture industry stalwart, Mick (Michael) Ahern, has won the Horticulture New Zealand Industry Service Award for 2022.

‘Mick has contributed to the development of New Zealand’s horticulture industry for more than 40 years,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.

‘Mick is known for his common sense and ability – after everyone else has exhausted themselves with talking – to sum up the situation and provide wise counsel, while pointing to the best if not only way forward.’

Mick started out in the 70s as a university student writing a case study on the kiwifruit industry’s development. That lead to roles in the then fledgeling, kiwifruit export industry. . . 

Miriana Stephens wins Horticulture New Zealand President’s Trophy for 2022:

Horticulture industry leader, Miriana Stephens has won the Horticulture New Zealand President’s Trophy for 2022.

‘Miriana is shaping the future of the horticulture industry by example,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.

‘She is a director of Wakatū Incorporation, which grows apples, kiwifruit and pears in its Motueka Orchards under the business, Kono.

‘To Miriana, business is not just commercial – it involves being a kaitiaki of the whenua and moana, as well as being commercially responsible.’ . . 


Who should be ashamed?

27/09/2022

The Spinoff offered Izzy Cook the opportunity to respond to Friday’s interview in which she was laughed at for her hypocrisy.

The journalist could be criticised for her extended laughter, and has been.

Her mother, Rose Cook, asked to respond and wrote that Heather du Plessis-Allan should be ashamed of how she bullied daughter.

I  read what she wrote and thought, if anyone should be ashamed its Cook for buying into the greenwash and the anti-farming, anti-progress rhetoric that is long on emotion, short on science, and that is terrifying chidden:

. . .Our young people are genuinely terrified about the world they are inheriting. That is what matters. . . 

Yes it matters that young people are terrified not because of climate change but because of the calamitous way it’s portrayed by older people who ought to know better and bring more reason to the debate.

This point was made by PDM and Mike Webber in comments yesterday.

Eco zealots are peddling misinformation and false news about climate change, its impact and what can be done about it.

Bjorn Lomborg writes on 50 years of climate panic:

. . . Almost every climate summit has been branded as the last chance. Setting artificial deadlines to get attention is one of the most common environmental tactics. We have continually been told for the past half-century that time has just about run out. This message is spectacularly wrong and leads to panic and poor policies. . . 

In 1972, the world was also rocked by the first global environmental scare, the so-called “Limits to Growth” report. The authors predicted that most natural resources would run out within a few decades while pollution would overpower humanity.

At the time, the future was described by Time magazine as a desolate world with few gaunt survivors tilling freeway center strips, hoping to raise a subsistence crop. Life magazine expected “urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution” by the mid-1980s.

They were all wrong because they overlooked the greatest resource of all: human ingenuity. We don’t just use up resources; we innovate smarter ways of making resources more available.

At the same time, technology solves many of the most persistent pollution problems, as did the catalytic converter. This is why air pollution in rich countries has been declining for decades.

Nonetheless, after fifty years of stunningly incorrect predictions, climate campaigners, journalists and politicians still hawk an immediate apocalypse to great acclaim by ignoring adaptation. Headlines that sea level rise could drown 187 million people by the end of the century are foolish.

They imagine that hundreds of millions of people will remain stationary while the waters lap over their calves, hips, chests and mouths.

More seriously, it absurdly assumes that no nation will build any sea defenses. In the real world, ever-wealthier nations will adapt and protect their citizens better, leading to less flooding, while surprisingly spending an ever-lower share of their GDP on flood and protection costs.

What’s solved past problems and led to better lives and improved life expectancy? It’s not panic, taxing more and doing less. It’s adaptation, research and technology.

Likewise, when activists tell you that climate change will make children face twice as much fire, they rely on computer models that only include temperature and ignore humans. Real societies adapt and reduce fire because fires are costly.

That is why global fire statistics show less burned area over the past 120 years and why a future with adaptation sees less, not more fire.

These unsubstantiated scares have real-world consequences. An academic study of young people worldwide found that most suffer from ‘eco-anxiety’. Two-thirds are scared and sad, while almost half say their worries impact their daily lives.

It is irresponsible to scare youths when the UN Climate Panel finds that even if we do nothing to mitigate climate change, the impact by the end of the century will be a reduction of an average income increase from 450 percent to 438 percent. A problem, but hardly the end of the world.

Moreover, panic is a terrible policy advisor. Activist politicians in the rich world are tinkering around the edges of addressing climate change, showering subsidies over expensive vanity projects such as electric cars, solar and wind, while the UN finds that it can’t identify an actual impact on emissions from the last decade of climate promulgations.

Despite their grandiose statements of saving the world, 78 percent of rich countries’ energy still comes from fossil fuels.

That’s because no-one has yet to come up with affordable, reliable and sustainable alternatives.

And as the Glasgow climate summit has shown (for the 26th time), developing nations – whose emissions over the rest of this century matter most – cannot afford to similarly spend trillions on ineffective climate policies as they help their populations escape poverty.

Fifty years of panic clearly haven’t solved climate change. We need a smarter approach that doesn’t scare everyone and focuses on realistic solutions such as adaptation and innovation.

Adaptation won’t make all of the cost of climate change vanish, but it will reduce it dramatically. And by funding the innovation needed to eventually make clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels, we can allow everyone – including developing countries – to sustainably go green.

The eco zealots ignore sustainability which balances environmental action with economic and social concerns.

A home-grown example of that is the calls for halving the dairy herd without taking into account that New Zealand’s milk production has the lowest carbon footprint and that reducing production here would encourage more production in other countries which do it far less efficiently.

It also fails to take into account the disastrous economic and social impact halving the herd would have not least of which would be the jobs lost on farm and in processing and distribution and in the businesses which service and supply farms and processors.

Nor do they have feasible and sustainable uses for the land which would no longer be used for grazing cows.

Some could be used to grow crops, but is that really a greener option when you take into account the fertiliser, sprays and diesel that requires? Where would we find markets when New Zealand’s natural advantage is for growing grass not the crops which many other countries do more efficiently? What else could we do to replace the foreign exchange lost from the milk we’re no long producing?

Calls to halve the dairy herd are, like so many other of the eco-zealots climate change policies, would leave us colder, hungrier and poorer.

That’s because climate change is used by the eco zealots as an anti-capitalist Trojan horse.

Their real agenda isn’t a greener planet it’s a red world.

That’s what should be terrifying all of us.

But we don’t have to be terrified.

Scaremongering won’t solve problems. That will happen with sensible, science-based solutions that address environmental issues without the economic and social sabotage the eco-zealots’ wish-list would inflict on us.


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