Cold kills more than heat

11/08/2021

More people die from the cold than heat:

It is much easier to cool down in extreme heat that usually lasts only hours to days than to warm up in the killer cold that can last weeks or months.

This isn’t an argument to ignore climate change. It is an argument for being very careful about unexpected, possibly fatal, consequences of policies designed to lower emissions.

Several weeks ago RNZ reported on fears for the elderly as frosts started to bite and on Monday night the power went off completely:

. . .General manager of operations Dr Stephen Jay told the Herald he couldn’t rule out any further disruption to the network, stating “the emergency is far from over”.

“Things are running tight. Supplies have been running to the wire this morning.”

Last night’s outages affected parts of Wellington, Kāpiti Coast, Taupō, Hamilton, Napier, Hastings, Auckland and Whangārei.

None were warned yesterday that they would be without power, on a night which saw many cities head towards, or below, zero degrees. . . 

Households were inconvenienced, many people had to endure the cold and, oh the irony, people who couldn’t charge their EVs had to rely on petrol and diesel fuelled cars.

The black out also caused problems for businesses. Stock had to be turned away from freezing works and cows were left unmilked on some farms that do 16-hour milking.

National Party leader Judith Collins likened the outage to that which happened in a third world country.

“We do not live in a third world country.

“It was one of the coldest nights of the year last night and many families couldn’t keep warm.

“We should always expect that it will be colder in winter and we’ll need to use more energy, but the Government has failed New Zealanders by not being prepared.

“The Government has to be able to keep the lights on. This useless lot has failed to do that. ” . . 

Power companies must accept some of the blame but government policies are also responsible:

. . .As   Point  of  Order  sees  it,  there  will  be  a  great  deal  of  hand-wringing  in the Beehive  (and   possibly  some  glee across   in  the  Opposition  wing).   For  this   is  a  crisis   all   of  the  government’s  own  making. 

Remember  that the  decision  to   ban  further  offshore  oil  exploration  was  Ardern’s  “nuclear  moment”.  It  drove  away  international  oil  explorers, just    at  the  time  a   bunch  of  companies  had  been  planning further  work,  including  the  exploitation   of  already discovered  fields.

Since  then,  first  the  Labour-NZ  First  coalition  set  the  target  of  becoming  100% renewable  which  spurred  the  big  electricity  generators  to  turn  away  from fossil  fuels, earmarking more investment  for  wind farms,  and  subsequently  demand  for  electricity   has  outpaced  expectations.   

Labour’s  focus  on  renewables yielded  the  kind of  political  irony   this  week  when  700 MW  of wind  turbine  capacity  lay idle  because the  air  was  so  still  (but  the  locals were freezing). . .

Neither solar nor wind generation is 100% reliable. The sun doesn’t shine every day, it never shines at night, and wind turbines need neither too much nor too little wind to operate.

The government blundered into policies to reduce the use of fossil fuels without a proper plan for the transition. As a result we’re burning dirtier imported coal than our own and having power cuts.

Hamish Rutherford explains:

. . .As has happened before, Woods blamed the issue on commercial decisions by private companies. That does not get us very far. Of course companies make commercial decisions.

Between the decision to rip up the rules on the gas market, to the difficulty consenting renewables projects, to the threat to build hydro storage at Lake Onslow, the market is simply responding to the signals that the Government is sending it.

The government might think climate change is an emergency that requires drastic action but it won’t get buy-in from people who expect a first-world power supply when its policies result in third-world service.

This is night time in North Korea, blacked out among its brighter, lighter neighbours.

,

We need security of supply so that we don’t have to endure the same cold, dark nights here.


9/15

01/06/2021

9/15 in Stuff and DairyNZ”s quiz for World Milk Day.

Could do better.


23/22

09/09/2020

23/22 – extra point for correctly spelling jandal.

I’d add:

23. Crib

24. Dag

25. ABs

26. Whanau


Rural round-up

13/03/2020

The challenge for NZ food production is keeping up with the science while Fonterra restores its financial health – Point of Order:

Technology  is  opening  a  whole  new direction for  food production, reports  The  Guardian.

Robotics   and drones are reducing   the need for humans to be on the  land,  while  vertical  farming,  in which  vegetables  can be grown in sunless  warehouses using  LED  lighting, gene editing and metagenics are delivering new definitions of  food.

According to a  recent  report  by the think tank  RethinkX, within  15  years  the rise of  cell-based meat – made  of animal cells  grown in a bioreactor – will bankrupt  the US’s  huge  beef industry,  at the same time  removing the  need to grow soya  and maize  for   feed. . . 

Can new crops crack down on cow methane? Meet the scientists finding out – Alex Braae:

The debate about methane emissions from farming is both ongoing and polarising, and many are pinning their hopes on scientific advances to avoid both de-stocking and climate breakdown. But how effective can these measures actually be? Alex Braae visited a research lab on the front lines of this fight. 

At a sprawling campus on the outskirts of Palmerston North, research is taking place that could shape the future of New Zealand’s rural economy. 

It is here that the grasslands facility of crown research entity AgResearch is based. And it is here where one of the most important scientific questions in the country is being thrashed out – can science help meaningfully lower the methane emissions of cows and sheep?  . .

Wairarapa ‘heading into a drought’ – Fed Farmers – Marcus Anselm:

Wairarapa farmers are seeking central government backing as the threat of a drought moves closer.

Dry conditions in neighbouring Manawatū and Tararua and other nearby areas have led to Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor confirming a “medium sized adverse event” for the regions.

“Many parts of the country are doing it tough due to a substantial lack of rain,” O’Connor said. . .

Parched conditions in Hawke’s Bay hitting hard amid calls for drought declaration – Anusha Bradley:

Hawke’s Bay farmers and leaders are urging the government to declare a drought as parts of the region experience the driest period on record.

Central Hawke’s Bay and Hastings were the worst hit with farmers saying the lack of water had not only hit summer crops but winter feed was now at risk if it did not rain soon.

For some parts of Hawke’s Bay, the four months between November and February have been the driest in 50 years. . .

Drought for North Island, Chatham Islands, part of South unlocks $2m relief funding :

The entire North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands have been declared as being in drought by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

O’Connor said the large-scale adverse event declaration, announced this morning, would unlock up to $2 million of funding to help farmers and growers from now until June 2021.

Medium-scale drought declarations had already been announced in Northland, Auckland and Waikato, Gisborne, Manawatū, Rangitīkei, and Tararua – but this new classification covers the entire North Island along with Tasman, Marlborough, Kaikōura, North Canterbury and the Chathams. . .

Moves to make horticultural water available to Kaikohe residents – Susan Botting

Far North District Council is aiming to tap into new government-funded Kaikohe water storage to permanently supply the mid-north town.

Far North District Council (FNDC) mayor John Carter said the council had already been working with Government and Northland Regional Council (NRC) on using the water from storage to be built in the North through the region’s $30 million Provincial Growth Fund project.

Carter said FNDC wanted to set up a scheme like had been developed for Kerikeri in the 1980s. This had been developed with the dual purpose to permanently provide water for horticulture and Kerikeri township. . .

Straight Off The Tussock chapter 1 – Tim Fulton:

Broomfield in North Canterbury was a quiet pond, but Jack was the stone that skipped across it.

 I was constantly in trouble. My father Gordon was away most of the time, always busy, so I rarely saw him.

And my mother Winifred, well, she was 45 when I was born and totally incapable of looking after children, so during the day I was usually left to my own devices. One of the first things I did on the farm was paint one of our white calves red with house paint. I’d noticed how the calves got marked at certain times of the season so I painted the whole calf. Terrible job they had getting the paint off…nearly killed it. Another time, father had shorn about 20 wethers ready to go to market. Back in the 1920s you had to brand your sheep for shearing, but he’d left these ones alone because they were going to be sold about three weeks later. I decided they hadn’t been branded properly so I got the dog and away I went; mustered them into the top paddock, down the road into the yards, into the front pen of the shearing shed and proceeded to brand them. As far as I could tell there wasn’t a space left on them untouched. Well, that was the last time I was in the pen with a branding iron. Father was so ashamed of the sheep he kept them stuck out of sight in the paddock until they were ready to shear again. I could have only been three or four…

After the bushfires, what now? – Roger Franklin:

The usual controversy about fuel reduction burning in forested parks and reserves has erupted in the wake of the “Black Summer Bushfires” (as they have become known) in NSW, Qld and Victoria. Predictably, two broad camps formed up on opposite sides of the blackened and shrivelled no-man’s land that, until a few months ago, had been beautiful eucalypt forests and havens for wildlife.

On one side are the land and bushfire managers, land owners and volunteer firefighters, people who deal with fire in the real world. They are all calling for more prescribed burning, knowing that it will  mitigate bushfire intensity, making fires easier and safer to control.  Loud in opposition are the green academics and environmentalists, usually supported by the ABC, claiming that fuel reduction does not work, and even if it did, this would be a pyrrhic victory, because the burning would have destroyed our fragile biodiversity. . . 

Meat and dairy sales surge in December quarter:

Meat and dairy boosted the total volume of manufacturing sales to its strongest quarterly rise in six years, Stats NZ said today.

The volume of total manufacturing sales rose 2.7 percent in the December 2019 quarter, after a flat September 2019 quarter, when adjusted for seasonal effects. It was led by a 7.9 percent lift in meat and dairy products manufacturing sales, following falls in the two previous quarters.

“This quarter’s rise is the largest increase in total manufacturing sales volumes in six years,” business statistics manager Geraldine Duoba said. . .

 


Palindrome day

02/02/2020

Today is 02.02.20, a rare palindrome day.


10/15

26/12/2019

10/15 In the Spinoff’s news of the year quiz.


8/10

13/09/2019

8/10 in the Herald’s history quiz.


Melbourne Cup picks

06/11/2018

It’s Melbourne Cup day.

My picks, based on total ignorance of form are:

1:  (because I know the owners):
7

Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (18)

 

2: (because the jockey is in blue):

1

Best Solution (IRE) (6)

3: (because the jockey is in Otago colours – blue and yellow).

Marmelo (GB) (10)

The field and form are here


12/14

01/10/2018

12/14 in this French test – given how rusty the slight grasp I have on that language is, the test must be pretty simple.


108

01/09/2018

How’s your English grammar?

108
★★★ Top 0.01% Language god
Your English level has reached extraordinary heights. No one can compete with you.

A reflection on the simplicity of the exercises rather than my grasp of grammar.


8/10

19/08/2018

8/10 in an old (2010 but I stumbled across it today) Stuff farming quiz.

The racing question was one I got wrong.

I include racing stories in rural round-ups because it’s rural, but is it farming?


Can you identify these flowers?

01/08/2018

41/50 in this flower quiz.


Friday’s answers

06/07/2018

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions and, since we were all stumped, can claim a batch of spicy lemon biscuits by leaving the answers below.


Thursday’s quiz

05/07/2018

You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone stumping everyone will win a virtual batch of Spicy Lemon Biscuits.


365 days of gratitude

04/07/2018

Baking used to be a weekly task.

These days it’s much less frequent.

However often it’s done, there are times it goes well and times it doesn’t.

This evening was one of the times it went well and I have three trays of biscuits ready for morning tea tomorrow with some left over for a gift for a friend.

Tonight I’m grateful that baking went well and lets me give gifts from my kitchen.


Farm quiz

04/07/2018

88% in this farm quiz.

Not good at imperial measurements – old enough to remember the relief when they were dropped in favour of metrics but not old enough to be fluent in them.


Friday’s answers

29/06/2018

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions which didn’t get a single answer.

A virtual apple crumble can be claimed for stumping us all by leaving the answers below.

 


Thursday’s quiz

28/06/2018

One and all are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual apple crumble.


Friday’s answers

22/06/2018

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions and can claim a virtual chocolate cream sponge by leaving the answers below should all of us have been stumped.


Thursday’s quiz

21/06/2018

Everyone is invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps us all will win a virtual chocolate cream sponge.


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