Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Fact and fantasy

628 Responses

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  • mccx, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Do you see no prospect of a better arrangement? Perhaps NZ would be better to identify what is most important to us , and attempt to bring it about. It may be that climate is the least of our concerns as a nation.

    I don't think you're reading what I wrote. Better long-term climate agreements are possible, but their adoption is very uncertain at present. Kyoto2 is a short-term agreement that extends the current framework and did not interfere with adopting a long-term agreement. The government posed a short-term commitment and working toward a long-term agreement as somehow contradictory, when they are actually steps toward the same goal.

    NZ has a moral responsibility to be part of global progress toward effective emissions reductions regardless of the effects of climate change in NZ. We're a long way off of doing our part now. Same goes for a number of other international and domestic environmental issues (which I suppose is what led us to this discussion in the first place.)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Farmer Green, while I respect your right to refer to yourself in the third person, when you mention swimming in the Manawatu in that way it does rather sound like an out of body experience.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3325 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Stewart,

    is constantly railing about the environmental constraints on farming, the compliance costs, etc but he knows it is the right thiing to do and he complies fully because he believes he is a custodian of the land he farms.

    Ah, but would he do the same things if he wasn't required to by law? Does he do more than is required by law? That's the difference between someone who really considers themselves to be a custodian and someone who's just trying to mute the tone they've set by ranting about urban do-gooders and their prissy environmental protection laws.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    They're not afraid of something they consider fictitious.

    True, but they're scared of something. Having their lil weiners oppressed by collective obligations?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    Yeah you have to admire the achievement of Alistair Bisley , the chair of the LWF. It would be surprising if there was as much as 50% in common between the cockies and "environmentalists" when that discussion began.
    And look what they have come out with in this third report. Farmer Green thinks Bisley should get a knighthood; talk about herding cats.
    Farmer Green was disappointed at the early departure from the discussion here of The Grand Inquisitor, especially when FG still had ten intact fingers. But then , bridging is expensive; FG this year coughed 90 grand for a modest structure over a fairly filthy little ephemeral storm channel that is dry 6 months of the year. Still it will pay for itself next time the Manawatu river gets over 7 metres of flooding. The cows won't have to get wet next time.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to mccx,

    You think there is a significant risk , that if Kyoto 2 dies at Doha, then there may be nothing to come out of the whole conference? I would almost agree with that.
    I do think there will be some progress towards a cleaner world regardless of the fate of Kyoto 2.
    China appears to want to be seen as a responsible senior player : enlightened self interest perhaps , but who cares why they want to clean up their act?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    "The Federated Farmers representative is quoted in the farming press thusly:-
    “We know the way we farm will need to change” ."

    He doesn't sound too fearful to me.
    On the other hand he may as yet be unaware of the opportunity these changes will present.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to mccx,

    Wouldn't developing countries just say that the level of tax they levy should be deservedly less than that of developed countries?

    Poor people should pay less burdensome taxation than rich people. As a tax rate governments would be free to set the rate.

    The fairest solution would seem to be an equal per capita allotment of allowable emissions that at an aggregate level avoids dangerous climate change.

    This will always be seen as unfair by the worlds poorer nations, because developed countries have a declining rate of emissions whilst developing countries have an increasing rate. A level cap places highest marginal costs upon the poorer group of nations to subsidise the technological advancement of the richer group - unfair.

    A level cap is "fair", like a poll tax is "fair".

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to mccx,

    Why?

    Because I was interested to know what people whoa re climate change supporters do about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Well it's true that the Pohangina river is much nicer, and there are certainly NZ rivers that few would want to swim in. The Manawatu situation is not as some of the MSM would have you believe.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    an out of body experience

    I prefer to see it as "out-of-body experience " and not an "out of body experince" which is something latogether different and if not treated propoerly becomes problematic in the least.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Farmer Green,

    The cows won’t have to get wet next time.

    Here's an idea you could designate someone to knit them nifty outfits as well so they dont catch a cold.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1155 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Attachment

    China appears to want to be seen as a responsible senior player : enlightened self interest perhaps , but who cares why they want to clean up their act?

    China's environment is.... well, 'degraded' isn't anywhere near strong enough. My father in law has told me of catching huge fish down in the river and the mountains behind his village teeming with wildlife when he was young. He even saw a leopard once - and that's only 70-odd km from downtown Beijing. Now? Forget it. 4000+ years of deforestation with precious little being replanted has left the whole northern half of China extremely vulnerable to desertification and, in the spring, sandstorms. I've been caught out in more than a few sandstorms and I'm pretty sure I'd prefer any other kind of weather. Not long after I moved to Taiyuan a storm came up from the south - typical Taiyuan, it was short and sharp and gone within half an hour, but as soon as the rain hit I had jet black water shooting through the gaps under my windows and balcony door. When I got caught in sandstorms in Taiyuan, on arriving at my destination I'd head straight for the bathroom to clean the dust off face and hands and rinse the mouth at, only to see in the mirror my face pockmarked with yellow loess and black coal dust.

    Photo: The view from a friend's apartment, coal-fired powerstation.

    Why should we care why China wants to clean up? If New Zealand's population continues to increase and Kiwis don't clean up their acts, China's now will be New Zealand's future. Personally, I would prefer New Zealand to clean up now and avoid China-degree ecological catastrophe.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1941 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to andin,

    Attachment

    Moo oo oo, and it make me wonder.

    I'm quite alarmed now, is it John Key with a bushel in his hedgerow, udderly ridiculous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Agreed, we need to clean up our act for our own good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • mccx,

    Poor people should pay less burdensome taxation than rich people. As a tax rate governments would be free to set the rate.

    I agree. My point was that it's not possible to imagine carbon taxes without a set of binding emissions limits for countries. The whole purpose of the Kyoto framework to establish and ratchet down these binding quantitative limits. Countries not signing on for Kyoto2 does not make the adoption of carbon taxes more likely, it makes it less likely.

    A level cap places highest marginal costs upon the poorer group of nations to subsidise the technological advancement of the richer group – unfair.

    Sorry but that doesn't make sense to me. Given how much higher per capita emissions are in developed countries, the marginal costs of reducing these emissions to the level of per-capita emissions in developed countries and below is going to be more expensive in developed countries than in developing countries. There's a reason 'cap and share' is widely seen as fair. It doesn't end global inequality, but it does frame an equitable distribution of emissions allowances.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Slightly OT: will Helen Kelly potentially be the Mike Joy of industrial relations?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4056 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqueline Hahn, in reply to Mike Dickison,

    We are not just a country of birds, our native fish, insects and reptile species are in big trouble. Scientific evidence shows that once you get below 20% of a habitat remaining extinction of species follows and a rapid rate. We have lost 85-90 percent of our wetlands, have changed stream-side habitat and water quality, decreased native bush and removed passageways for migration, have biosecurity breaches ( you may have heard about the bee vaeroa bee mite disease in honey bees did you ever think what happened to the native bees? How many orb web spiders do you see these days compared to your childhood?). Birds of course are also disappearing but they are not the only ones.If you are a species that’s not “cute” public funding is hard to come by. I visited wingspan with a school group recently our falcon and owl are in much more trouble than say the kiwi, the long finned eel is another good example a threatened species that is still commercially fished. Plenty of examples in our marine fishing grounds as well. So you see threatened species/loss of species is precisely due to us not being “pure” it is a symptom of illness not the illness itself.

    Te Kuiti • Since Dec 2012 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Jacqueline Hahn,

    That's the reality. The other reality is that , as a nation , we haven't got the money to prevent further degradation of the remaining conservation estate. Specifically we haven't got the budget to eradicate the cats , rats , mustelids, pigs, goats, deer, etc. not to mention the cute little bushy -tailed phalangers.

    Given that the nation still earns a large proportion of its GNP from the export of basic agricultural commodities (SMP, WPC, AMF etc.) what is the pathway forward?
    Clearly farmers accept that change is going to happen , but will that be enough?
    Is it incremental change that we need?
    Don't we need a total redesign of the dairy industry if it is going to pull its weight , economically speaking.
    Is the failure to protect what remains merely a misallocation of resources or is it more fundamental i.e. the country is not making any money?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ross Mason,

    It is time Farmer Boy used his verbal jousting to constructively improve the situation we are in.

    I'm not sure that Farmer Green has anything for you Ross : he presumes that most here already have a clivus multrum producing nutrient-rich topsoil to service their extensive vegetable gardens . Most will already be exporting to the national grid their excess electricity from their solar panels and VAWTs. Nobody will be still using air travel, especially overseas, and the Sunday drive is long gone along with all the other recreational pollution , i.e. V8 supercars , stockcars , Formula One , jetskis, etc. etc.
    Working from home will be the norm here, and people will be entertaining themselves in the evenings with their vinyl record collections [actually that might be true :-) ].
    Farmer Green really hasn't got much to offer to the good folk here ; he was hoping for some suggestions for his own farming operation.
    What is it that you want to see?
    Farmer Green would like to be able to say that he has ticked most of the boxes.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Given that the nation still earns a large proportion of its GNP from the export of basic agricultural commodities (SMP, WPC, AMF etc.) what is the pathway forward?

    As someone suggested pages ago, to increase the proportion from more sustainable low-impact industries. Not good news for farmers, but them's the breaks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    But it could be very good news for farmers if it was "clean , green and fresh" added-value products coming from the low-impact agriculture.
    Low impact is the easy part which takes care of the environmental sustainability (in the relative sense).
    The added-value requires the dairy industry to abandon seasonality , and to produce milk all year round (at the very low stocking rates) so that fresh cultured foods (yoghurt , sour cream , cottage cheese, other cheeses etc ) can be made daily for shipping to the rich (top 10%) Asians.
    Year- round production also addresses the rebuilding of rural social capital, the destruction of which has occurred over the last 40 years of dairy company amalgamations and centralisation of processing.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So let's invest in our export food industry.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16262 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    You want to hear about the elephant in the room?
    Or should that be dinosaur?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

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