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How To Get There 14/7/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 14th, 2019 - 31 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

 

This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it!

Let us know what you think …

31 comments on “How To Get There 14/7/19”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Hunting animals in order to eat them: is there a just relationship between animals and humans, where hunting, cooking and eating is part of the relationship?

    An Ainu perspective: (Ainu are Japan's "First People")

    "The Ainu say that the deer, salmon, and bear like our music and are fascinated by our languages. So we sing to the fish or the game, speak words to them, say grace. Periodically we dance for them. A song for your supper: performance is currency in the deep world's gift economy. The other creatures probably do find us a bit frivolous: we keep changing our outfits and we eat too many different things. Nonhuman nature, I can't help feeling, is well inclined towards humanity and only wishes that modern people were more reciprocal, not so bloody."

    Here's the extended version for anyone interested:

    "In the Ainu world, a few human houses are in a valley by a little river. Food is often foraged in the local area, but some of the creatures come down from the inner mountains and up from the deeps of the sea. The animal or fish (or plant) that allows itself to be killed or gathered, and then enters the house to be consumed, is called a 'visitor,' marapto. Bear sends his friends the deer down to visit humans. Orca [the Killer Whale] sends his friends the salmon up the streams. When they arrive their 'armor is broken' — they are killed — enabling them to shake off their fur or scale coats and step out as invisible spirit beings. They are then delighted by witnessing the human entertainments — sake and music. (They love music.) Having enjoyed their visit, they return to the deep sea or the inner mountains and report, 'We had a wonderful time with the human beings.' The others are then prompted themselves to go on visits. Thus if the humans do not neglect proper hospitality, the beings will be reborn and return over and over."

     

    "A young white woman asked me: 'If we have made such good use of animals, eating them, singing about them, drawing them, riding them, and dreaming about them, what do they get back from us?' An excellent question, directly on the point of etiquette and propriety, and putting it from the animals' side. The Ainu say that the deer, salmon, and bear like our music and are fascinated by our languages. So we sing to the fish or the game, speak words to them, say grace. Periodically we dance for them. A song for your supper: performance is currency in the deep world's gift economy. The other creatures probably do find us a bit frivolous: we keep changing our outfits and we eat too many different things. Nonhuman nature, I can't help feeling, is well inclined towards humanity and only wishes that modern people were more reciprocal, not so bloody."

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    As expected, the connection between climate change and human mental health is being recognised; it's a significant factor behind the attempt here to provide a forum to explore the issues and suggest actions that ease both. In today's news:

    Kiwis suffering depression, anxiety and hopelessness because of climate change

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/113973585/kiwis-suffering-depression-anxiety-and-hopelessness-because-of-climate-change

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Pacific Islanders in NZ affected by the depression-effect of climate change:

    "Growing despondency over climate change and the future of the planet has seen a team at Auckland University kick start research into the link between climate change and mental wellbeing in Pacific communities, saying it's an aspect of the changing planet that often goes under the radar. "

  4. patricia bremner 4

    We have had grey as a fashion colour for a number of years.  It bleeds joy.

    Green, gold lemon and copper hues lift the spirits.  AWAY with grey.!!!

    • greywarshark 4.1

      What about the shads of brown, fawn, beige, cappucino, chocolate, mud.

      Or charcoal, steel grey mixed with dark blue (so fasionable the colour of the underbelly of storm clouds?)

      Try the colours of La Garda, Italy the gold and terracotta; some European cities in dull pink and cream.

      Here's La Garda lovely to look at and a flash mob – excellent.  https://www.flixxy.com/blues-brothers-flash-mob-in-italy.htm

    • Janet 4.2

      You are not wrong Patricia our world has greyed – was it just fashion or something to do with the common conscience. I bought a new car last week – the first new car in my life and it was only black, white ,grey or red on offer. Of course I chose red. I did the "right " thing and chose a hybrid but too my unbelievable annoyance  if I want to plug in away from home I must find the right charging station to fit the fitting on my car. Whoever would have thought that in this day an age  that such a thing was not standardised on all electric cars! More waste and duplication! There are in fact 5 different  charge fittings already in NZ!

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Teaming with fungi – nice pun and looks like a useful, if not inspiring, read.

    https://www.workman.com/products/teaming-with-fungi

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    One of the biggest factors affecting reforestation projects negatively is high populations of deer (and other pest browsers). 

    Forest regeneration projects require Kaitiaki/Stewardship to enable success. With 1.2 trillion trees to plant globally a small percentage of failure results in huge losses. Better to plant projects that will succeed, and even create further propagation of natural regeneration.

    Forests require:

    • birds, beetles, moths and bats as pollinators and seed distributors 
    • fungi (too many reasons for a bullet list)
    • animal and plant pest control
    • water management: to slow and retain rainwater, to replenish groundwater and storages
    • eco-sourcing seed: plants with local adaptation, local distributors and pollinators
    • support species: nitrogen fixers, re-mineralisers, biomass pioneers, insect and bird habitat, food sources
    • facilitation of succession: thin pioneers (make mulch and partial light) as secondary plants become emergent

    Up front you must consider water capture and retention, light conditions, winds, and fire. Where should the firebreaks be? The 'fireproof' species? The wind break species? Sunny sides, shaded sides, wet bits, dry bits, what grows where? 

    Also for consideration is income. Are there opportunities to offset costs? Venison, pork, pet food, fungi, fruits, nuts, fibres, timbers. Can selective sustainable harvests be derived to offset/pay for ongoing maintenance? While forests role is to offset carbon and save the day, selective harvesting can enhance rather than be detrimental to forest systems, where pests are kept in check, and biodiversity enhanced as species take up gaps in forest light. Eventually a system where the pioneers, secondary and late succession species are all present is created. An 'ark' for local regeneration to spread from.

    China has 60 000 soldiers planting 84 000 sq km of trees right now. While this initiative (partially) aims to tackle air pollution, the scope of such a project lends example to a world that needs to plant trees en-masse.

    I do not know the figures for their planting density but…

    7000 pines per hectare – 100 hectares per square kilometre = 700 000 trees per sq km.

    84 000 sq km x 700 000 trees = 58 800 000 000 or 58.8 billion.

    A bit more than 5% of the job required (1.2 trillion).

    Obviously, we need the armies, foresters and ecologists of the world, alongside citizen armies, to plant trees. 

    The other country leading the pack in planting trees is India. Both these countries suffer from severe environmental degradation in places threatening human health and life and so it is with necessity such projects have been born.

    The west need not ignore the lessons of India and China, but learn from them. It is possible to survive climate change relatively intact:

    The time to place tree planting on a war footing is now.

    • WeTheBleeple 6.1

      The above post was getting too long…

      To plant 1.2 trillion trees.

      195 countries in the world. If each put forward 6000 planters to plant ~ 8500 sq km (85 x 100 km, not so large as it sounds) we would plant the 1.2 trillion trees.

      But we have China already doing the work of 10 countries, and India pushing above it's weight too. But some countries are larger, some are smaller. We might work it out though. The basic math above reveals the project is entirely within our reach.

      To raise the likelihood of each project being successful we need ecological knowledge etc as outlined briefly above (6).

      Plant the trees. Clean up agriculture, transport and power generation.

      Job done.

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        Has anyone given consideration to the potential for houseplants to provide an opportunity for otherwise land-poor urban people to contribute to the greening of the world? Many are easy to propagate and keep and all contribute to a healthier environment. Once the art of growing houseplants has been gained, outdoor planting will become attractive. With that, city-folk will be on an equal footing with their country cousins in the drive to reclothe the planet and save the day.

  7. greywarshark 7

    I think these comments were not transferred earlier.

    Some interesting nuggets from Mon 8/3 Open Mike.

    greywarshark 8

    8 July 2019 at 9:33 am

    . In it, she explores meat grown in labs from cultured animal cells, crop weeding robots that remove the need for pesticides and vertical indoor farms where vegetables are grown with neither sun nor soil. 

    Author and Professor of investigative journalism and science writing at Vanderbilt University Amanda Little has spent four years travelling around the United States and the world researching what people, business and governments are doing to ensure humanity can be fed sustainably and equitably. Her book is called The Fate of Food: What We'll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

     

    RedLogix 14.2.3.1

    8 July 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Yes something like that. There are such things as ore sorters  that are already being used to separate out the metals and plastics. Then I'd imagine you'd go to a wet process of some sort to detox the heavy metals, then filter and convey the resulting damp output to a biological process of some kind.

    Maybe convey it up vertically 50m or so out of the reach of sea level, then plant with reed beds or other species known to be good at absorbing any residual metals. There has been a lot of interesting research already done.  

    While perfect 100% elimination is probably not economically feasible, reducing the hazard by several orders of magnitude (a 99% reduction) should be doable. The economics would depend a lot on how much valuable metals and material can be recovered at the first step.

    .

    And a thread:

    Ad 16

    8 July 2019 at 11:56 am

     

    Irony alert:

    Marsden Point Refining is proposing a very large solar power generator to run the plant there.

    It would be 31 hectares, deliver 24 Megawatts, and potentially take our only oil refinery off the grid.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12247521

    Without presuming New Zealand can do without an oil refinery for the imaginable future, and I sure ain't bagging them for trying, but what would it take to make an oil refinery sustainable?

    Reply

    • Rosemary McDonald 16.1

      8 July 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Silly idea.  The salt air would leave a film on the panels that would require constant cleaning.  The salt air would very possibly corrode the panels. 31 hectares is a lot of land and already the refinery is close to the Port in one direction and close to the timber treatment in the other. And Winston wants to expand the port.  And then there's a neat wee DOC reserve with part of the Te Araroa trail running through it.  And then there's the absolute bestest overnight parking spot for when we're traveling from the FFN back to the Waikato.

      Reply

    • xanthe 16.2

      8 July 2019 at 12:55 pm

      "

      what would it take to make an oil refinery sustainable?

      "

      well there are algae that produce oil from sunlight and remove nitrates and nutrients from fresh water in the process.

      one random link to get you sterted

      https://petrowiki.org/Producing_crude_oil_from_algae

      Reply

    • WeTheBleeple 16.3

      8 July 2019 at 3:09 pm

      Solar panels. Tech from statoil (already in use) to take the CO2 released from the process rather than venting to the atmosphere. Use the oil products for applications where alternatives are not yet available – the medicines, high tech/high value end; where it's not just burned up for a trip to the dairy.

      That'd be a good start.

      Reply

      • greywarshark 16.3.1

        8 July 2019 at 4:49 pm

        And when the oil runs out or down, we have the solar panels still there being useful.   Doesn't sound too bad a scheme, pretty good i would say.

         

  8. Ric 8

    Submissions on the climate change(zero carbon) amendment bill close very soon

    A well thought out guide at https://www.generationzero.org/submission-guide for anyone with limited time .

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Part of how to get to a better future is comprehension of why the world is the way it is.  To illuminate how our beliefs support business as usual via money, here's an account from a book I read recently (The Knowledge Illusion).

    "Rai stones are large, doughnut-shaped pieces of limestone that the Yapese people of the small island of Yap in Micronesia use as currency  The stones can be really big, up to twelve feet across, and can weigh several tons.  Some are so big that when the ownership changes, the new owner doesn't move the stone.  It remains in the same spot, but everyone accepts that it now belongs to the new owner."

    "In one story, a large rai stone fell out of a canoe and sank to the seafloor.  The stone was never seen again, but it retained its value and continued to be traded.  The Yapese couldn't see it, but reasoned it must still be there."

    "Up until the 1930s our economy was also based on rocks which we couldn't see.  Our rocks were made of gold instead of limestone and hidden in Fort Knox instead of at the bottom of the sea, but still, the parallel is obvious."

    "Today we no longer use the gold standard, but it's still the case that the only reason the dollar bill in your pocket is worth anything is because other people believe it is worth something…  Money gets its value from the communal belief that it has value;  its worth depends on a social contract."

    Obvious no mainstreamer wants to admit the truth of this.  The notion that western civilisation is based on a collective hallucination just doesn't go down well.  But the denial encompasses the political left and right, and makes business as usual continue on the basis of this powerful delusion.  Inasmuch as adhering to the delusion has caused climate change, one must wonder how long the bipartisan consensus will survive in the new millennium.  Are younger generations just as stupid as the others?

    • greywarshark 9.1

      A glimmer of this started to get through to me a year or so ago.   Taken for granted is that we get money from banks, that people who don't understand this are naive, and like to believe in trees that grow money, fools.   The phrase that stays in my mind 'is a pocketful of mumbles such are promises' from The Boxer.   And notes of the currency have long been signed by someone – the Governor of the Reserve Bank indicating the promissory aspect of them.

      https://www.quora.com/What-does-I-promise-to-pay-the-bearer-a-sum-of-mean

      https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/faq   What does the ‘promise to pay’ on banknotes mean?

      The words ‘I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of five [ten/twenty/fifty] pounds’ appears on all of our banknotes. This phrase dates from long ago when our banknotes represented deposits of gold. At that time, a member of the public could exchange one of our banknotes for gold of the same value. For example, a £5 note could be exchanged for five gold coins, called sovereigns. 

      However, the value of the pound has not been linked to gold for many years, so the meaning of the promise to pay has changed. You can no longer exchange banknotes for gold. Bank of England banknotes can only be exchanged for other Bank of England banknotes of the same face value. 

      We now maintain public trust in the pound through operating monetary policy.

       

      Simon & Garfunkel Lyrics:   "The Boxer"
       

      I am just a poor boy
      Though my story's seldom told
      I have squandered my resistance –  (subsistence?)
      For a pocketful of mumbles
      Such are promises
      All lies and jest
      Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
      And disregards the rest

      When I left my home and my family
      I was no more than a boy
      In the company of strangers
      In the quiet of a railway station
      Running scared
      Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
      Where the ragged people go
      Looking for the places only they would know

      Lie-la-lie…

      Asking only workman's wages
      I come looking for a job
      But I get no offers
      Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
      I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome
      I took some comfort there

      Lie-la-lie…

      Then I'm laying out my winter clothes
      And wishing I was gone
      Going home
      Where the New York City winters aren't bleeding me
      Leading me
      Going home

      In the clearing stands a boxer
      And a fighter by his trade
      And he carries the remainders
      Of every glove that laid him down
      And cut him till he cried out
      In his anger and his shame
      “I am leaving, I am leaving”
      But the fighter still remains

      Lie-la-lie…

      https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/simongarfunkel/theboxer.html

      • WeTheBleeple 9.1.1

        I spelled out the (supposed) how/why of printed money here a while back. Do you recall?

        An 'invisible hand' tethering printed money to reality via the promise of goods and services to the tune of the loan.

        You build a house, the money loaned/printed for the house is based on the generation of a house, so there is a house added to the value of everything and to offset the printed money. The interest is above and beyond the value of everything and so GDP 'must grow' – on behalf of bankers.

        But when you buy a house that already exists – the bankers will still loan you. Is this money somehow separated and not printed, but based on actual reserves?

        Here's where I think a lot of smoke and mirrors goes on. The promise of the invisible hand tethering the economy to reality falls over in the light of goods that exchange hands several times and those several hands all purchase – using bank loans. 

        Anyone?

        Bankers seem distinctly dishonest these days. Desperate for another billion, addicts through and through. The land grabs going on in Australia and the States are their typical MO. Watch a market drop, take properties back at fire sale prices, continue to charge interest on loans out of promises, make more loans to new owners for more interest…

        It's win-win-win with society the loser. And when their nefarious ways crash economies, they get bailed out and continue to fleece the land. Buy low (families life savings vanished, home gone, debt), sell high – more profit, more interest!

        All the while governments are in thrall to banks, if interest is not paid people get defaulted and the economy tanks. Tank the economy lose the election. So governments are obsessed with GDP for self preservation. The whole time they contemplate growth as some magic societal raising device, but in reality service banks who are in the business of serving themselves for as much as they can take.

        Who currently holds all the strings? Bankers. 

        Growth will destroy the planet. De-growth is partly about finding efficiencies in pre-existing systems so they can operate leaner. Antithesis to banks, it is the way back. Degrowth must be slow however, or everyone winds up in default.

        The power of the banks needs curtailing. No government has the balls for it. People need to divest from the big banks and seek alternatives.

  10. A 11

    Now this is cool.  Check this out

    Donald Trump will win re-election in 2020 just in time for a “global crash”, Aussie property prices still have much further to fall, and Facebook will be dead within a decade.

    Chillingly, within the next three years, a popular world leader will be assassinated using autonomous drone technology, sparking an international outcry.

    Those are just some of the predictions of futurist Dr Richard Hames — who correctly foresaw 9/11 and the GFC, two of the biggest world events of the past two decades — but they’re not his “craziest”.

    “My craziest prediction is that within the decade we’re going to see almost a revolutionary change in how we think about politics, social enterprise and the economy,” Dr Hames said, citing climate change and the widening gap between rich and poor as key catalysts.

    “Governments will seriously consider how they can put a cap on personal wealth, thus challenging the capitalist framework. We will shift our thinking away from growth at all costs to how humanity thrives without growth and even negative growth. Economists will say that’s impossible, but it isn’t if you look at more things than just the economy.

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/futurist-who-predicted-911-and-the-gfc-says-there-will-be-a-global-crash-by-the-end-of-next-year/news-story/1cbfb302a172303db20ab62fe6251ac6

    I’m happy about Facebook. Not because I celebrate failure of others but because they are too dominant and out of control. Like the govt change of focus too.

    • A 11.1

      Great predictions at end of article include us being able to make everything we need out of basic elements + future is hydrogen cars, not electric.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      'birth striking' – it's a thing. I wonder if the same anxiousness affects people in non-Western countries; perhaps this will be a major determinant in modulating the global population.

  11. Dennis Frank 13

    “The field of cognitive science emerged in the 1950s in a noble effort to understand the workings of the human mind”, according to two cognitive scientists. What happened to psychology? If it occurred to you to wonder, you may also wonder why acadaemia created two separate sciences to do exactly the same thing.

    “We have spent our careers studying the mind. Steven is a professor of cognitive science who has been researching this topic for over twenty-five years. Phil has a doctorate in cognitive science and is a professor of marketing whose work focuses on trying to understand how people make decisions.”

    “Our story will take you on a journey through the fields of psychology, computer science, robotics, evolutionary theory, political science, and education, all with the goal of illuminating how the mind works and what it is for – and why the answers to these questions explain how human thinking can be so shallow and so powerful at the same time.”

    “The human mind is not like a desktop computer, designed to hold reams of information. The mind is a flexible problem-solver that evolved to extract only the most useful information to guide decisions in new situations. As a consequence, individuals store very little detailed information about the world in their heads. In that sense, people are like bees and society a beehive: our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective mind.”

    “To function, individuals rely not only on information stored in our skulls but also on knowledge stored elsewhere: in our bodies, in the environment, and especially in other people.”

    So cognitive science has transcended psychology (which remains throttled by reductionism) and has become holistic. Sufficiently so to allocate our mental interactions to our social and environmental context. And especially this: “When you put it all together, human thought us incredibly impressive. But it is a product of a community, not of any individual alone.”

    Since the cult of individualism produces a media focus on individual thoughts, we remain unaware that these do not arise in isolation. They arise from our interactions and relationships with others, in group contexts. We experience them as ours, so we fail to realise the significance of the organic context. Intuitive readers will realise the implications of this shift of focus, for learning and collective survival – but I will follow up with other quotes to reinforce the point.

     

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      "There are severe limits on how much information an individual can process (that's why we can forget someone's name seconds after being introduced)."  Good point, but they don't explain further.  If, like me, you get embarrassed when this happens, you'd probably assume a personal inadequacy.

      Seems not, eh?  Thinking about it, reflect on what you're doing in your interaction with the person that takes precedence over keeping their name in short-term memory.  I reckon the explanation is really that the brain has defaulted to emotional intelligence, and perhaps other cerebral filing systems too, such as identification of relevant social categories.  So it is reading facial cues, body language, the signal sent by clothing etc, not to mention any relevant gender typing.  All that is more gestalt-driven right-brain stuff, the poor old left brain trying to register the letters sequentialed into a name just gets overwhelmed!

      But these guys are male scientists, averse to such deep water.  Their focus is just learning and knowledge:  "Perhaps most important, individual knowledge is remarkably shallow, only scratching the surface of the true complexity of the world, and yet we often don't realise how little we understand."

      Thus their book title:  The Knowledge Illusion (2017).  Knowing stuff implies comprehension, but people assume it way more than they actually get it.  They provide case studies to prove that point.

    • Robert Guyton 13.2

      That's really interesting stuff, Dennis. I've been thinking, independently, about this "thinking outside of our own head" idea as well as "where is memory kept" etc.

      • greywarshark 13.2.1

        This was an interesting interview on Radionz about brain functions – funny too.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018704313/brain-rules-for-living-and-ageing-well-john-medina

        Developmental molecular biologist John Medina has the low down on how our brains work and why we should redesign our schools and workplaces to match. He also has tips for ageing well. Mind blown!

        John Medina is an affiliate Professor of Bio engineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine. His books include "Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School", "Attack of the Teenage Brain",  "Brain Rules for Aging Well," "Depression", and "What You Need to Know About Alzheimer's".

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