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How To Get There 20/1/19

Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, January 20th, 2019 - 122 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags: ,

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

This post is prompted by TS regular Robert Guyton who suggested we have a dedicated thread where “the way forward can be discussed, within parameters such as doable suggestions, successful examples, contributions from readers who support the concept of the thread, new takes on the future etc.”.

How To Get There is 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 and we’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

Let us know what you think!

122 comments on “How To Get There 20/1/19 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    It might be that this thread for discussing The Big Picture has run its course. We’ve had a go at defining the problem, both with the “physical”world and it’s increasingly-wild weather and disappearing resources (clean water, soils and forests), we’ve, I think, identified human behaviour, resulting from the cultures we’ve grown, as the process by which we’ve got thus far and we’ve tried to describe processes by which we can “go beyond ourselves” and change the course of fate; by thinking and behaving differently, even suggesting the use of approaches such as poetry, nonsense and humour as ways to crack that old culture nut and encourage an epiphany or two, a metanoia even, to burst forth and lead us to the promised land – at least that’s my version of what’s happened on this “How to get there” thread. Most useful, perhaps, has been the “helpful hints” sub-thread: what to plant when and how to cook it, books to look out for and tools to covet. But is it enough?
    Are we there yet?

    • “It might be that this thread for discussing The Big Picture has run its course. ”

      Is that it? So far there has been a bit of input, but hardly scratching the surface of The Big Picture.

      “Most useful, perhaps, has been the “helpful hints” sub-thread: what to plant when and how to cook it, books to look out for and tools to covet. But is it enough?”

      Nowhere near enough. It’s been barely a whistle in the winds of change.

      If a whole way of Kiwi life is to be radically changed it will take a lot more effort.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Perhaps we’re just going to take it as it comes, roll with the punches, move inland. It seems to be the plan for most people; I don’t hear of many people taking more than token measures in the face of what’s being described as a desperate situation. Buying an electric car though; that might do it! Mind you, the best change is probably incremental and unspectacular; flash in the pan actions, bold declarations that don’t last long aren’t much good when the issue is a deep and serious one. Tiny steps, lots of them and taken in a direction that’s generally agreed upon, might be the best way forward; abandon BBQ’d sausages, plastic straws and pouring Roundup onto the driveway to kill dandelions and we might be shuffling toward a better place.

        • Sacha

          “taken in a direction that’s generally agreed upon”

          And that’s where we need hopes and stories and organised processes to rally people around. General agreement does not happen on its own, and nor does collective action.

        • Dennis Frank

          I’ve been driving my plug-in hybrid for two years, after getting my electrician neighbour to install the high-current socket in the basement garage of my new home. It’s an Outlander SUV, superb design & functionality, a year old when I got it.

          Angst from being Green and driving on petrol had been building for a decade and was really bothering me prior, but I knew I had to wait for the market peak to sell out of Ak. Still, a hybrid is incremental, not total, and I still burn some petrol. As you say, incremental is best, and I rationalise that via pragmatism. I don’t buy plastic straws – I recycle them. As long as you wash them properly, no problem. You know the ones that come with takeaway coffees? Get ’em before they become extinct!

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Google defines metanoia: change in one’s way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion. In respect of our topic, penitence would be primarily for blindly supporting the status quo. Voting Labour, for instance.

      Wikipedia begins with pagan usage: “Metanoia means afterthought, from meta meaning “after” or “beyond” and nous meaning “mind”. In Classical Greek metanoia meant changing one’s mind about someone or something.” “Metanoia was depicted as a shadowy goddess, cloaked and sorrowful, who accompanied Kairos, the god of Opportunity, sowing regret and inspiring repentance for the “missed moment”.”

      That last point strikes a chord with me. Earlier in life, I missed crucial opportunities due to caution or feeling inadequate. It’s like you come to a forked path, where one fork deviates and the other goes straight ahead. At those times, I voted for the status quo and kept on going – which is strange because I was always deviant by nature! However, growing up in the social matrix of Aotearoa back then meant crippling conformity, and it was always inevitable that I would be as crippled by that as anyone else here.

      So, to the point, the better future we prefer to normalcy lies along that deviating path we feel too apprehensive about to take. Only if fear of the challenge gives way to the emergence of a resolute, adventurous spirit, can we become able to proceed down that road less travelled!

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        I think of metanoia as occurring as the result of building pressure/awareness/tension around the Big Questions and triggered by an unexpectedly intense-though-insignificant-to-bystanders experience, such as hearing the cry of a gull or tracking the fall of a kereru feather from the forest canopy; metanoia, in my understanding, can be deeply upsetting and uncomfortable when it presents, as you describe, Dennis, a lateral fork in your road and one that doesn’t have a fingerpost with something recognisable written on it.

      • Ant 1.2.2

        “Metanoia” – ‘a transformative change of heart’ is one definition. Many of us have changes of heart, sometimes on a week-to-week basis. Transformative change is a lot rarer, often following extreme illness (and perhaps near-death experience), religious conversion or a spontaneous “aha” event of off-the-scale potency.

        The witness of millions including celebrated atheists such as Dawkins and Harris points to a mechanism within consciousness that once activated takes on a life of its own, colouring one’s orientation towards existence henceforth. It has a lower reflection – a false one such as drug-induced ecstacy or the ramblings of “the saved” in those over-the-top fundamentalist rallies. These are ephemeral, often leading to a sense of exclusivity and ‘out-of-touchness’ with the needs of others and our stricken planet.

        Though this “element” of consciousness is common to all of us it is curiously not available on demand. Were it so we would try to activate it to please ourselves, – a contradiction indeed as it is the very limitation of accustomed selfhood the metanoia seeks to transcend.

        Here’s the interesting part: the incentive to persist in the disciplines (prayer, meditation, chanting, yoga, mindfulness) that are said to improve the chances of the metanoia frequently are based on belief in a god who will “reward’ or ‘punish.’ Accordingly it is entirely appropriate that skeptics write the experiences off as unbalanced emotionalism or worse.

        While I am not a Buddhist its not surprising to note the increasing appeal of his insights in the West. When prompted the Buddha told his followers: “no I’m not going to tell you whether God exists; if I say ‘he does’ you will wander off proclaiming ‘the Buddha says there is God,’ and it will make no difference to your lives whatsoever; and if I say ‘God does not exist’ you will proclaim it as truth, and again your life will not be changed.”

        So Buddhists are not in it to please God, go to heaven, or avoid punishment. Stripped of dogma, creed, and formula his teaching laid bare the essential qualities and disciplines that would lead to the metanoia so longer for. Nor is not a call to dreamy otherworldliness but to self expression aligned with the highest interests of one another and our ailing planet.

        • Robert Guyton

          Yes, Ant, that’s the meaning I take. I wonder if you’ve given thought to a “shared” metanoia where maybe a community or even species might make the leap, brought about by pressure from circumstances…such as facing extinction 🙂
          As for pleasing ourselves with metanoia on demand, I suspect they’re not necessarily pleasant experiences, in the way that being struck by lightening, physical or spiritual, can cause discomfort 🙂

          • Ant

            Sure Robert, the “shared metanoia” has been visioned, – as long ago as the fifties (de Chardin) and in esoteric traditions where dedicated adherents look towards group initiation. Metanoia, metamorphosis, metaphysics indicate the veracity of change/transformation and we are naïve (as you suggest) to imagine it will be comfortable or smooth in transitioning. One will leave behind strong aspects of the form that for so long defined one’s reality, as symbolised by the much loved caterpillar/butterfly transition.

        • Dennis Frank

          That’s a powerful teaching I hadn’t previously encountered, Ant: “I’m not going to tell you whether God exists; if I say ‘he does’ you will wander off proclaiming ‘the Buddha says there is God,’ and it will make no difference to your lives whatsoever; and if I say ‘God does not exist’ you will proclaim it as truth, and again your life will not be changed.”

          He was designing a future for his followers, one in which the question of the existence of God became irrelevant. Profoundly impressive, that! 👼 Catalysing a social reality by using both/and logic is magic! 🧙‍♂️

          So it points us to an essential component of the mix for catalysing an optimal future for all. Teaching of how folks can rethink collaboration via keeping twin futures in mind. Both upside, so dreams and creative visualisation get input into activities, and downside, so the precautionary principle gets applied via preventative actions.

  2. WeTheBleeple 2

    (checks pulse) Got to agree with Pete. We’ve barely begun. Maybe you feel too much got lumped in your lap Robert?

    There’s a fair few of us keen to contribute should you want a break we all understand how easy it is to get overextended these days. I have plenty more on water but DJ Ward did an excellent job with his own piece on water so I backed off and let his work shine as it was very good. Reiterating the importance of water will be needed for time immemorial judging by human reticence to good advice. So I just bide my time…

    Maybe TS can take your name off the project thus lowering the expectation on you. I’m pretty sure we discussed that this would be a group effort but TRP called it yours and now you feel responsible?

    Pete mentions ‘ the kiwi way of life’ as being something that needs to change. This is a good talking point.

    BBQ’s – I can make a clean one, or a carbon negative one. We could transform this experience with little actual change. Better recipes for BBQ veg dishes, more variety than sangers and sauce… a clean burning operation. From garden to salad bowl beside the BBQ, and from garden to grill, BBQ’s are a big part of us and could be a great catalyst for change through new design and thinking. It is here we could introduce new recipes, new technologies, new food types…

    Sport! I’m not a team player I try but the aspie in me doesn’t want any mates 😀

    But… working together is crucial. Role models are vital. Sports and sports personalities could play an important role through simple messaging and intent.

    Hunters and fishermen: A more vocal group of conservationists you’re not likely to find. Here is where blue-green actually exists. Now, look at their ideas around sustained sporting, and maori around sustained harvest… It seems these disparate groups share the same goals. Continuation of a resource.

    Honest work for honest pay: restoration required.

    Innovators: Goddamn but we are good. Industry could be less cowardly however.

    Rant ends, incoherence achieved.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Well, yeah, that’s the stuff! Sometimes, pulling makes a welcome change from pushing 🙂
      I think it was the articles alerting us to the plight of the insects that gave me pause for thought; I often wonder if we’ll all get wrong-footed by something unforeseen like the disappearance of one of the most important links in the chain, such as insects, and be thrown into chaos as a result; maybe the bacteria responsible for cloud-formation just won’t turn up for work one day, or some other vital player will take the year off, who knows? Insect numbers seemingly have fallen spectacularly and we barely noticed; I think about the rock pools I gazed into, poked around in when I was a boy which from memory were lively with anemone, shrimp, butterfish and chiton, whereas now, those same pools are scarcely populated at best. I wonder if, as my grandchildren looking those pools and find the few creatures therein, fascinating, I too, in my childhood, was looking at an already “thinned” habitat; one my grandfather might have experienced as thrice as populous as the one I thought busy.
      Still, worrying about the unexpected isn’t useful; there’s enough known problems to tackle; issues such as Starbucks porn and rampaging Trumpotami.

      • WeTheBleeple 2.1.1

        What if we harnessed the friction of frottage to power Starbucks espresso machines?

        Systems analysis will often reveal opportunity to merge seemingly disparate players together.

        It would be interesting if, decades later, I went back to live in the same patch of bush I did as a teen. Would I starve this time? I lived mostly on seafood, cod, perch, snapper, octopus, crayfish, oysters, mussels, pipis, tuatuas, plus watercress, puha and eel off the land. Probably can’t even drink the water anymore…

        To be honest I’ve been reticent to go and look it’d break my heart if my happy place was a mess.

        The reversal involves banishing chemical companies from all aspects of agriculture. The land, air and water is entirely polluted by them. PCB’s and chlorinated hydrocarbons from pesticides are in the Antarctic, dammit.


        So while we’re looking for solutions let’s not pussyfoot around who is destroying the place. We cannot fight this thing without curtailing these activities. Solutions include stopping all manner of cides.

        We start by stopping our own use of these products and nudging the neighbors to stop too. Most get it with a little conversation. I threatened to sue a guy recently to make him desist. I would have done it too.

        Fight for your planet.

        • Robert Guyton

          I’ve found that getting elected to a regional council provides opportunities to be involved in decisions around such practices. Somewhat. Letters to the editor too, though that can be as risky as posting on Kiwiblog 🙂

    • Dennis Frank 2.2

      Not incoherent at all. Excellent response, I thought. I agree that it’s a topic to endure long-term & hope the Standard will include it for at least the next few years. It could be reframed a little on the masthead, perhaps.

      I also agree with the continuance of practical advice. That stuff helps folks to ground their new thinking in praxis. Lifestyles embed accordingly, after the initial consciousness-shift.

      Gnosis around working together has to be the other focus paramount. That requires analysis of what progressive activists have been doing wrong – as well as a remembering of what they have been doing right!

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        “I also agree with the continuance of practical advice. That stuff helps folks to ground their new thinking in praxis. Lifestyles embed accordingly, after the initial consciousness-shift.”
        Cool. How about this then; both hosta and dahlia are edible and some of them palatable even 🙂 Garden clubs, which consist primarily of older women, know their onions, or rather, ornamental flowers and have these treasures growing gaily in their beautifully-kept flower gardens. If through our research we could identify the best of variety of hosta and dahlia for eating and engage those gardening group champions to propagate for us, we could spread those around public places, community gardens, our own and our families’ gardens and create a store of food that could be accessed if needed; a crisis of some sort might arise. I’m trialling fuchsia as a source of edible berries and have found a beauty; plump and delicious, which I’m multiplying-up here in my garden. It’s flower is a little flouncy for my taste, but I’ll gladly grow it, knowing that it’s edible; delicious in fact, and trouble-free, plus, at this stage anyway, the birds don’t recognise it as food, long may that last. I’m very keen for communities to fill their spaces with eat-at-a-pinch foods, such as cardoons and sun chokes, that can quite spread themselves about and be fresh and available if ever they are needed, and that might be at any time; some people are in need of forgeable foods right now – there doesn’t have to be an earthquake to make such a resource needed.

        • Dennis Frank

          Good thinking, Robert. Something I ought to try & integrate. Garden clubs are both a resource for gleaning insights from, and tapping into traditional knowledge of what works in what conditions, and a social context for community-building. A challenge for an habitual loner like me! 😎

          • Robert Guyton

            Herb societies too; they know heaps about … herbs 🙂
            Medicines from plants is vital knowledge, in my view. Those Herb Soc. people know their plants very well indeed and are a vital source of seeds 🙂
            I’ve already mentioned the Menz Shed guys; they are looking for projects/purpose, have tools and know how to use them!
            Spinners and knitters guilds are full of talented people who know their craft; we’d be foolish to try to reinvent the (spinning) wheel, when they are already humming.

            • WeTheBleeple

              Robert – the Menz Shedz guys – Do they want to help make a carbon negative BBQ we could then take to a manufacturer?

              I can spell out most of what’s required but an engineer or two would be invaluable so they can ‘understand as they tinker’ and make it really efficient. I’d like to use my old design (a fire chamber surrounding a char/gasifier chamber) and add a drying compartment option. So you could put green prunings in it and next day you can burn/char it in the BBQ.

              A garden and some coppice. When the fuel is free and the food is free and both help the situation (less global warming, food miles, cides, tilling et al) people might even start erecting shelters and cooking outdoors in winter too. Could make some models to throw a good deal of external heat as part of the design…

              If you grow what you burn – it is carbon neutral.

              If you grow what you burn and also sequester some as char – it is carbon negative.

              Grow apples to fatten pork and make cider. Prune apples to run BBQ.

              Cider and BBQ marathons to save the planet. People might get behind this kind of thinking…

              It is possible, and entirely practical, to present a case for abundance through change. People don’t want to go without but if transition promises abundance for individuals and communities (fuck the corporations)…

              Who’s gonna bitch about that?

              Abundance: Food and power are practically free. As is alcohol and various herbs and concoctions. Medicines, etc.

        • Heather Grimwood

          to Robert Guyton at 1.1.1. and 2.2.1: Agree wholeheartedly with your concern for plight of insects etc, the lack of bees troubling me greatly at present over non-setting of my exuberant Russian Reds. I suspect all-to-prevalent use of weedkillers. Many have been preaching non-use for decades, but this must be urgently re- advertised as a major anti- social /anti life- sustaining practice.

          • greywarshark

            It is very hard to get through to some old people. Their one interest in life is to have everything tidy, and they know nothing else more important. No doubt they have heard information from green sources, but dismiss them as being people who don’t understand the importance of tidiness and controlling nature.

            • Heather Grimwood

              to GWS at : Hey there! I must take you up on your presumption re older people and use of herbicides! I’m on my 87th whirl around the sun and for decades neither I nor my many gardener friends have used these poisons….boiling water..yes, sprinkle of salt in flatweeds (dandelions etc)…yes….regular attention….yes.
              Years ago noticing an Auckland park being sprayed while people walked through and school children ate lunch, I wrote to the mayor.
              Almost immediate change to hot water spraying was installed. A healthy surviving planet needs awareness requiring continued education OF its needs by all inhabitants.

              • greywarshark

                That is so good to know Heather I must ask for this hot water stuff.

                I am talking about two particular old men who stand for quite a lot of that variety of the aged. Very determined old fools, and reasoning with them is impossible.

                • Heather Grimwood

                  just poured from boiling kettle…might need a few trips!

                  • greywarshark

                    I’m thinking of checking what Council is doing though. Presumably there are large units for this.
                    Though boiling water for home is good. I have hears salt recommended but that would leave a residue wouldn’t it.

                • JanM

                  “Very determined old fools, and reasoning with them is impossible”.
                  I was living in a retirement village a few years ago which I had to leave as the result of merciless bullying by a group of these. They were spraying around the shared garden, chooks and all, and made my life impossible when I objected.

                  • greywarshark

                    Ah I think that many cannot understand what you and i are talking about. And there is sexism involved also when it is men being questioned by women, and classism involved often, if it is women who object to being countered, or indeed men questioning men.

          • Robert Guyton

            Heather – your Russian Reds are out-of-doors? I’m guessing they are and therefore the bumblebees ought to be doing their thing, vibrating the flowers and spreading pollen that way; if not, you could do it 🙂
            I dislike (intensely) herbicides, pesticides etc. as they seem to me like killer-drones operated from afar – the user just “waters” the plants/insects and wanders off, completely removed from the resulting deaths; it’s mankind at our worst, I reckon, killing other living things without a thought or connection to the result. Yes, I agree with you, “spray-free” is not enough now. We need to declare those substances anti-life and therefore in-human.

          • One Two

            Not only the weedkillers, Heather…


            Document contains links to various studies…


            The Birds, the Bees and Electromagnetic Pollution
            Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy
            May 2009
            How electromagnetic fields can disrupt both solar and magnetic bee navigation and
            reduce immunity to disease all in one go.

            Many of our birds are disappearing mysteriously from the urban environment and our bees are now under serious threat.

            There is increasing evidence that at least some of this
            is due to electromagnetic pollution such as that from cell towers, cell phones, DECT cordless phones and Wifi. It appears capable of interfering with their navigation systems and also their circadian rhythms, which in turn reduces their resistance to disease.

            The most probable reason is that these animals use a group of magnetically-sensitive
            substances called cryptochromes for magnetic and solar navigation and also to control the
            activity of their immune systems.

            The expansion of radiation wireless networks over the past 20 years, especially the last 10 years has no historical point of reference…

            The proposed expansion to 5G frequencies will see the previous 20 years of wireless expansion, look like the dark ages of technology deployment..

          • Brigid

            What are these Russian Reds of which you speak?
            I can’t find a reference to the name anywhere.
            They sound interesting.

          • bwaghorn

            Varroa killed the wild bees and all the farmed bees are out amongst the manuka at the moment . Millions have been shipped into the central plateau lately.

        • WeTheBleeple

          I love this idea of having food on hand that is actually plants in the landscape.

          Hosta and dahlia huh? I’d love some edible (and palatable) specimens to grow and spread about.

          Taro is another example of a landscaping plant you can eat in a pinch.

          I guess the acid test for councils is (affordable plants and) ease of maintenance. All of these species are fairly easy to maintain.

          Garlic I just leave in the ground but you need to remember the spots you put it once it’s died back. It will become perennial if you plant enough to forget a few spots. In public places you could seed perennial garlic easily in mulch beds under trees just pull mulch back, plant cloves touching the soil interface, put mulch back on and then (mostly) leave it alone.

          For many food species, the argument against their use in public space is a mess on the ground or high maintenance e.g. rotting fruit. These crops pose no such problem.

    • Thanks for the comment, wtb and thanks for your contributions generally.

      This post is very much Robert’s mahe. It came from a discussion on a post, don’t remember which one, and Robert built on that. He asked if we could put a trial post up (The Future is Unwritten), which we did and there was a strong consensus that it could work as a regular thing and here we are.

      My only contribution is to load the post up, which I do in advance. I’d be happy to pass that 5 minute chore onto Robert, if he was keen! And, it should be noted that this goes out under Notices and Features, though Robert has done a great job of guiding it along. We do have Robert on the authors list, so his name could be attached. Credit where’s it due etc.

      However, I know Robert was keen to have a non hierarchical, inclusive post, so maybe keeping an authors name off is appropriate. As part of that vibe, we’ve kept the moderation to a bare minimum and it’s been great to see a community within a community develop.

      Just to touch on Pete’s cavil, I would say that posts like this are about idea exchange and influencing thinking (and behaviour) rather than dramatic gestures. I’ve learned a lot already, particularly the comments relating to gardening. I’m lucky enough to live in a former state house, with the full quarter acre. I’m going to maximise that spare land in future, may look at getting bees in as well.

      I’m also kinda chuffed to now have a solar powered shed. I have the smallest Goal Zero inverter (like a car battery with a 240v outlet) and solar panels. It runs the lights and radio, and power tool and mower recharging, and cost around $700 all up. However, mine’s the most basic set up; Goal Zero make kit all the way from portable camping set ups to enough juice to easily run a tiny house. They’re a cool company, with a good ethos. Bivouac have a decent range of their gear.



      • greywarshark 2.3.1

        Thank you so much for helping get and keep this going TRP. A great service to all from you. One thing that got Robert enthused was what WtB was coming on board with, and Robert felt that between the two of them, they could strike up a good flame from those ready to light up on the subject of future, and sustainability and preparedness and not waiting for the gummint to do something. Also people coming here will know or expand their understanding ofthe government’s difficulties and culture that means they will always lag behind when firm, mature, forward-thinking action to protect or enhance people’s lives and the state of our land and water is concerned.

        So WtB suggesting that the post can be carried on with Robert taking a back seat, but taking on the role of a backseat driver I hope, would be well within the original kaupapa of the post. And if you could continue helping as you have it would be so good, but do you feel that this work is an extra that has become too much for you? If so could one of the other mods help out with this important continuing work, which is building something solid, from the huge input that the blog has received over the years.

        • te reo putake

          Thanks so much, greywarshark, that’s very kind of you to say. Setting the post up is pretty easy work (well, now I’ve worked out how to schedule multiple posts anyway). However, I’d be more than happy to pass it on to someone else, if there is a volunteer keen to take it on.

          • greywarshark

            Hi TRP, I am so pleased that you are here and hope that you can go on for a while but that someone else will come on and learn how to drive the unique ‘mindship’.

            I have to spend first part of this year getting ready to die, so I would be unable to step up. I am trying to get accumulated junk even chaos, organised while I am well, and work out a plan. Then I am going to start being more alive than ever, in the remaining few years, content that I have peeled away the unnecessary and not left it to my poor children to deal with.

            So I hope that someone who is better organised than I will step up to do the moderation or other jobs necessary to keep this valuable gem that’s a gem within the TS gem going.

            • Dennis Frank

              I have to spend first part of this year getting ready to die

              Well, that certainly takes me aback! Sorry to hear it. How old are you and what’s the problem? You have a home or renting? Family?

              • greywarshark

                That’s not a plea for concern Dennis. I don’t think I have short times ahead. It just reflects my feeling that no-one old (exaggeration) accepts that they are going to die and plans to get on with living fully and then be ready to peg out. I am 77 in February and see in the death notices how many people are in their 90s and all living in retirement homes. Baaah. Wear out, not rust out is what I hope for, though I have to be careful of falls, and thin skin (except on TS).

                I have to get out walking and get fit. That’s where I notice that I am expected to be stressed by cyclists etc. either silently rushing past me or tingling their bells to advise. So restful.

                In the next few months I have to sit down and soberly work out my wishes, and tidy, tidy, etc. and get fit. And think about my eyes being okay which is important and luckily I don’t live where there is ppor matching to need.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yes, walking is essential. I try to do it often. I also run on my adjacent beach often – lots easier than it was a few years back!

                  Glad to hear no imminent threat. I think we can extend our lives via self-discipline & healthy diets, and attitude is very important too. Perhaps the most important thing is what I call our reincarnational agenda. What we came in to achieve. Spiritual imperatives, unfinished business…

                  • Robert Guyton

                    “the most important thing is what I call our reincarnational agenda. What we came in to achieve. Spiritual imperatives, unfinished business…”
                    I so agree.

                  • One Two

                    Perhaps the most important thing is what I call our reincarnational agenda. What we came in to achieve. Spiritual imperatives, unfinished business


                • Heather Grimwood

                  To GWS re thin skin: Kids’ shin pads fabulous in garden , tall grass and scrubby stuff…any sports’ shop. Best wishes.

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.2

        “However, I know Robert was keen to have a non hierarchical, inclusive post, so maybe keeping an authors name off is appropriate. As part of that vibe, we’ve kept the moderation to a bare minimum and it’s been great to see a community within a community develop.”
        I’m good with that and agree that light moderation works here and that the community that’s formed/forming is a valuable one. I hope it doesn’t become a bubble though and that “quite watchers” will feel welcome to comment or ask questions of us bolder ones.

  3. greywarshark 3

    This post is in itself one of those incremental moves and changes that lead to an opening of mind to further changes. I think it should keep going. It was envisionaged that it could continue with even a small number of contributions of the right sort. I think it is important to have people thinking up positive ideas for the future, keeping practical, kind and wary in mind.

    Always being aware of those waiting in the wings to capture people in a change mode, to their cult or preoccupation; think Scientology. Locally there are more advice notes for Yoga classes than anything else. I see Yoga as an aid to health in mind and body, but not an end in itself, same with meditation.

    If people are to be positive about doing things to prepare for the known difficulties there will be in the future, it is important that on this post there should be wise, practical things to be aware of, and discussion on things to do. I have pointed out those who try to accumulate numbers for some group that will take your individual autonomy from you, these are to be looked for and avoided. Finding how to join a good group, that is there for you, and you can then be there for others, builds your good networks that support you and look for a good life for all,.

    Someone on the radio talking about food impact on the body, see below details.
    People trying to be ‘right’ in their eating and general behaviour are turning all their efforts into trying to make themselves fit and right according to current conformism.
    Another kind of cult, bend yourself into shape and concentrate on making yourself right so you don’t look at the wider world, what is good and able to be enjoyed, and what bad things are happening and what you should be doing to avoid that. Mentioned is that we know the placebo effect but that there is also a negative effect, the nocebo effect.

    10:05 Eve Simmons: Getting rid of hang-ups about food
    Eve Simmons is the deputy health editor for the Mail on Sunday, a survivor of anorexia, and co-founder of the website Not Plant Based, in which she and her co-writer, Laura Dennison, scathingly pick apart dieting scams and food-and-health-obsessed culture. In a new book, Feel The Fear And Eat It Anyway, Eve, along with Laura, tackles a social media culture of #fitspo and clean eating, debunk misinformation about food with the health of experts and studies, and replace it with a simple principle: eat what you like and don’t worry about it so much.

    So feeling better from reading about things to do of a positive nature, talking about reality of the negative things, and things to do about them ie join a clean water, planting right trees, having festivals with workshops, would be of huge worth. Posting dates, places of NZAlso people trying to be ‘right’ in their eating and general behaviour.s to learn good things would be helpful. This could be such a good, accessible post, as long as the mindless sneerers and empty anxiety-raising
    scare comments are kept out. People who come here have to have an idea, that isn’t a sneer and that they can show the steps likely needed to improve or succeed.

  4. Dennis Frank 5

    So “there is a growing consensus that a drastic reduction in overall meat consumption is needed to maintain the health of the planet. What is not clear is how that will be achieved.”

    The classic leftist line would involve establishing a Food Commissar, I expect. Perhaps a Food Inspectorate, to employ inspectors and send them out to visit folks and inspect their meals, point out errors, and advise them of the consequence of non-compliance. Polite & friendly, like. I doubt Ed would have advised Dietary Indoctrination Camps, despite the left’s addiction to education. I sometimes commented in agreement with his opinions, but never noticed him promoting solutions to social problems.

  5. Janet 6

    The trouble with The Big Picture now is; is it how to mitigate to save the world or how to survive what many are claiming is now inevitable eg: Tony Veitch’s “Epitaph for a species” in The Standard this morning, suggests it’s the latter.
    There is no clear direction for the man on the street and councils and governments are not moving shaking as much as you would think they should be if we have an imminent disaster descending. Is that because it cannot be averted unless we go back to living like the 1700’s.
    If we were all like Dennis Frank, recycling plastic straws and “driving around in a plug-in hybrid after getting my electrician neighbour to install the high current socket in the basement garage of my new home” this helps, but just a tad. You see the car had to be first manufactured – I say get a horse if you really want to make a difference.
    The new home with its high current socket in the basement was made from what? Hi tech stuff? Homes need to go back to wood and concrete; simpler.

    Wethebleeple wrote : “The reversal involves banishing chemical companies from all aspects of agriculture. The land, air and water are entirely polluted by them. PCB’s and chlorinated hydrocarbons from pesticides are in the Antarctic, dammit.”
    Scientists have caused as much damage to the world over the last 200 yrs as they have improved. The world has been unwittingly polluted by their “discoveries.” Unfortunately, it is still being polluted knowingly by many of their discoveries. While we in NZ try and move away from “unnatural” farming now, other countries, especially third world countries, are being targeted to sell the chemical products to. This is being done knowingly by the chemical companies now but the uneducated third world customers are not aware of the dangers of chemical farming either to themselves using it nor to the environment. The chemical companies doing this are criminals. What government is tackling these criminals? None I know of.
    Yes, I am up for the step back, or in my case, taking further steps back. This is the challenge and it is no small challenge. And is it to mitigate or is it to survive now?

    • WeTheBleeple 6.1

      It is both to mitigate and ultimately to survive. But it doesn’t have to be a survivalist scenario at all. If we can get government on board who get industry on board it could be relatively easy.

      What is the big picture: The task at hand is to restore the earths ecosystems and thus ecosystem services. For climate change mitigation, survival, and ultimately the survival of all complex life of Earth.

      Our power needs to be renewable, fossil fuels out. That is another discussion. The next big thing to look at is Agriculture – for many reasons.

      We don’t need their chemists they have failed utterly to grasp anything but coins, we need ecologists, sustainable farmers and permaculture consultants from all walks cultures and biomes as exemplars and teachers in the transition.

      An ecologically sound agriculture uses biodiversity as an insurance policy. Diversification of crops is the insurance against change that farmers require. Fear and lack of information keeps them locked in destructive mono-culture turnkey systems. For many the fear is real, the banks own them. Buy the poison or lose the crop and maybe lose the farm; it’s a shitty system designed that way by extractive industries.

      My thinking is many may need help to transition – if their situation is day to day. This lends room for opportunists yes, but agriculture transitioning relatively smoothly may be the difference between minor and major pain for many. Farmers have definitely heard the warning shots across the bough by now. If governments stepped in with incentives for decommissioning chemical and tillage practises, for water harvesting practises, and for encouraging diversification and tree crops… it’d help a lot. Surely diversification is Ag’s form of R&D?

      Diversification of productive land will also require markets for diverse crops, not just pie in the sky. Here we need our thinkers. Fuels, fibres, fruits, timbers. By-products useful to other local industry. Advertising and consumer awareness of new foods, recipes, liquors… Around and around everything goes as I have shown previously. One persons waste is the next ones input. Diverse and dynamic, abundant and local.

      This on a global scale.

      • Janet 6.1.1

        Diversifying into horticulture where the soil, rainfall and contour allow is happening all around me, but not as sustainably managed operations. Did you know avocados have a compulsory program of 12 sprays a year to meet overseas import requirements?
        In the future are we still to export or are we producing for local consumption only – or even ourselves only?
        Sustainable Land Management says our product should be sold within 100 kms from where it was produced. We already have a surplus of food in NZ so I assume exporting is still on the agenda. Do we convert the cargo ships to sail boats again?

        • greywarshark

          I am interested in what sort of ships we get for transport when energy sources change. I am squirrelling away items of information and hope I can find my nuts when I need them. I did read of some north hemisphere people developing something. It would be good if we could have our own coastal
          line again for a start, with newer energy systems.

          • Janet

            The phinisis are still hand crafted board by board in Indonesia. They are used as cargo, fishing or transport boats. They are magnificent, wooden, but very heavy, boats . Earlier on sails were fitted although these days big diesel motors power them.

            • WeTheBleeple

              Could you link to/elaborate on the 12 compulsory sprays you speak of? I know there are moves to bring spray down due to offshore market pressures, but not to keep them up.

              IPM sytems are popular, and an improvement on spray and pray.


              • Janet

                My neighbours grew avocados, one of them friends of ours. They planted their orchard up in the early 1990s and it was them who told us of the spray programs they had to meet when their avocados came into production. They were required to notify all neighbours when they were spraying and what they were spraying with.. With the umbrella organisation that is in place now, NZavocados, it seems that the rigidity of the early FDA requirements is being handled differently, which is good. So I stand corrected , but of course spraying still goes on, but apparently now only when pest or disease is identified not to fit another country’s import requirements. We still get notified.

            • greywarshark

              Waka end four-month voyage on Easter Island coast

              More of this perhaps, as tourist and export business from Maori business and NZ trees owned by a NZ trust so can never be sold off.

              We used to have coastal shipping line.
              We used to have flat bottomed boats for entering shallow harbours.

              Waikato University might like to carry the seagoing theme and have a School of Boat and Ship Design and work on sail and other powered boats.
              Lots of work on the sea that Maori love. Also pakeha would also be allowed to join, but Maori initiative.

        • Dennis Frank

          Janet, having experienced life on a commune as a young adult, I’m reluctant to endorse returning to the lifestyle that prevailed prior to the industrial revolution. So the compromises I make between idealism & pragmatism derive from a life of trial & error. I suspect few others averse to contemporary society seek refuge in the past – even though the mythos has inclined us to learn from it to moderate our ways!

          And I believe your usage of we reflects an ongoing misunderstanding of how social change happens. Normally it gets driven by a small minority. We are such, those of us living the positive alternative. We do not include mainstreamers for a very good reason: we know they are addicted to the status quo. Addiction psychology is extremely powerful. When victims refuse to acknowledge their status, it effectively locks them into being permanently part of the problem.

          • Janet

            Interesting. I naturally use “we” in the “saving our earth “ situation. We, because we are all in this together, like it or not. To feel included, even of one isn’t really toeing the line, opens the door to a rethink.

            • Dennis Frank

              I’ve noticed how it operates in common usage (first as a teenager in the sixties). The all-inclusive usage is valid in respect of the constituency it refers to. However, generalisations tend to fail in real-life application. Contexts are specific, and all meaning is relative to context. So meaningful usage of the term is context-driven.

              The general usage becomes a pathology when misapplied. One often sees that in idealists. Having grown up as one, I found that a tough learning curve. Thus the leftist sociopathic groupthink mind-set, in which this tacit belief can be discerned: if I persuade everyone to think just like me, everything will be good, the world’s problems will evaporate. You can observe them employing the inclusive `we’ to mask their arrogance. Utopianism. Not just banal, disrespectful of the others who have their own thought-processes, life-experiences, social niches, which make them different.

            • greywarshark

              We will all suffer the effects together. But we who are trying to do something to prepare, and build community, are a different we to the whole. We know what it is like to have supposed compatriots sell us down the river with our change of course in 1984. So I think that it will be necessary to be cautious which ‘we’, we ally ourselves with when doing stuff.

              Could you put up 12 sprays as wtb is interested?

  6. One Two 7

    I can’t express gratitude enough for these posts, and the contributions within these. and other post….specifically around the informative nature ‘how to’s’ for food/water/soil/plant et al…through peoples personal experiences, and the expertise that has lead to….

    The comments have provided much learning, inspiration and motivation…

    Thank You

  7. WeTheBleeple 8

    My future involves cotton candy growing on trees.

    I know this because I just planted an ice cream bean. This tree will: provide food, provide shade, provide mulch, fix nitrogen, make more trees, and probably earn me money selling trees.

    I dug up a bit of soil under a wattle and got the nodules on the roots that house the nitrogen fixing rhizobia. These species work on both Acacia and Inga genus of trees (but not Sophora aka Kowhai). I crushed up the nodules and put them in the water I soaked the sapling in before planting. For Kowhai you want soil from the dripline under Kowhai.

    And that’s how you do that.

    This weeks tree additions are Cherimoya, Ice Cream Bean, and White Sapote. I will have to wait around 8 years for the cherimoya. Worth it? Of course it is.

    Time goes by and before you know it the planet’s a desert, or a food forest…

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Ha! I wrote about Ice Cream Bean for next week’s “Get Growing” – along with Siberian Pea Tree and a host of other Leguminosae – I wonder if they’d grow down here? I’ve tagasaste, Golden Honey Locust, a mimosa that closes it’s leaves at night and a host of others, but no ICB, yet 🙂 You’re going to propagate and sell those? Good plan. I’m now focussing on a more limited but special range of trees for forest gardens and fine-tuning the process for efficiency and quality of tree. I don’t like producing something that looks less than lovely, but at the same time wonk primp them up with extra heat and synthetic fertilisers.

  8. WeTheBleeple 9

    Just pleach everything to make the conformists ooh and aah. 😀

    Love the legumes just getting some larger species together now. I’ve been attempting unsuccessfully to grow some moringa, I actually got one running and forget where it was and buried it with a compost pile doh.

    Some surplus Taro paid for the three subtropicals which is practising the permaculture concept where system surplus goes back in to the system. I’ve never cared for profit it’s just a garden… but when I got three trees in exchange for the stuff I cleared off a pathway (20 young Taro and a banana) it really made me rethink that concept as a means to: enrich this system, and propagate new systems.

    Much of my excess I’ve just given away or composted. But as I get interesting and unique plants – people want one. “For efficiency and quality of tree” – nice. It’s annoying spending years waiting to get poor yielding specimens. Though I love growing from seed it’s a crapshoot with some species and if people lack space it’s not worth rolling the dice.

    We need lots of people with good plants for the next phase: converting landscapers to food foresters.

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      Landscapers will do it when customers ask for it. Are you growing Decaisnea Fargesii?
      I recommend them – they’re a graceful tree and although the harvest is minor – jelly from inside of the pods, it’s nice and a fun experience to eat.

      • WeTheBleeple 9.1.1

        Haha what a crazy looking fruit I want one. I also want a gummy bear fruit – a Cecropia species I’m having trouble pinning the species name of.

        Just an observation: Many of the worlds ‘worst weeds’ are in fact short lived pioneers on disturbed land starting the process of healing. We really do have it all back to front, or at least don’t even know what we’re looking at half the time.

        • Robert Guyton

          I’ll send you some seeds when this present crop ripens and I’ve eaten the jelly.
          Re; short-lived pioneers on disturbed ground – whole heartedly agree and suggest the best management is aided-succession; let them flush and assist the transition to the secondary phase by judicious cutting and seeding with the next iteration. “We don’t even know what we’re looking at half the time” – amen to that though I think your estimation, half the time, is overly generous 🙂

          • Brigid

            Ooo That sounds like a damned fine plant to have. Where did you get the original seeds?
            In fact why don’t we have a seed swap page?
            There was a woman in Whangarei who ran one about 20 years ago. Most of the plants I’ve got, that you would never find in any plant shop, were sourced through her.
            It was a brilliant scheme. Unfortunately she had to give it up due to other commitments and the person who took it over started charging for her services like a wounded bull; alas it died. I’ve not found a similar seed exchange as good as this one was since.

            • Robert Guyton

              That would be exciting, Brigid, for those of us who dream of such things…
              Do you propose swapping or gifting, rather than buying? I’d not sell. I guess a self-addressed envelope would be the method?
              Oh, and the “deadman’s fingers” I wheedled and whined long enough to get one from an enthusiast a few years back and it’s flourished here, set fruit and produced viable seeds. They’re flat and black and strike easily, much to my delight and surprise.

              • Brigid

                Purely swapping.
                Buying/selling is so last century.
                This is how the scheme I spoke of worked.
                A one off payment of $2 and the administrator would send a list of the seeds that were available and those that had been specifically requested.
                If you wanted any of the seeds on the list you’d send a self addressed envelope and donate as many varieties of seeds as you were requesting.

                I’ve been meaning to start up such a scheme myself for yonks, but life just keeps getting in the way. I may do yet though.

                • Robert Guyton

                  If you do, I’m in. Our environment centre has an extensive collection of heritage vegetable and flower seeds. We also have scions for every heritage apple imaginable. In the meantime, we could just mention anything extra special here and make arrangements for posting as they are mentioned e.g.. the blue podded Decaisnea, which, had I some seeds, I’d happily share. No administrator.

                  • Brigid

                    Yes, lets do that. Keeping it simple.
                    I’ll see what I’ve got in all the packets, pill bottles, door pockets in the car, pockets of old jackets etc.

          • WeTheBleeple

            Privet is an invasive.

            I’m rather enjoying converting privet forest to food forest/natives. It’s a lot to deal with some are fairly large trees but it really does give a kick start of resources if handled correctly. Started knocking holes in the canopy the natives arrived by themselves. Karaka, coprosma, ti, karo, cabbage trees, sedges, even a nikau sitting there for 20 years… all there waiting for an opportunity as seeds or diminutive (but potential packed) seedlings.

            Once the privet are down they stay down with my patented ‘leave some trunk and then pull off the suckers’ proven kill method (and plant new trees close to feed off the dying privet roots, and mulch with privet mulch and laugh at your good fortune).

            I won’t drop trees till I have replacements. Preferably several. Some of them must be those pesky nitrogen fixing pioneers.

            They row crop ice cream beans with coffee. Coffee and ice cream. I’m sold.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Suggestion – carry round a small coin purse with say a $5 and $10. note in. Ensure that you use coins and notes for your small stuff. The PTB wil try to eliminate our cash and then everything will have the barrier of having to go through machines and we will be potentially under scrutiny. Also we will lose our freedom to be individuals having the use of our nationally accepted currency which are is o good for forming our own networks of trading and commerce, automatically acceptable and understood in the comparative value system we operate.

    Also send something by post every week say. I try to use post. A card to a friend or family member? Or just a note with the latest joke, or music, film commended.

  10. Ad 11

    Be good to keep this going Robert until Shaw finally lands his legislative package.
    That’s 2019’s main political action on the left.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      I think this sort of thing should be outside political dealings and ongoing under its own steam to a great extent. It should try to keep going as an integral group drawing in ideas from everywhere, and seeing what is being done elsewhere, and reporting back on local successes.; constantly looping back. It could be a ginger group and act as support and pressure group to the Greens and any decent political Party.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        Well if it can great. Steam, as Robert pointed, is the issue.

        But for precisely the point you make about gingering up the Greens, it’s sure going to need to be there once Shaw’s Carbon Zero thing hits.

    • Robert Guyton 11.2

      We’ll celebrate that here, Ad.

      • Ad 11.2.1

        Good man.

        Shaw is going to need every single supporter and friend phoning and emailing and commenting and texting for the shit that is going to go down on it.

  11. Robert Guyton 12

    Apropos of nothing…I have just finished making a 3 metre trumpet digeridoo from a Giant Himalayan lily stalk. It’s very beautiful, with it’s mottled “bark” and root-nubs all oiled and polished. Now, all inspired by the success of that one, I’ve 8 others underway, some from echium, some from GHL and others from tree dahlia stalks. My son, a tin whistle and wooden Irish flute player, can draw great sounds from it, but I just make a blatting sound…so far. I’ve a massive Giant Hogweed stem, hollow and fluted, but I’m not confident it’s safe for blowing through, even fully dried. I might make that into a series of small drums or something struck rather than blown.

  12. Ad 13

    12 Monarch chrysalises.

    Brought them all inside before they get gotten at.

    Lower crop than usual but still a set of miracles.

    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      Do those little “windows” on the chrysalis actually glow as if lit from inside, or is that my childhood memory being fanciful?

    • greywarshark 13.2

      Oh beaut. Nature’s gems – those chrysalises?.


      Monarchs and paper wasps

    • JanM 13.3

      Tragically the pre-school I relieve at fed 50 caterpillars to the chooks because they had all eaten their way through two huge trees, and despite asking on facebook they didn’t find a new home! I manage to save a few to take to another group of trees I knew of, but maybe there needs to be some site where caterpillars in this situation can be rescued (we are in Whangarei, by the way)

      • Dennis Frank 13.3.1

        In Auckland there are so many foreign wasp invaders nowadays that monarch caterpillars rarely grow large enough to form a chrysalis: the wasps eat them, apparently. In my last house there it didn’t matter how many caterpillars were on the swan plants early in the season, I never ended up with more than one or two chrysalises and none some years.

        I wonder if the teachers at your school explained the ecosystem consequences of what happened. Any species that out-consumes its niche in nature heads for extinction, so the caterpillars were teaching that to the kids (inadvertently).

      • Janet 13.3.2

        Cut open a pumpkin and feed that to the caterpillars of Monarch butterflies.

        • greywarshark

          Do you know at what period of their development you can do that? I think at first they need the milkweed to kickstart their development.

          Any pumpkin ? Squash ?

          • Janet

            The grandchildren, said that that is what they did after their swan plant was totally defoliated. Pumpkins not squash. Don,t know about the milkweed . .

  13. WeTheBleeple 14

    Had an idea. Saving the planet is a big job. Breaking it down might help. I don’t know much about social media but believe a hashtag somehow links to other info attached to the same hashtag?

    I’d like to start a thing, with help. #myyard

    It’s about climate change action right at your door. My yard could be your house, property, business, community, local government – somewhere you have effected some change to try improve sustainability and/or climate outcomes.

    It doesn’t matter how big or small the effort. The idea is to encourage similar behavior and share real-time solutions based action. Also takes the focus right off pointing at others as an excuse to do nothing.

    Can we make it trendy to retrofit/pimp our yard?

    So… could some media savvy person inform me how these things get started?

    I could probably get a celeb or two to help push it once I know how it works.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      Wee on your sweetcorn#myyard
      Grow your own sugar#steviassweet#myyard
      Give your asparagus a drink of sea water – they love it#myyard

      • WeTheBleeple 14.1.1

        Nearly Robert. But make it present tense as in something you just did, not instructions for others but sharing actions? I think?

        Just peed on the corn #myyard

        Ate vegetarian tonight (picture of meal perhaps) #myyard

        Three trees planted this week #myyard

      • Dennis Frank 14.1.2

        Do you grow stevia, Robert? I’ve never seen any in garden centers. My second wife give me a branch off one of her bushes five years ago but she couldn’t recall where she got them. I rendered the leaves into tiny flakes with my sharp whizzing gizmo, and they were part of my herbal tea mix until running out last year. I get the white powder from Pak’n’save but would like to grow it too.

        • Robert Guyton

          I do have it growing, Dennis and it’s now readily available from your local garden centre. You can also gets seeds through Kings, I think it is.

  14. WeTheBleeple 15

    Remember the chain letters and threats of dire circumstances if no action was followed. I think some of the creative writers (of which we have many) here could make some for climate change. If we kept it funny but also a bit scary with pertinent information.

    I’m a bit off today so not very funny but an example might be kinda:

    Dear ….

    It has come to my attention your carbon footprint exceeds any reasonable limits. If you do not take actions to remedy such a situation you and everyone you know may die horribly in a future Dystopia where there are no waffles, ubers, or even cellphone reception.

    Eat less meat. Use public transport. Stop listening to techno.

    Send this letter to 5 of your friends or the planet will heat up, the oceans will rise; and, as tides inundate all the coastal nuclear plants, complex life as we know it will be obliterated from the face of the planet.

    That’d suck.

    Yours urgently


    Get a few of these circulating. Provided you can add some funny in there they might have legs.

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      How about fake notices from The Council:
      The Householder
      Stop it.
      Our Planet Restoration Officer will visit on the date below:
      The Council.

      • Dennis Frank 15.1.1

        Unlikely to bolster your reputation with other councillors so let’s hope they don’t visit here! Fake news from councils seems rather subversive, but locals disgruntled with their councils probably believe their news has always been fake.

      • greywarshark 15.1.2

        Please, please no. No fake authority notices. When you have a flake fake like Trump setting the scene and still staying top banana, people can’t know the difference between the latest announcements and speeches, the latest truth uncovered, the latest weird words from authority, affecting their acceptance of reality even from their local Council.

        An example for NZ I couldn’t get over a Taranaki councillor saying that he didn’t think people should be worrying about speaking Te Reo because it was an archaic language, and the fact that he was either new Chinese, or long-citizen Chinese was no excuse. Gob-stopping.

        Who knows what senseless thing will be said on any front. Satire makes fun of established norms that are risible, but when the established norms are fluid, who knows what to believe. The Civilian can bring you up with a jolt like that. But should be on a must read list for connoisseurs of pollie watchers and fans of gummint gumballs.

        Try this one about Ms Ardern’s baby.

    • greywarshark 15.2

      I knew i would be forced into learning about all this social media stuff, hashtags blah. Still you’ve got to be in it, or you’ll be out of it. Sounds like a good subversive idea, for getting under the matrix curtain WtB.

  15. rata 16

    NZ is cruise mode so enough is enough is really enough

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      Cruising to…where?

      • rata 16.1.1

        Heya Robert.
        NZ is a very wealthy country now.
        So we can just take it easy no need to stress.

        • Robert Guyton

          We can buy our way out of it!
          What a relief!

        • greywarshark

          Gosh that was quick. An example of fake news to the front yard from rata. Named after the clinging vine perhaps. Stick with it kid, when there are tough times you won’t get washed away. Just look after your tree though, make that your green survival thing.

  16. WeTheBleeple 17

    Just pop this here.


    There are many things worth noting.

    First, this wee garden makes a reasonable income. BUT, that requires long hours. BUT, permaculture systems get easier and easier over time, while conventional systems can get worse:

    No tilling reduces the exposure of weed seed so eventually only imports to the property are sprouting. Compaction is reversed and soil tilth may improve with time. As the food forest/hedge matures their crop production will be raised significantly via shelter from wind and additional biodiversity increasing the complexity of the pest management and nutrient redistribution teams (predatory and parasitoid insects, birds). Methods will streamline over time.

    Conventional systems require little effort up front – plough and plant, but as time goes on the organic matter is depleted, the fungi is decimated, and much of the soil life is killed and with it many of the support systems for plants are compromised or simply don’t exist. Pest and disease resistance, nutrient capture and recycling, water retention, tilth, drainage, all damaged or undone. These systems then require more inputs for diminishing returns through time – herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, fertilisers, heavy machinery…

    Look at this 1/4 acre, and then consider many of our farms and gardens. Tens to hundreds of acres are being employed to support single households.

    Think about that.

    These folks polluting and eroding our land are convinced of their expertise, and insist our country relies on them.

    I question that, absolutely.

    If 10% of people became sustainable food producers the world would eat better than it ever has and all this processed rubbish they sell us as food would be out.

    We do not need big Ag, big Ag needs us.

  17. WeTheBleeple 18

    But! How do you grow things without insecticides?

    With bio-control. The use of nature to fight nature for you.

    Heard several TS comments complain of aphids.

    Here’s an excellent bit of science lettuce (and other?) producers can use to help keep aphids at bay. Note the entire system includes hedgerows of other useful plant species as well.

    The gist:

    Alyssum brings hoverflies to feed, they then go off to lay on lettuce, their eggs hatch larvae that eat up to 150 aphids each a day. Density 1-2 Alyssum per 50 lettuce.

    Obviously there are other crops that will benefit from this.

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