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How To Get There 24/3/19

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 am, March 24th, 2019 - 36 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 …

36 comments on “How To Get There 24/3/19”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Max said, “Be still” and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once.

    Music, to soothe the savage breast.

  2. Ant 2

    For the week following the massacre we got there – doing the kindness the PM urged long before she or any of us envisioned the dire event that would bring the outpouring of love and caring to birth in volumes rarely witnessed.

    I wrote some weeks ago about ‘random acts of kindness’ being translated into consistent acts of kindness. Now surely is the time (as suggested by other commentators) to keep the flame of caring alive. Last week we transformed what we believed in theory about NZ into a luminous reality. “Walk while you have the Light” urged the Nazarene. Well aware that slipping back into old ways was easy he added “lest darkness overtake you.” And from the East we have “when a man sees that the god in himself is the same god in all that is, he hurts not himself by hurting others” (Isa Upanishad).

    While admitting to agnosticism the PM added she did have faith – in humanity. What better quality to bring out the best in people: unwavering belief that as a race we are one and inhabit one planet we call home? Affirming unity whilst celebrating our diversity dogma, creed and belief systems find their place as simply tools of worship, eclipsed by the power and awe of loving hearts and caring minds -the goal of all aspirational striving and the creation of a better world.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    “Technology to cut a cow’s methane emissions by up to 30 per cent could be introduced to New Zealand farms later this year if regulators give it the green light.
    Dutch nutrition company DSM has developed a feed additive which curbs the methane belched out by cattle, sheep and goats.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/111255649/dutch-company-dsm-keen-to-trial-methane-cutting-tech-this-year

    This is very good news! Enhances our prospect of achieving our reduction target considerably: “About 43 per cent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gases are caused by methane and 11 per cent by nitrous oxide, the first generated by all livestock burping, the latter mainly by cows urinating.”

    “The amount of methane that might be reduced depended on the dosage given to the animal. Trials have shown that adding about a quarter teaspoon of the supplement to feed results in a 30 per cent reduction.”

    “So far the supplement is undergoing registration in North America and application has been made in Europe.” Our Environmental Protection Agency will have to approve.

    • Sabine 3.1

      Yei, lets get more cows!

    • lprent 3.2

      Our Environmental Protection Agency will have to approve.

      Sigh. My italics. No they shouldn’t. They should approve after they’ve checked it out thoroughly.

      For instance, and just off the top of my head.

      • What is the evidence of the effect of the additive on the remaining wildlife in the streams? It hardly makes sense to do the ineffectual existing river cleaning effort if the additive turns out to create anaerobic rivers
      • What is the effect of the additive on groundwater based drinking water systems. Don’t you think that Christchurch has had enough issues without the additive caused zombie apocalypse starting there?
      • What is the prolonged effect on deep groundwater – does it dissipate or concentrate? Not point in getting a short-term beneficial effect if it kills the water reservoirs that we’re going to need to survive the heat that is coming regardless of what this additive does right now.

      Basically, turn your brain on and try not to replicate the stupidity of the 20th century.

      • Pat 3.2.1

        All sensible observations…and there is another to add, time….the potential impacts may not be immediate nor immediately apparent….how long do we trial?
        History is littered with examples where detrimental effects were slow to materialise, asbestos and various pesticides/herbicides spring to mind.

        Why dont we just actually reduce our production of the main driver of CC ( and bloody fast)….fossil fuels?

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.2

        Seems like you took a meaning from what I wrote that I did not intend to imply! The report says the EPA “will make the decision” about whether it will happen or not. That was what I meant.

        So yes, likely consequences will indeed have to be evaluated and I trust the agency will do that thoroughly…

      • Robert Guyton 3.2.3

        This happened with the last great idea to counter N20 “created” by bacteria feasting on cow urine; applications to pasture of a product that destroyed soil bacteria – brilliant! China said, No Thank You, to our milk. Quick withdrawal of product. In any case, a biocide, sprayed across farm? What were they thinking??

    • Poission 3.3

      If you think you can get a bio technological fix to a biological problem forget it.

      Anyone who wrote software knows that you rarely if ever change a small piece of code w/out breaking something, gets worse w/ more complex code. These people think they can do it in a language they can hardly understand operating in a super-complex system! Definition of IYI


      • Robert Guyton 3.3.1

        It’s much safer to experiment with biological controls in a complex, diverse environment where there are buffers galore. Farms are not such places, having had their biodiversity mowed, ploughed, burned, sprayed and strip-grazed to a near billiard-table state of simplicity, thereby rendering them vulnerable to every ill under the sun; pestilence loves a vacuum and swoops in the moment the farmer’s back is turned.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    We had this announcement a year ago: Joint Māori and Japanese hydrogen pilot project for Taupō. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/101292443/joint-iwi-and-japan-hydrogen-pilot-project-for-taup

    “Taupō-based Tuaropaki Trust and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation, have signed a memorandum of understanding to start producing hydrogen, a fuel which produces no carbon emissions. Tuaropaki Trust opened the Mokai geothermal power station, near Taupō, in 2000”.

    “Obayashi Corporation is one of the world’s leading construction companies and a global heavyweight known for its expertise and technological innovation. Most recently in New Zealand, Obayashi played a key role in the construction of New Zealand’s longest road tunnels – Auckland’s dual 2.4km Waterview Connection. Obayashi President, Toru Shiraishi, welcomed the new venture with Tuaropaki. He said they had a “medium-to-long-term environmental vision” called Obayashi Green Vision 2050 and they were committed to reducing CO2 emissions to help achieve a sustainable society.”

    And this: “Port of Auckland, along with its partners, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and Kiwi Rail, will buy three hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars and a bus. The new hydrogen vehicles will be partially funded (up to 14 percent of the estimated cost) by a grant of about NZ$250,000 (U.S.$173,000) from the New Zealand government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.” https://www.freightwaves.com/news/maritime/kiwis-fuel-hydrogen-economy

    Looks like we’re getting there, eh? How? Industry is finally going Green. Better late than never!

    • lprent 4.1

      Just adding my usual note of (sarcastic) caution.

      There is a reason why there are geothermal sources in Taupo. That is because it is a currently active volcano. One that is probably a bit overdue for an eruption (and one that isn’t known for having small eruptions). Do we really want to have a infrastructure project in portable fuels started there?

      It is also a long way between Taupo and Auckland. Hydrogen isn’t exactly the most stable of substances to carry in a raw form. Does this mean that they’ll be transporting what would be a hydrogen bomb (at least in a oxygenated atmosphere) up state highway one? Could they at least warn us so that we can evacuate the road first?

      Personally, I’d be in favour of a plant somewhere in Southland. It has a lower population, a ability to use soon-to-be surplus hydropower (assuming that they don’t get around to putting in the main lines required to move manpouri power north) and can be transported by coastal shipping in bulk.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Yep, 1800 or so years is a blip in geological time and I also wondered about the sealing issue re containment. I saw an update on this plant day before yesterday but google couldn’t locate it for me this morning, unfortunately. It made me think they must’ve come up with new tech for the sealing process, because they seemed to be moving into production.

        If not, it could have an explosive effect somewhere along the line. Good to see a partnership involving Maori, Japan & capitalism helping solve the climate-change problem though, eh? I like the symbolism it evokes.

      • Andre 4.1.2

        When the last round of talks about the future of Tiwai Point was going on, I recall Patrick Strange (then CEO of Transpower) saying most of the grid would handle it fine, there would only need to be an upgrade to get the power to the Waitaki basin.

        IIRC he said maybe a couple of summers and around $300 million to do the upgrade.


  5. Dennis Frank 5

    The PM announced a strategic industrial report the other day, for Taranaki, to wean the region off fossil-fuel production. “Taranaki’s future as an energy powerhouse could be in “green” hydrogen, finds a report just launched by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.”

    “The H2 Taranaki Roadmap, produced by local agencies and formally released by Ardern at a function in New Plymouth this afternoon, suggests much of its future may hinge on a form of hydrogen, which is already produced in Taranaki from natural gas.”

    The report’s author, Andrew Clennett of Taranaki-based Hiringa Energy, is enthusiastic about the potential hydrogen could have in transitioning the regional economy. “Port Taranaki, which was already experienced in handling industrial chemical products, would be a key hub for hydrogen export.” “The development of a hydrogen industry will be further supported by the region’s industrial, service and operational industries, strong culture of health and safety, and deep-water port with easy access to export markets in Australia and Asia”.

    The plan indicates the prospect of the creation of 7070 jobs in Taranaki. “The region’s oil and gas industry was currently responsible for an estimated $1.57b of Taranaki’s total GDP, and directly employed 4340 fulltime equivalent roles.” So the new industry is seen as more than replacing the old, with substantially more local employment.

    • lprent 5.1

      At least Taranaki is a port.

      But my question would be as to what they are doing with the carbon from methane after they detach the hydrogen from it?

      Burning it would seem to be the obvious answer…

      • Andre 5.1.1

        Well, the usual route to industrial production of hydrogen is steam reformation of methane. Which emits the carbon as CO2. But there’s an alternative in the works which bubbles the methane up through a molten metal, and allegedly the carbon stripped of its hydrogen remains as a solid floating on the surface. Which could just be dumped at the bottom of a disused mine.


        Personally, I’m pretty skeptical of hydrogen ever playing a big part in our energy future. But I’m starting to get a bit more curious about ammonia’s potential.



      • Dennis Frank 5.1.2

        Good question. Let’s hope the chemists involved figure out how to make it useful at a suitable cost. Soil benefits from biochar bigly (if you’ll excuse the trumpism) so I’d prefer they do that. Taranaki soil is already rich from the local mountain so I suggest we deploy biochar in flat regions with poor soil but sufficient rainfall for crops – but others may have a better idea.

        • Stuart Munro.

          It’d be kind of nice if the rough formula for the equation were out before funding got approved. On the face of it a natural gas based hydrogen production is just another fossil fuel extraction without even a distribution infrastructure. It needs solid measurable benefits to be more than a costly waste of time.

          • Dennis Frank

            Folks have had 30 years to pick up on the Greens’ principle of true-cost accounting. If decision-makers are costing it without applying that principle, one would suspect they are National/Labour voters (polite way of saying slow learners). So I agree. One could also cite the precautionary principle.

  6. patricia bremner 6

    Yes Dennis, I think when the PM and the treasurer talked of not shocking regions and cities with the transformation she saw in the eighties, it was referencing strategic and planned transformations like this. They did say there were more jobs in going green than in propping up oil.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Useful stuff.
    Poisonous plants in NZ to watch out for with children in mind.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Saltbush seems a very useful plant, Australian but is it grown here.

    The Saltbush Club is an unplanned venture. Tapping a deep vein of public concern about the Paris climate agreement, it just grew. In about a month, with zero …
    November 2018
    The Saltbush Club is an unplanned venture. Tapping a deep vein of public concern about the Paris climate agreement, it just grew. In about a month, with zero corporate or government support, a few lone individuals have attracted an imposing line-up of sensible people who are well informed on all aspects of the climate debate, and on the growing energy, water and infrastructure problems facing Australia. Many are only prepared to publicise their concern since they have been freed from corporate, academic or government restraints. They are now expressing long-held but often-suppressed opinions.

    A much larger group of “Silent Members” have indicated support, but do not want their names made public because they fear that exposure would harm their prospects for employment, promotion or business. They will help, but silently.

    Saltbush – Wikipedia
    Saltbush can refer to: Atriplex, is distributed nearly worldwide from subtropical to temperate and to subarctic regions. Most species rich are Australia, North …
    Atriplex is a plant genus of 250–300 species, known by the common names of saltbush and orache. It belongs to the subfamily Chenopodioideae of the family Chenopodiaceae. The genus is quite variable and widely distributed. Wikipedia

    The saltbush grows in the semi-arid and arid regions of mainland Australia. While usually found in dry environments, saltbush can also grow amongst granite tors and wet claypan margins. The species of saltbush known as ‘Atriplex nummularia’ is the largest of the Australian saltbush, growing to heights of 3m.

    Lucid Key
    Old man saltbush is one of the most common forage shrubs used in southern Australia. It provides a useful forage resource particularly in times when other feed is scare and has been planted on both saline and non-saline soils. Its drought tolerance has allowed it to be grown in areas of particularly low rainfall.

    Name “saltbush” refers to the ability of plant to thrive on the salty soils. … Saltbush has strong root system that can grow to the depth of 20 feet. People often plant saltbush near the coasts to prevent erosion of the soil. Native Americans used twigs and leaves of common saltbush as a source of yellow pigment.

    Food? Saltbush. Information about Saltbush including applications, nutritional value, taste, seasons, availability, storage, restaurants, cooking, geography and history.

  9. greywarshark 9

    More helpful stuff.
    No-rules compost (Red Garden)

    Neglected rough sites that are overgrown and full of weeds!
    Digging Lazy Beds to Start a Garden 9mins+

    Thinking through practice by a keen green, tells us what he learned.
    Seed saving – Why I stopped saving seeds? (Red garden)

    Let’s prevent fire and involve everyone. (Red garden)

  10. greywarshark 10

    Hemp came up on Open Mike Sat 23/3 so some is transferred here with note of where to get the full account.

    Open Mike
    Dennis Frank 1
    23 March 2019 at 7:31 am

    Long-overdue enterprise likely to boost the economies of our regions: https://thespinoff.co.nz/food/23-03-2019/its-not-easy-being-green-why-the-redemption-of-hemp-is-long-overdue/

    “Hemp is not marijuana, but another strain of cannabis that has absolutely no psychoactive properties. It does, however, have heaps potential for use. The protein-rich seed can be used as the base for a bunch of different food products, from hemp milk to protein powder, while the rest of plant has a long list of uses, including clothing, packaging and building.”

    “In November 2018, New Zealand became the last country in the world to make hemp seed legal for human consumption – before this, it was only the oil we could eat. Of course, it’s an ancient crop, and before hemp got lumped in with cannabis and made illegal, humans have been making use of it as far back as 10,000 years ago.”

    “So what’s so special about hemp? For a start, it’s really high in GLA (an omega 6 fatty acid), which is anti-inflammatory. Aside from quinoa, it’s also the only complete plant-based protein source, with all 20 amino acids. It’s easily digestible, unlike whey or other commonly isolated protein sources, and the fibre content helps with digestion and gut health.”….

    Open Mike
    Stuart Munro. 1.2.2
    23 March 2019 at 11:23 am
    Hemp panels. https://materialdistrict.com/material/hemp-panels/
    Might be a thing Shane Jones could get into to break the building materials cost deadlock.

    Firepig 1.1
    23 March 2019 at 7:39 am
    Information and products also available at https://www.hempfarm.co.nz (disclaimer: I have no commercial interest in these products).

    Cinny 1.2
    23 March 2019 at 11:10 am
    A bit of knowledge re textiles
    Fun facts…. hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides to grow, unlike cotton.
    The pollution in waterways from pesticides etc used for growing cotton in the USA is gobsmacking.

    Hemp takes around 90 days to grow until harvested. Compared to say a pine tree which takes 20-25 years. One year of pine tree growth = 3 hemp harvests (saving a few months for soil reconditioning and seasons). Making for better use of land, thinking of the fires we had, those pines will take decades to replace, however if it was hemp it would only take months.
    Both can be used for textiles among other applications. Rayon is a cellulose fibre, usually made from wood pulp.

    Just a thought…. we have an MDF plant in our region, MDF is made from wood pulp, steamed etc, if that’s the case surely hemp could be used to make MDF.

    Hemp is an incredible textile and such a versatile plant. Perfect growing conditions for hemp in NZ.

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      From our local Southland rag:
      We will be holding an information evening on growing hemp in Southland.

      THURSDAY 28th MARCH 7pm
      Southland Federated Farmers Building 70 Forth Street Invercargill.

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        I’ve been musing tonight on the goings-on lately. Came up with a plan for solving the copycat massacre problem, wondered about writing it into here. Realised solo advocacy is often not the best way to go.

        Came up with alternate plan for developing collaboration. The future: peaceful co-existence. How to get there? Dream on. No, that hasn’t worked. We have to live the dream. Aborigines in Oz explain that they live in their dreamtime, why not us. Martin Luther King had a dream, famously said so, was living his way towards it till the end. Sometimes I think we are here for a reason, and such dreams remind us why.

        GWS suggested I was demonstrating statesman-like attributes, which gave me a bit of a fright, so I didn’t respond – knowing those with negative thoughts would be drawn like moths to a flame if I did. But musing on that alerted me to the possibility that I was tacitly exhibiting behaviour I was looking for in others. I know I’ve commented on the lack of statesmen since Mandela at least once or twice here in the past. We need that function. So, playing the fool, why don’t I act on that basis as an experiment?

        So I figured I’d ask you, Robert, to participate on the basis of your perception & emotional intelligence. My proposal: form a sub-group of Standard commentators to design a collaborative process. I suggest we first ask Greywarshark if he will participate on the basis of his life experience. He can play the role of sage, or any other he chooses. I will lead the consensus process since I have a track record of success doing so in politics, but will be open to advice at any stage, and will prefer such organic input as seems appropriate. Does that sound like something worthwhile to do? If so, and Grey agrees, then the next step would be to use the core group to extend itself by inviting several others who have established a suitable track record here to participate.

        The following step would be to appraise my proposal for solving the problem, and participants to decide if they can endorse, approve or support it. If consensus is reached that it is worth taking further, we would collectively present it for the appraisal of the site moderators, and ask them to make a collective decision about whether it would be suitable to post to the Standard for the evaluation of commentators. So it is similar to a polling process at each stage. If the process works according to this plan, the experiment will seem worthy of replication on other topics where there is a need for collective agreements.

        Humanity survives more via collective decision-making than personal decisions, so we need to incorporate a praxis for doing it! Think of this as a key component of resilience design, that will operate as a model to empower communities. Good idea?

  11. Sabine 11

    proper wet rain.

    this is the second rain we had here since December, the garden is a bit frayed at the edges and the end of summer has arrived.

    how do we get there?
    one step at a time.

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      It’s very warm in the South today and the rain is gently falling. We’ve enjoyed uprecedented levels of growth this year and it hasn’t stopped; in fact, I’m feeling that the past 3 weeks have seen an acceleration in the rate of growth. Thank goodness I have no lawns to mow! It’s been a muggy autumn so far. No leaves have turned to gold and fallen from the trees. The grapes have ripened on the outdoor vines. Peaches are coming in now, by the bushel. Apples are dropping like the rain and our “picking” this year has been off the ground. There has been no wind to speak of. We got the plastic onto the big tunnelhouse without incident; 20 metres by 10 metres and about to serve as the dining room for the permaculture hui. Pitching tents over the next few days. The hangi site has been chosen and the wood cut and stacked. We’ve installed a heavy-duty 32 amp cable for the “Green Cuisine” food caravan. Our kaikaranga and kaikorero have been engaged and the waiata chosen. Our Celtic musicians are having a session this afternoon in preparation. My keynote is composed; inside of my head anyway. Our seamstresses have sown mattresses for those sleeping in the tipi and yurt, the lancewood “tokens” are cut and strung, ready to hang on any neck they are chosen for, my lemonry has been converted into a shower and the slate-roofed kid’s-hut at the bottom of the garden, into a composting toilet for hue-goers. The forest-garden has done its bit by growing extra-wild, seemingly but not actually, impenetrable. We’ve a little “Starliner” caravan that’s been swept out, spruced-up and made ready for some lucky campers to enjoy; it sits amongst the trees and is beyond cute. Lots else. It’s all fun and games, til someone gets hurt 🙂

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        yes, it is bit the same here, mugginess and hot during the day, crisp and clear at night.

        my peaches are already in the freezer, apples to stew next and crab apples for jelly. took in the last of hte tomatoes and courgettes and now cooking a nice sauce for tea tonight. I am looking at planting a few more fruit trees along the fence line and am rethinking my courgettes. i will have to plant them a different place next year as i would like them to have all the space they need. I like them as plants, and they are an excellent nursery plant i find. their spiky leaves are not appreciated by the crawlers.

        still not mowing my lawn. 🙂

  12. Sabine 12

    also a benefit of not cutting lawns, nature gives you about 5 kg of potatoes that you did not plant. 🙂

    so much fun with so little investment.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      Plus extending the life of your eardrums and release from the horror of having to cut the heads off daisies 🙂

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    I found more good news about regional development in an unlikely story: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12214874

    First, the story’s scientific interest: ” Alan Hogg, director of the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory at Waikato University, dated the tree to 40,500 years plus or minus 400 years. That made it of great interest to scientists studying the Laschamp Event, a ”magnetic reversal” in which the Earth’s north and south magnetic poles switched places. It was not known exactly when the reversal occurred but it was thought to have been about 41,000 years ago.”

    “Studying the level of radioactive carbon-14 in the Ngāwhā kauri’s rings would allow scientists to pinpoint more accurately when the reversal occurred and for how long.
    Until now no tree had been found anywhere covering this later period of the reversal, Hogg said.”

    Second, the regional development connection: “Project site manager Mike Ohs said the tree was found preserved in clay 9m underground during site works for the new power station.”

    ” Earthworks for the new power station started in 2017 and are due to be completed in July. When the 28MW power plant is built, scheduled for late 2020, it will more than double the Far North’s energy production to 53MW. If a third power plant is built as planned, output will reach 81MW, making the Far North a net energy exporter.”

    • greywarshark 13.1

      I guess the power is from geothermal sources? Ngawha Springs spring to mind.

      • Dennis Frank 13.1.1

        “The log, which is 16m long and weighs 60 tonnes, was found during excavation for a new geothermal power station near Ngāwhā Springs.”

        • greywarshark

          Thanks my head tells me to hurry up and get on with things rather than up till now sitting reading and listening to events. But I thought before I got on with jobs that I should check about the geothermal side. Thanks for filling me in, so to speak.

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