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How To Get There 27/1/19

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, January 27th, 2019 - 93 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!

93 comments on “How To Get There 27/1/19 ”

  1. Jenny - How to get there? 1

    Greta Thunberg travels to Davos, by train.

    A true leader is one who leads. 

    Is doesn’t matter how many seats you have in the New Zealand parliament, it doesn’t even matter if you have not yet been officially innaugerated into your seat in Congress, it doesn’t even matter if you hold no elected position at all. A true leader is one who leads. 

    Swedish teen climate activist in Davos: ‘It’s time to get angry’

    The 16-year-old has galvanized protests by schoolchildren around the world, after delivering a fiery speech to world leaders at last month’s UN climate talks in Poland.

    “I would like to talk to people in power,” the Swedish crusader told AFP shortly after arriving in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum.

    Unlike many of the movers and shakers gathered in the Swiss ski resort, Thunberg has not zipped into town for a few quick meetings at luxury hotels.

    With the train trip from Stockholm, which took 32 hours, Thunberg was making a statement in opposition to many of the Davos elite, who flew in by private jet.

    “I have stopped flying for climate reasons, because I don’t want to say one thing and do another thing. I want to practise as I preach,” she said.

    There are no more excuses

    When will our Green Party MPs drop their complacency and get angry?

    More specifically, when will our Green Party leaders and MPs start practicing as they preach and stop flying domestically?*

    * (Due to our unique geo-graphical position, and the current lack of any existing practical alternatives, I can accept the need for international flights for Green MPs on international missions).

    • Jenny - How to get there? 1.1

      “When your grandkid asks you what did you do to stop this from happening what are you going to say to them?”

      ‘Grandma, what did you do about climate change when you were Prime Minister?’

      ‘Hello Darling, what a great question’

      Way back in 2019, when the Green Party, in response to the climate emergency, banned all internal flights for the their MPs on principle, and as a leading example of the way forward.

      As the then leader of the Labour Party and the country, to prevent our parliamentary ally, the Green Party, becoming isolated, or put at a disadvantage compared to the climate change denying parties and MPs. I immediately responded, by supporting a Green Party Bill to extend this ban to all government and opposition MPs. (As part of this package, I also supported our other government ally New Zealand First to begin double tracking the rail connection to Northland).

      This became a leading example to the world, and was the beginning of the world wide switch away from commercial aviation, towards surface travel that you see today.

      I also supported legislation to move the subsidy for free air travel, into supplying all MPs, both government and opposition, with the latest state-of-the-art video and IT suites, to put them more in touch with their constituents and each other.

      Happy birthday darling, I hope you like the mini-AI electric train set I bought you.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Jenny – wasn’t Mickey Savage’s question for you rather than a figure of your imagination?

    • Robert Guyton 1.2

      Angry Green MPs?
      Are they likely to attract support in their anger, enough support from the voting population to ensure they aren’t just a one-term phenomenon? 2 more years only?
      Do angry climate activists excite the average New Zealander in a constructive way?
      Or do you see angry Green MPs demanding legislation that bans whatever it is the Green Mps believe the cause of the problem to be?
      Do you know of effective and influential people in any field who promote anger as they way to solve serious issues?
      Just askin’

      • Jenny - How to get there? 1.2.1

        Angry Green MPs?

        Hey, I am only quoting Greta Thunberg. (It seems to have worked for her).

        Meanwhile the Greens invisibility seems to show them going down the electoral gurgler.

        • greywarshark

          I don’t want to read political discussions here Jenny How to get there. You seem to want tio take over the post as well as its name. Why not stay on Open Mike until you can actually come up with something concrete that is being tried in NZ, in the world, or in your head that you have actually followed through with and think can be expanded usefully. How about thinking along those lines.

          What about showing us something that you do, that expanded to lots of people in your local area would take us forward. You could think local outcomes not talk, thoughts, suggestions or protests, starting with your personal outcomes, and set aside global for later attention.

        • Sacha

          Such impatience. What it takes ‘to get there’ is a clear grasp of the timeframes involved in all parts of the process and bringing along enough of the right people and organisations and movements to keep gains from swiftly being overturned.

          That is what I think you will find current leaders like Shaw are doing right now, and we will see some of the results this year. Others may take another 5 or 10 or 20.

      • Siobhan 1.2.2

        Could you give an instance of real, uncomfortable for some, radical social change that came about by people asking nicely and smiling??
        Anger is the catalyst for real change…in NZ anger is what got the baby boomers on to the street to protest the Springboks and Nuclear Warships….the fear and lack of anger is why we now all sit at home while the planet burns…we’re at the end of a forty-year propaganda war about ‘acceptable discourse’, middle of the road politicians don’t like anger because it upsets business and all those folk who don’t actually want change…plus, deep down, middle of the road commentators don’t want change that might impact their own privileged life style..the fear of unintended consequences is pretty good at keeping property owners with a nice income stream firmly in line.

        Anger’s got a bad rap in the world of modern politics. When you think of it, it’s easy to picture the jowl-rattling rage of the gammon, the pub bore belligerence of Nigel Farage, the suited street thug rumble of Tommy Robinson and his gang, or the dyspeptic tanning bed orange oratory of Trump. But, as John Lydon — now himself disappointingly UKIP in flavour — sang memorably with Public Image Limited, “anger is an energy”, and what matters is how you direct and harness it. Anger at injustice and inequality has always been the catalyst for change. Personal comfort and satisfaction tends to lead to moribund politics.


  2. Ad 2

    I’m certainly not proposing massive solar projects for New Zealand, but it’s great to see a smaller town in Victoria Australia lead from the front with the Kerang Council organizing this scale of investment form beginning to end.


    The Victoria State Government has set clean energy targets for the future. Victoria has set a target of 40% renewable energy by 2025 (clearly we’re a wee way ion front of that). The Australian Federal Government are looking at a Renewable Energy program to secure Australia’s power supply for the future. Currently Australia’s energy production from renewables is around 17,500 GWh.

    There will continue to be more demands on Australia’s power supplies with the projected increases in population.


    I am probably hoping for too much, but Shaw’s Zero Carbon bill must break the limitations to feed-in options and dismantle the protections that the majority state-owned generators still have in this country. I hope that means we see smaller, more distributed generators able to set up.

    If Australia’s small towns can do it …

    • bwaghorn 2.1

      “I hope that means we see smaller, more distributed generators able to set up.”
      Every rural district could have a dual purpose dam for power and irrigation!! Well need security of water and local power in the coming storms and droughts.
      With the added bonus of recreational areas.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Sensible resilience design theory suggests that your suggestion is correct. But for every Green activist motivated by the necessity to become sustainable, you’ll get another Green activist opposing the damming of the river or stream.

        So it’s progressive thinking vs fundamentalism. Conservatives want conservation, not progress. What drove the Values Party schism back in the mid-seventies.

        • WeTheBleeple

          This is where I clash with (some) other ecologists. They want everything like it was – this is actually impossible. Conservation is a pipe dream.

          Pragmatists know humans have altered every ecosystem on the planet and there’s no turning back the clock.

          If the shit really hit the fan I’d be getting nitrogen from invasive weeds, and probably eating invasive yams for both starch and greens. I have the tubers and seeds on standby…

          Some of our so called top minds still haven’t figured out humans are here too. Mirrors frighten the poor snowflakes.

          • Robert Guyton

            Our “earthworks” should be, as far as possible, indistinguishable from those nature creates and that mimicry should be throughout the whole “structure” and process undertaken to produce it – integrity, I believe it’s called. A concrete dam doesn’t have that, in spades.. High bar, but needed, imo.

        • greywarshark

          Damming can be used to despoil useful land and crops. The apricots that Central Otago grew which are a good food with lots of Vitamin A, and require certain conditions to grow as Central Otago provided and were a local earner as part of a diversified economy, were drowned by the Clyde dam which was built to maximum height and that included drowning this great asset to the locals. Which was suited for the conditions and wasn’t dependent on huge irrigation and could exist and the dam would still have been very useful.

          Many of the Greens can be adamant about environmental actions, talking ideology and the outpourings of gurus about how they think the planet should be. They however can be a sea anchor preventing us from drifting of a practical course, so have a value. Maori should be listened to in understanding how to work with the needs of the land so their advice is of value.

          So just because every stream and river shouldn’t be dammed, it doesn’t mean that the above groups are not right, and shouldn’t be listened to. How to preserve the water and the resources in it and still use it is something that can be worked on. There is a need for water is the base. By whom, for what, who or what will likely miss out, what effect will diversion be? For how long, in what volume, how will that be allocated, who will check that only this volume will be taken?

          Then sensible, business-knowledgable thinking. How much capital expenditure is going to follow on infrastructure by the user because of this water flow? Once a lot of money is allocated to the enterprise then there is pressure to maintain the rights and a desire to expand them.

          I don’t see it as entirely black and white approaches, true to some extent but each side has a point. Both sides points should be incorporated, and the practical advantages be kept in mind, while questions of different sides addressed for the best outcome for that project.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.2

        So that we can enjoy the standard of living we have now, bwaghorn? Continue to “burn” the same amount of energy we do now, plus extra for the growing population? Does that mean increasing the number and size of dams as time goes by and our numbers swell?

        • Ad

          With Canterbury’s Central Plains Water now ensuring no drought conditions for much of central Canterbury, and the entire Waimea-Nelson area getting ready for the same, Hastings and other districts will rue the day they didn’t work harder to get the right dam in the right place before water shortages really hit.

          Auckland is sustained for water largely by dams put up in a 50 year period, and not coincidentally they are they primary biospheres and habitat for most of the Auckland regions’ remaining native forest and native birds.

          • Robert Guyton

            Ad. The “Waimea-Nelson” dam is to be built on a river I swam in as a boy, so I’ve feelings for that project. If you haven’t, you’ll have to understand that there’s an aspect of the proposal that you can’t address at a personal level. Iwi “personalise” features of the land, whom they call Papatuanuku, “Mother Earth”, I suppose and base their actions on that relationship (I’m idealising). Sacrificing part of one’s mother for the sake of human need and industry runs counter to the respect that should exist between mother and children, don’t you think?

            • greywarshark

              Mechanical progressives will always find reasons to over-ride feeling for the land. If the scenic value results in a monetary advantage that will count for more than people’s desires to maintain the land in or near to its natural

              And Ad all dams aren’t equal. As you say, the right dam in the right place. Who defines what size of the dam, for what purpose, for what outcome, with what protections, ie fish spawning ladders etc. And there is water spoiling, of water going into the dams; misuse bringing serious biological changes, water within the dams, and in water flowing out of the dams. They aren’t just pristine places that once built remain Gardens of Eden.

              And water shortages, why are they occurring? Is there a population growing beyond the ability of the land to sustain it. Is that occurring because of capitalists trying to suck every profitable advantage out of the area, prepared to go till every resource is required for their own purposes, with shortages for the inhabitants?

              Queenstown, for instance? Only Queens and their courtiers and barons can afford to live there. Maybe we should dam the numbers of people flowing into the townships, the country. Put barriers up to contain them in certain places, instead of dams for the life-giving water that we and our land and its other inhabitants need.

              And how to deal with our waste? The piles of it are part of the water problem. It is likely that everything thrown out has had water used in its making. When it is thrown out, long before it is completely worn out, it will affect our water table. Water is used to carry excrement away in a closed system that cuts out toxic organisms, we hoped. In the cities where there are lots of humans, these waste systems are always under stress now we have immigrants and tourists flooding into the country.

              The present way we run our country is fucking unsustainable. More dams are not going to solve our problems. NZ is part of a capitalist world that strides forward like a bulldozer. When we put up more dam and water infrastructure to try to cope with present business demands, the demands will rise until we are stressed to the maximum again. Auckland built dams 50 years ago. The time line till we reach excess demand is now probably half that. now.

              California and South Africa have reached the reality of population overgrowth and variable water arrival through accelerated climate worsening. California, the richest state in the USA I think, and South Africa rich from diamonds, can’t, won’t spend enough money on providing for the land and people’s needs there. And don’t seem to be trumpeting about new ways of managing lifestyles, and lessening water use.
              South Africa
              (Also under the Blue Economy plan Johannesburg is saving water by reducing toilet cisterns from 9 litres to 4.5 litres as an innovative measure. The pilot plan will start being tested in Soweto!)
              Overview from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_supply_and_sanitation_in_South_Africa

              Environmentalists blamed for water shortage because they are trying to protect the ecosystem allowing enough water to remain as needed by fish to survive etc. (Look for the scapegoat!)

              (I didn’t see discussions of how to build organic composting toilets, but it maybe was there just didn’t leap to the eye.)

              We don’t have diamonds, but there are other capital-gaining opportunities here which result in the draining away of our water. How long until we are at crisis level. There can never be enough dams to provide for the needs of people who will not countenance limits on the exploitative enterprises they are constantly spawning.

        • bwaghorn

          I thought you would be a big fan of self reliant communities.
          What are your plans to stop the population growth. Fortress nz or culling ?

          • Robert Guyton

            A fan of self-reliant communities, me?
            Yes, I am. I’m also a fan of elegant solutions to big challenges and a fan of aligning human endeavour with the best solutions nature has to offer. I suppose you could cite dam-building beavers as models, but their efforts are of a different nature and scale and have buffers built in that huge concrete dams don’t – ephemeralness, for one, and the use of bio-degradable materials that are sustainably harvested.
            My plans to stop population growth? I have no such plans. I’d like to see human behaviour match the natural world’s capacity to accomodate us and that will have built-in controls, I imagine. The one that’s operating at the moment; starvation through soil degradation and water scarcity for example, aren’t at all elegant, from the human point of view. I’m looking for those ideas that could be described as elegant, natural and sustainable in the longterm; ideas that result in liveliness for as many “beings” as possible, that promote diversity of form and thought, that are complex and nuanced. Dams fit into very few of those categories, imo.
            Fortress NZ or culling? Your polarised thinking is showing, bwaghorn.

    • Dennis Frank 2.2

      I agree re smaller generators. In fact, I recall us getting an interim consensus on the principle in the early nineties but dunno it it made it into GP policy. It makes perfect sense in terms of bioregional resilience design.

      However there would be an arm-wrestle depending on location & ownership, in each instance of installation. Stakeholder design is great in principle but hasn’t yet been tested much in application. Beyond left & right. Too hard to even think about for most folk!

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        Rivers (creeks and streams) are habitat for a multitude of creatures, as well as being conduit for nutrients and a raft of subtle elements that we have little concept of. They charge aquifers, affect the geography in ways we are only beginning to explore (see Environment Southland’s amazing physiographic science for more on this) and are regarded/lauded as our veins by tangata whenua. Dam therm? Really?
        The wind, otoh, and the sunshine, are not loaded in the same manner.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah, I know. I agree, but capture & store water is one of the principles of permaculture. We ought to consider alternatives to traditional dams that implement both/and logic, by minimising the damage to the natural water-course, retaining the stream-bed ecosystem and flow.

          Sucking water out at a sustainable rate, via a pipe with fine-mesh grille, and pumping into an adjacent storage pond and/or reservoir with lilypads or timber cover to reduce evaporation, could produce a similar result to a small dam.

          • WeTheBleeple

            This week I put in earthworks to store water on a newly domesticated piece of my yard. This consisted of a hole like a narrow bath dug 12 inches beneath a garden bed on a slope. Then filled with wood and rotting palm fibre. Then backfilled to become a piece of landscaped garden – With a 200 litre water reservoir. I did very similar last week with a new banana planting carving a large hole uphill of the planting to capture water off the slope. Hard work up front. Trees should now practically care for themselves.

            It’s up to farmers and gardeners to begin implementing their own water capturing designs, or do you really think we’re equipped for a proper drought already?

            Soon we’ll get the usual water conservation messages, sprinkler rationing, power outages… It’s a mickey mouse show considering how easy it is to restore groundwater flow. Farmers will get precedence, because they are number one at doing fuck all improvements to land per capita. They might beg for subsidies if it gets bad. Towns will get rationed.

            Earthworks mitigate both flood and drought. Cos the floods are coming too.

            Small scale everywhere. Be ready.

            Big central projects are council/dairy wedding gifts, paid for by you and I, designated not for you and I.

            Never trust the government to do what you can easily do yourself. If you do you are a ninny, and a bit of a dependent parasite.

            • Robert Guyton

              Yes, WTB – that sort of “subtle” engineering is the way to go – damn the dams, they’re too blunt an instrument for the task and an affront to nature, imo.

            • SaveNZ

              +1 WeTheBleeple

          • Robert Guyton

            Agreed, Dennis. I don’t think that’s what’s proposed for the Lee River 🙂
            “The Chinese” have even more refined methods for managing water that moves subtly through the soil, resulting from a greater understanding of what water is and does; they use, I believe, the (water) dragon as a metaphor and are able thereby to “see” the issue in a way we cannot, lacking the “story” as we do. We think in terms of pipes and tanks, rather than flows and fluxes.

            • Dennis Frank

              Excellent point there Robert. I once wrote a long compilation of quotes about flow, all taken from scientific philosophy books…

              • WeTheBleeple

                There are so many benefits to small earthworks, one of which is to sustain groundwater -> stream -> river flow for big earthworks aka hydro dams. This will result in less power shortages and water rationing.

                Another is elevated soil fertility and crop productivity. The water stored in the ground provides a long term reservoir of both water and nutrients. When the water is slowed and captured so are the nutrients and soil particles in the water. It is insurance against erosion, drought, and the vagaries of weather. This includes flood.

                How many saw the wind destroy those huge irrigation booms recently? If water is stored in the land, it flows through it via underground flow, only a few feet a day, taking months to cross a farm or watershed set up to capture water. Then farmers/gardeners can be independent of expensive equipment that may be the weather’s plaything, and public ire during times of shortage.

                During peak rain events, small storages covering the landscape greatly reduce the potential for overland flow and the resultant erosion and flooding that occurs. Flood plains themselves can be planted with rows across the flow of reeds and other select plants to slow flow and cause deposition of silt sand and organic matter capturing topsoil materials to reduce downstream damage, and creating rich soil resources and (seasonal) crop lands in the process.

                Minor earthworks to trap/slow water also greatly enhance the establishment of tree systems providing diversity of products and ecosystem services in better time. Thus providing insurance against the vagaries of markets, potential carbon credits, fuel, food, investment eg legacy timber, etc.

                Diverting water to major storage is so last century. We drain the farms then pump water back for them???

                Capture the rain using simple small scale landscaping (en masse) and refill all the storages.

                • Robert Guyton

                  100% support for those ideas, WTB. Gently does it. Go with the flow, don’t constantly try to thwart it, rein it in, dominate it. It’s a deep issue of the human view of nature. Our culture puts us in the saddle and requires us to break that wild horse! We need to learn to whisper.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yes, that usage of water diversion on a flood-plain apparently fed the growth of the first civilisation in recorded history (Sumeria). Rice-paddy distribution systems are also an ancient model that operates efficiently throughout Asia. Farmers are too thick to learn from what works.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Harsh, Dennis!
                    Something corrupted the thinking of our farmers. That thinking can be healed. Has to be healed.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Perhaps too harsh, Robert. Individually, they can be intelligent. Collectively is the problem. Business-as-usual syndrome. No big picture frame of reference. Lateral thinking tends to be minimal…

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Perhaps we should shift our attentions to commenting on the farming blogs and websites 🙂

        • KJT

          Seen some of the designs for “run of the river” power supplies, Robert.

          Fish friendly, don’t affect the overall flow, buildable by small local firms, standard materials and cost effective.

          Designed for local manufacture in third world countries.

          Produce a surprising amount of power, from a bucket sized turbine.

          A replacement for capital intensive and environment ruining. dams.

          • Robert Guyton

            “Run of the river”, KJT? Fair enough and not dams. That sort of minimally-extractive device (they do extract some energy from the system) is what I’d like to see us pursue.

            • WeTheBleeple

              Set up two water storages. One at the bottom of an area, one at the top. Put a turbine in between. Pump water via solar/wind to the storage uphill, pump enough to power the turbine 24/7.

              Only applicable in some circumstances (a reasonable drop/flow for the turbine) but where it is you get free energy supply and you are using a water ‘battery’. Now if you’ve done your earthworks and started capturing rain in the land you’ve created reliable power and water supply as your water battery will keep recharging.

              It starts to get easy to be productive in a situation like that.

              Water can also be used to carry nutrient loads to do your fertilization for you. Say you have a top pond with ducks fertilising the water. Or you add in pig manure or cow… That water might then go to a hungry crop first, a less hungry crop next, then it works it’s way through the land via a riparian border to be polished in the bottom storage – a wetland, then it is pumped back up.

              This type of system works best with keyline irrigation and the temporary check dams to produce directed floods of whole areas at once.

              • Pat

                why contaminate the water?

              • Dennis Frank

                Excellent system design, Bleep. You ever do consultancy permaculture? If not, you ought to, even if your own place demands your time. Regional consultancy is part of bioregional resilience planning. Even if you seem too unconventional to the straights, they just need to see a working model & they will start to re-orient themselves…

              • Robert Guyton

                A Swiss couple stayed with us over the past few days. They’d stayed also, with Sepp Holzer, or at least with his son, on the famous Austrian high altitude permaculture site. Water’s their main concern; interconnected ponds with fish galore. We had some very interesting talks. Bruno, now a “nature teacher” in Switzerland, was a professional basketball in America not so long ago. Strong fellow. Helped me lug hazel poles I’m planning to build compost toilet teepees with 🙂 They worked for Jeff Lawton too, in Australia. Interns at both places, I think. Very good help in the forest garden, they were.

              • WeTheBleeple

                “Why contaminate the water” – In this example the water (and gravity) would be being used to carry nutrients to crops. The crops would ‘clean’ out the nutrients, then, clean water goes back up top via solar pump to do it all again.

                “You ever do consultancy permaculture?” – I don’t have the PDC yet, that’s a priority for this year, then I qualify to work under the auspices of permaculture. Been swotting and practicing for a while now… But I’d feel a lot more comfortable doing consultancy type stuff once I know a few more folks in the field to bounce ideas off of, and a contractor or two who understands Yeoman et al. I don’t operate heavy machinery but we should use it – make hay while the sun shines – for earthworks and tree projects galore.

                “Sepp Holzer” I had his picture on the wall, preaching hugelkultur from a mountaintop 😀 That along with a photo of my nephew graduating. I looked at those two photos every day of university to get me to graduation. Graduations have come and gone. The nephews photo is now replaced with a shot of a Mayan temple where terra preta soils are found. One day I will travel there and study the microbes of the soil compared to others to identify any unique players. Cos why not! Sepps photo remains on the wall till I get the PDC. It’s nice to know where you are going. Sepp is a legend he’s so advanced some people think he’s a fringe whackjob, but no, genius at work.

    • SaveNZ 2.3

      Go solar.

      Get rid of coal fired power stations… they are failing due to climate change…

      “Power outage in Melbourne as electricity generators fail and Victorians brace for hottest day since Black Saturday
      More than 200,000 households lost power in Victoria today after temperatures soared above 40C and power generators failed.”


      Likewise nuclear

      Nuclear power takes a hit as European heatwave rolls on

    • Jenny - How to get there? 2.4

      This is a perfect example of the sort of project that could help revitalise Northland.

      God knows this region needs it.

      Shane Jones must spend some of his $3billion Regional Development Fund on this.

      “Shane Jones promises to spend every cent of $3b fund”

      ….Mr Jones promises that come the next election, there won’t be a single cent of the $3b fund left.

      If the Kerang town council can do it, we can do it.

      Māori led, Māori driven.

      A perfect fit.

      Donna Awatere Huata, the Māori Climate Commissioner is in the perfect position and has the resources, experience and business skills to present Jones with a viable business plan for such a project for Northland, and fight for it.

      Donna Awatere Huata appointed as Māori Climate Commissioner

      The Northland Times, September 20, 2018

      The Māori Carbon Foundation announced the appointment of Donna Awatere Huata as New Zealand’s first Māori Climate Commissioner at a hui in Kaitaia on Monday.

      Her job will be to provide independent Māori-focused research and advice that will contribute to Aotearoa meeting its obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030…..

      This is an opportunity that can’t be missed.

      The Kerang Town Council has shown the way.

      Let’s do this

    • greywarshark 2.5

      Perhaps we can set up Communities for the Future relationships with such towns and shires etc. and watch and travel the way with them, and be helpful to what is taken on as a spreading enterprise. We are sending firefighters to help places outside NZ carry out work that they find overwhelming them, but will have to learn to manage themselves.

      We should be seeing the helping and learning from others to address the looming problems of the near future as more important in preventing or lessening our and their, foreseeable disasters, as at the same time continuing with assistance with their present disasters.

  3. bwaghorn 3


    Maybe a non socialist green party is how to get there on cc. (Dont really mean it but no open mike to post to.)
    Be afraid

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Hasn’t worked. The Progressive Greens flopped. Gareth Morgan failed to get traction. National’s bunch are still in the kennel, barely whimpering.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        You may not have noticed, but TOP is having a go at rising from the ashes without Morgan.

        Too early to tell.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah, Geoff Simmons. Ought to adopt the phoenix as brand identifier? Depends how many clever folk coalesce around him, and we need to see signs that it is capturing the zeitgeist before we take it seriously. None yet.

          • Robert Guyton

            What would “clever folks” see in an as yet unformed party created for the purpose of responding meaningfully to climate change?

            • Dennis Frank

              Good question, with no obvious answer! My best guess: potential. The vacant space is an attractor. Attractors have emerged as influential entities in physics & maths theories since the ’80s (see the science of complexity) and can be discerned in political contexts.

          • greywarshark

            Talking about political parties – filling up our future doing post with possible future political maneouvring. Go away to Open Mike please.

            • bwaghorn

              I’d be more than happy for this post to be shifted . Om wasn’t up before me today.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yes, it was late. Perhaps an editor will cut & past the sub-thread to OM?

              • Robert Guyton

                I’m not bothered by political discussions on this thread; all gardens are subject to weed-growth and more often than not, those weeds are beneficial in their effects 🙂

      • KJT 3.1.2

        They are still trying to do it within a capitalist paradigm.

        Much as I like capitalism, at least at the level of market gardens, family farms, small builders and the corner store.

        A resource constrained future is incompatible, with the constant growth required for capitalism to work.

    • Robert Guyton 3.2

      “Former National Party president Michelle Boag said Tava would be the perfect person to lead a ‘blue-green’ party.”
      The kiss of death!

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Three years later than when it looked like a good move, but that’s National for you. I talked it up onsite here back then, & talked to Vernon a couple of times at GP meetings. He’s got a good attitude.

        The Boag endorsement may not be a kiss of death. The puzzle is really more contingent on the bluegreens generally, inasmuch as he’ll probably only leave National if enough others can be expected to go with him. If he stays he ought to be a shoo-in for any safe Nat seat he wants, so from his personal prospects perspective, I don’t see leaving as a better option yet.

      • KJT 3.2.2


        How does that fit with the National ethos of steal, sorry, sell cheap to your mates, as much as you can, before Labour gets back in.

    • WeTheBleeple 3.3

      Vernon creepy touchy Tava – no thanks.

    • Graeme 3.4

      Unfortunately there’s the contradiction between caring for the planet, and being capitalist and not caring for those below you.

      Bluegreens are easily shown as deeply conflicted individuals.

  4. SaveNZ 4

    Brexit exit – you have to wonder why they just don’t have another referendum to ‘check’ that that was really what the UK public wanted, now the fake news of Brexit has been revealed and the reality of costs and consequences has become apparent. The referendum was not an election but a choice, that can be checked that that choice is really what the British public still want! Why are they still so frightened to check the Brexit is what the majority still want!

    Key EU medicines regulator closes London office with loss of 900 jobs
    European Medicines Agency heads for Amsterdam 63 days before Brexit


    • James 4.1

      yeah – let’s keep asking the people until we get the answer you want.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        Why don’t polling companies in NZ just satisfy themselves with asking a single question, them dissolve?

        • James

          A false equivalence.

          But they campaigned on having the referendum and now they are following thru with the will of the people who voted in it.

          Good on em.

          • Robert Guyton

            When The Greens press through legislation on issues they campaigned on, you’ll be cheering “Good on em”, James?

            • James

              Actually I do.

              Same as I was disappointed in labour for all their failures to deliver on promises.

              Remember how happy everyone here was that they signed up to the tppa?

              (Although I was disappointed in labour – I was happy they signed it).

              • KJT

                Until the first million dollar ISDS case, eh. Can we then vote to leave the TPPA.

                Recently an Aussie billionaire shifted his firm to NZ, so he can threaten to sue OZ under the Oz/Nz FTA. Couldn’t happen, you said.

          • SaveNZ

            @James,, but the discourse around the referendum was lies.. Cambridge Analytica influenced and was paid to do so, Leave overspend so the election was based on cheating, and in the confusion, 30% did not vote at all.

            • KJT

              Rather arrogant to think the British “great unwashed” couldn’t see past the propaganda and decide for themselves. Isn’t it.

              Plenty of good left wing reasons to leave the neo-liberal bankers project, the EU.

            • James

              Remainders said things that were untrue also.

              As for the 30% who didn’t vote – meh. Who cares. They were too lazy then that’s their fault.

              • SaveNZ

                @Remainders said things that were untrue also. That’s why they need a revote, none of it was fair or true, first time around!

      • SaveNZ 4.1.2

        @James, they asked once and the process was interfered with… how many referendums did you count because I count one, and 30% never voted and now the truth is not was portrayed and the everyday person is more aware of the consequences for them personally, they should check that’s what people want. Not sure if lying on Leave first time around, constitutes democracy.

    • greywarshark 4.2

      Why did you put this here savenz? It’s political speculation and not NZ action and ideas focussed solid stuff which is what we need to generate here. Can’t we concentrate our minds on our problems and creative thinking on our own future on this post. Can’t we channel our thinking towards our real and present problems and find solutions here on this post?

      • SaveNZ 4.2.1

        Sorry greywarshark, for some reason open Mike was not up. You are right, wrong forum to post.

        One reason I also follow Brexit, is because the British have rushed into neoliberalism, tax havens and low wage workers, Thatcherism which is pretty much Rogernomics, 5 eyes, and foreign investment to solve their problems. Now they are looking like Nigel no friends and a basket case, fractured within themselves, within their community of the EU and fractured with their relationship with the US – aka a warning what happens when you go for short term profits. election strategy, wars for friends, remove democracy and bribes over a long term view of the best benefits to your people and listen to what they are saying.

        Iraq war was a great example of being a better friend to the US was to say no to the UK in the war, keep the friendship with the US and EU, use diplomacy to solve the problem. The people of Britain marched against that war, but it was ignored and phony intelligence of fake WMD was used.

        NZ can learn from their mistakes as we seem to have the same direction.

        • greywarshark

          SaveNZ I feel I am getting too anxious and should pull back a bit; am thinking I should take a month off as marty mars declared he would. I think that would be good all round but a terrible loss to me as i hear of things i would want to discuss or find out others’ viewpoint. Your well-thought well-founded comments are little peaks in the clouds, like you see when you are flying at 17,000 feet, sticking through a sea of fluffy mounds. Poetic ? Thanks for reply.

          You might have a look at links to satirical pieces from the past that I put on Open Mike – when you need a laugh.

          About Brexit and Europe – do you follow Yanis Varoufakis? He seems to have the sort of backbone and following that might mount something of a roadblock to a decline and loss of good direction in Europe. What do you think?

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    In respect of the big picture, the political dimension of the future and how to get there depends on how much a consensual vision of the future is shared. Marxist class analysis made a lot of people believe the goal is to replace the class in power with the class(es) who lacked political power.

    The Greens adopted the radical view that power ought to be distributed rather than centralised. Leftists nowadays prefer social democracy, conceding to the right when the people vote against them. In recent decades left/right competition has been driven by the illusory extent of trickle-down, both sides agreeing that wealth, not power, is the key focus of politics. So there seems to be a tacit consensus that the state ought to retain the power to set the rules for how society operates. The coalition took a step beyond this neoliberalism to include the Greens, and the PM proclaimed a consensual view that incorporated climate-change legislation.

    This inclusiveness will embed if the imminent legislation takes effect. It will be a powerful future-orientated political consensus heading us toward sustainability. Yet it will not solve the inequality problem. That’s because radical thinking is essential for solving that problem, and politicians have a congenital aversion to it.

    Representative democracy is therefore part of the problem. It can only become part of the solution if sufficient reps share a vision of the future in which inequality is limited by design of legislation that works, and commit to collaborating to make it happen. That’s the task, which a team of enterprising competent activists will have to engage, and work through to completion, in order to catalyse the solution. We are still stuck in the preliminary stage, in which everyone agrees that it’s best to whine about the problem forever – because doing what’s required is too hard. Such defeatism is contemptible. Yet the left cannot seem to extricate itself from that state of mind. Just another reason why `beyond left & right’ is correct…

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    I’m presently watching “The Third Industrial Revolution..” as recommended by RedLogix in yesterday’s Daily Review – https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-25-01-2019/#comment-1575960
    Powerful indeed!

    • Pat 6.1

      are you watching it on a stalled Auckland train by any chance?

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        That would give the message immediacy!
        Nope. I’m enjoying a sunny, breezy day on the south coast of the South Island, mixing gardening with commenting here and watching the video; each is a pleasure and none a stalled train 🙂

        • Pat

          I watched it myself the other night, and like the Al Jazeera video I posted last night it started with a lot of promise(s) and failed to deliver….I note Rifken is an economist, and like that breed appears to ignore inconvenient physical realities, but he gets a ‘A’ for his name dropping abilities.

  7. WeTheBleeple 7

    Here’s a short talk/direction on establishing a forest plenty of our tree planters and future foresters should take note of.

    The gist – research and identify local species; design for canopy layering; use microbes and mulching; nurse saplings with water and weeding up to 3 years then the forest takes care of itself.

    I’m inclined to add earthworks so watering isn’t required except in drought.

    Impressive growth rates, exactly what’s required.

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    There are 19 000 legumes…

    Locally adapted species are obviously preferred. In NZ this is Carmichaelia (broom) and Sophora (Kowhai), though we use many other species as well. I can’t speak for M. pudica as I’ve no experience with them. Personally I prefer to intersperse natives with productive nitrogen fixers. Carob, ice cream bean, beans… With so many species in the legumes the potential is enormous.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Mimosa Pudica
      Poor soil accepter, absorbs toxicity from soil so perhaps good on tailings.
      Good nitrogen fixer and bacteria turn it into usable form.

      • WeTheBleeple 8.1.1

        ‘toxicity’ caught my eye. Interesting plant indeed. This looks to have a broad capacity for metal extraction, love to know if they’ve quantified extraction of those metals mentioned (arsenic, copper, lead, tin, zinc).

        Hyper-accumulators are a subset of plants that take up heavy metals in appreciable amounts. Initially discovered on serpentine soils and tailings; their downfall was slow growth and/or diminutive size. Thus, the search was on for faster growing, larger, hyper-accumulators.

        The fact this plant increases available N and K makes me think it might run well in conjunction or as part of a rotation with fast growing hyper-accumulators Brassica juncea and sunflowers. A rotation of these crops would remove different metals from different profiles as soil pH and biological activity changed over time.

        It is a myth that raising pH will exclude toxic metals for plants. This is because while lower pH makes metals more available, the plant growth suffers. The result is that overall metal extraction is the same – only at a higher pH you obtain more biomass per unit of metal as plants grow faster. Without special mechanisms for exclusion, plants passively take up background levels of whatever is there via the siphon of transpiration.

        But! Microbes can greatly increase metal extraction rates over and above ‘good pH’ increased biomass. Trichoderma fungi, mycorrhizal fungi, saprobes working with the non-mycorrhizal plants (brassica) – hell, they’re all in on it.

        Know your target metal species – test the soil. Scan the repertoire of available accumulators. Culture trichoderma from coffee grounds and citrus, mix spores when planting hyperaccumulators. Obtain mycorrhizal fungi for non-brassica hyperaccumulators – use at planting. Till soil if compacted. Add thick mulch to bring in saprobic fungi. Add seaweed at planting the alginates will bind metals till plants can take them.

        The goal is to take metal from the inorganic (soil) to the organic (plants and fungi) to removal (harvest).

        They’ll charge you a million bucks or more an acre to come in and not detox your land – they’ll cap it and make it impermeable (dead) or pour more toxins in to make it ‘inert’ (dead) or simply remove it somewhere else and give you new dirt… Sooner or later they’ll be swapping toxic soil for less toxic as they run out of places to hide their ineptness.

        For a million bucks an acre.

        “Then what’s to stop us, pretty baby
        But what is, and what should never be” – Led Zeppelin.

        • greywarshark

          Don’t go near the West Coast WtB. They might capture you and mine you for information.

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