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How To Get There 28/7/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 28th, 2019 - 72 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 …

72 comments on “How To Get There 28/7/19”

  1. Ad 1

    What's my first steps to rebuilding a post-glacial soil that we've just ripped pine trees out of?

    It's flat, reasonably sheltered behind Mt Iron.

    • Janet 1.1

      I wonder ,. Would it be any different than what the pioneers did when they first cleared the land – Grassed it down with clover and mixed grasses. The pine residue needs time to breakdown and the land time to rest and settle down.Pine needles are very acidic so maybe some lime is needed.

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Depends if it's flat or how much slope, for a start. From a permaculture perspective, water flow & retention are vital to suss out, then there's the question of mountain shadow limiting sun hours onsite.

      Only an expert would know how to convert plantation soil into agricultural fast, so I'd go talk to the local farmers org & ask them who the local expert is, get contact details.

      Dunno, but googling `convert pine plantation to agriculture' could get you something. Depends what pines suck out of soil, to create mineral deficiencies. Depends what the glacial residue left, in terms of how rich the soil was originally before the pines went in.

    • Graeme 1.3

      Plant it out in kanuka. That's how nature would do it, and then introduce kowhai and other canopy species in the shelter the kanuka provides.

      The acidity from the pines isn't that bad in Central as there's so much lime in the post glacial soils from the place being under the sea 60 million years ago. Most ground waters have a bit of a lime problem.

      • Robert Guyton 1.3.1

        Poroporo too, if you are strictly native. Watch out for large-leaved muehlenbeckia or pōhuehue (Muehlenbeckia australis), as it moves in early and seeks to cover everything. I prefer to mix natives with exotics, as I believe it's the way of the world.

        • Dennis Frank

          I prefer to mix natives with exotics, as I believe it's the way of the world.

          Humans are naturally inclined thataway – often gets called `mix & match' & the progeny are diverse… smiley

          • Robert Guyton

            Some cross-cultural mixes produce hybrid vigour. Intra-cultural crosses, not so much.

    • gsays 1.4

      Tagasaste or tree lucerne.

      Fixes nitrogen, native birds love it (therefore 'sowing' native seeds), nursery plant for stock and an excellent quick growing firewood.

    • mauī 1.5

      If the surrounding area is mostly grass you might be ok, but if it's scrubby land you're going to have loads of pine seed in the soil and you will be pulling out pine seedlings for the next 5 years (best to do it by hand before they get too large).

      If you want to go native I would look at whatever species commonly springs up first in farmland in your area, and plant that. It all depends what the end goal is too, planting trees probably not so good if you just want a garden bed in the end.

    • joe90 1.6

      Lime, windrowed remnant pine slash/available organic matter, tree lucerne, and a goat or two.

    • Pingau 1.7

      Get it covered with vegetation that is fast growing – depending on what you want it to be in the future you could plants few patches up in natives of a select few species planted close together to hasten canopy closure. Grass is probably good in the interim as a cover but takes a while to create soil.

      Faster growing natives are things like pittosporum especially Tarata, manuka and kanuka as Graeme says. You are spoilt for choice for faster growing exotics – Tasmanian Blackwood is fast but can be weedy in some environments although relatively easy to control.

      Gorse also makes excellent soil and is a great nurse crop but your council and neighbours wouldn't thank you! It can be isolated by planting trees that create a shade buffer around the perimeter. If you google "Hinewai" you can find out more about that. There is also a short film that was recently released called "Fools and Dreamers" about Hinewai and Hugh Wilson.

    • Col 1.8

      I would blast the whole area with roundup, twice, leave for six months, then replant with whatever you really like!

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    There doesn't seem to be a reply button. Ad, regarding your question, it's likely that a legume will "arrive" to occupy the space created by the removal of the pines; gorse and broom are the usual candidates. They would create needle and leaf litter to improve the soli, as well as fill it with roots to increase the carbon content. If you don't like those legumes, sow lupins or peas or some other manageable legume for the same effect. If you've left branches lying on the soil, you'll have done yourself a great favour, as the fungal community will flourish to your benefit. If you've cleared and burned it all, establishment of a new plant community will be slower. Some of the weeds that will appear naturally can be left to flourish if they are easy to manage; that is, not spiky, as blackberry is, or on the pest-plant register, as buddleia might be. Essentially, grow as much as you possibly can, as quickly as you can and think succession, rather than final product; that is, get the process of reclothing the soil underway quickly with fast-establishing, short-lived plants (sow phacelia, chickory, etc.) that bring other benefits to the site; bee food etc.)

    Is that a bit of a steer for you? I'm happy to expandsmiley

    • lprent 2.1

      There doesn't seem to be a reply button.

      Usually a browser rendering problem. The refresh button is your friend.

      If that doesn’t work, then try telling me which operating system and browser you’re using.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1


        • lprent

          You may have the beard for it, but do you really want to distress your neighbours that much?

            • lprent

              Yes.. you can see that the date was set in the Med.

              Southland is at this time of the year is more akin to being the remaining green part of Antarctica

              • Robert Guyton

                Hey! We've enjoyed our mildest winter ever this season. No frosts yet (at my place anyway) and the black passionfruit and kawakawa are growing as if it was summer. Odd. It's relatively balmy. Make of that what you will.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Here on the Taranaki coast there's been no frost on my lawn this winter (several in each of the other prior winters).

                  This afternoon, I counted 8 or 9 orange tomatos on a vine in my garden, turning red. No leaves left. Several tomato plants came up late autumn, and I ate a couple that ripened in June. Usually they get mottled & I ignore them so seeing them actually usable at this time of the year has never happened before.

                  I'm gonna call it evidence of Gaia morphing plants in response to climate change. I wonder if others have seen this.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Need a pithy definition of "Gaia" first, Dennis smiley

                    • Dennis Frank

                      For the purpose of this conversation, Robert, it would be as defined by Lovelock (biosphere/atmosphere/lithosphere/ocean). I admit to acquiring a broader view than that long ago, however…

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    If collapse is imminent, how do we respond?

    "Though there are as many answers to this question as there are people asking it, I

    did notice some common themes in the responses of our authors. One is the need to be

    honest with ourselves and each other about the reality we face. Another is the need

    to contend with our own grief, as Dahr Jamail shared."


    "But the strongest common theme for me in their essays was the value of

    (re-)connecting with nature and with one another. I was very much struck by Meghan

    Kallman’s call for turning toward each other , as Dahr Jamail shared."



    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      A decade ago the ethos was `collapse now, avoid the rush' in alternative circles. Since the collapse didn't happen, it was sensible to conclude that the imminence was illusory.

      That logic still applies. Collapseniks have since died on the vine as an interweb subculture, but the "if" you & the org are using remains a viable hinge. Precautionary principle applies. Your twin points (emotional intelligence, the Gaian interconnecting) are key parts of the way forward. But the praxis of collaboration is the essential element.

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        "Since the collapse didn't happen"

        Since the collapse isn't full-blown yet…

  4. greywarshark 4

    In the newspaper that I have decided to have permanently delivered, while they offer a cheap rate (in a plastic bag which serves its purpose, so what 'clear' alternative?), this quote from Barak Obama –

    "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we are waiting for. We are the change we seek." Barack Obama

    When you think of what he was up against, it was amazing that he ever got anything done at all that matched his thoughts and dreams. I think he was in John Kennedy's shoes. Martin Luther King 'had a dream', but he has to have help from a scheming and pragmatic team that knew how to gain the attention and the positive sentiments of the public, so fickle, but for a little while at least. To get anywhere you have to know how to Cross your Ts, and dot your eyes!

  5. Incognito 5

    Good morning, Robert. Have you seen that story about the Kauri stomp [Edit: this should read “stump”] that is kept alive by neighbouring trees?

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Hi Incognito; I did read about that stump smiley

      It interested me greatly and supported other articles on a similar topic. The role of elder trees in the health of tree communities is fascinating and unsurprising if you look at forests as cooperatives aware of the need for overall health rather than individuals fighting for a place in the sun. I have an issue with the word stump though! The idea that all there is, once the tree's above-ground body is removed, is a "stump", is wrong, as most of the tree still remains, underground, as the "negative form" of roots etc and when that's combined with the "new" knowledge that those roots are interconnected physically with other tree roots, and with the fungal network as well, it seems wrong to think of the stump as being the definition of what's there. If you can see what I mean.

      • Poission 5.1.1

        The best reporting was on ABC,good article ( and analysis) on the wood wide web.


        • Robert Guyton

          From the article linked-to by Poission:

          "But just why healthy trees would keep a leafless trunk alive has the scientists … well, stumped."

          That's because they misconstrue what a stump is, in my view; they see it as the dead remains of a tree, but it's not. I would ask, why would a tree that's lost it's "sail" die? I wonder if, in the ancient forests, intact and living "remains (broken by storms etc) were the norm, rather than an oddity, as scientists regard the kauri remains.

          • Pingau

            One of my scientist acquaintances says of this story, words to the effect that … no it's not new knowledge, can't believe it's a news story.

            It's still a good piece though and "news" to many!

            • Incognito

              Their study, published on Friday in the journal iScience, provides the first evidence neighbouring trees directly share water through their root systems.

              "Water transport between a living stump and a tree has never been shown in any species," Dr Leuzinger said.

              From the link provided by Poission @ 5.1.1.

      • Incognito 5.1.2

        Let’s call it an amputee.

    • Dennis Frank 5.2

      Stump, I presume you meant, altho the kauri stomp sounds good for saturday night in the wild woods. I saw it & it sure got my attention. No regrowth, yet scientists proved from their devices applied to it that it exchanges water with surrounding trees via the root network.

      Chalk one up for Gaia, eh? Dunno if kauris do regrowth from a stump, yet the thing is still alive. No fresh cut evident in the tv pictures, not even an old cut, just a smooth surface. Strange.

      • Incognito 5.2.1

        Yes, I meant stump, thanks. It seems to be functional in the sense that it exchanges water (and what else?) with neighbouring trees. As part of a network of trees, the re-growth is in the other more distant parts of the network, so to speak.

  6. greywarshark 6

    I think that Fonterra has appointed another little business robot saturated in the present business school dogma. He has sold established NZ Tip Top value-adding icecreamiers to limit debt when interest rates are low. We cannot trust business to help build our local resource and local wealth.

    I wonder what Fonterra has got up its sleeve for its own disaster relief if something goes wrong with the flow of business in the dairy market. The cows are there producing milk every day, and the way things have been set up Fonterra can not decline to take milk offered, I think. Anyway the dairy industry has got the factory speed chain on high rev. Suddenly there is a break in the processing or shipping part of the chain!! How many litres of milk are coming along it every day? How long before the cows can be dried off? And I don't even know how that happens.

    Can we call on a nationwide anti-pollution response for Fonterra? Can we set one up now? People would go into over-drive collecting milk, making yoghurt, cooking it up with rice – that uses quite a lot which can then be used for pudding or savoury meals for a while in the frig and longer in the freezer. Useful for those school lunches. (Milk that is slightly 'off' can be cooked with rice, and with a touch of nutmeg or mace, and a little golden or brown sugar is very palatable I have found.) Home-made ice cream, leek or onion soup with milk is in one of my recipe books. Biscuits with high milk powder content used to be made and were part of our overseas food aid. It would go on for days, even weeks with a lot of action and disruption, but on the other hand our calcium intake would be high, and osteoporosis would decline!

    I bet there is no law demanding Fonterra take precautions about spilled milk. Shouldn't there be some thought about this? We are stretched to the limit in NZ trying to keep the land and society going, a disaster of a milk flow as big as glaciers would wipe out numerous species especially fish, and perhaps stretch to Parliament. The stink would anyway.

    To add some satirical humour about milk (breast milk) I include this link which you have to agree that you are adult and strong enough to view, as it is from the USA where they have very high standards of thought and action.


    • greywarshark 6.1

      NZ – https://www.trc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Guidelines/Land-infosheets/LMmilk+disposal.pdf
      Contingency Plan for the Emergency Disposal of Milk – Taranaki Regional Council

      Waterbodies must be protected from contamination by milk The discharge of milk into natural water can seriously affect river and stream life including trout, native fish, insects and vegetation. Milk has a more severe effect on waterbodies than farm dairy effluent. The widespread dumping of milk could cause severe damage to waterways and the environment which would take some time to recover. The final cost to the environment could be greater than the original loss of milk.

      As well as instream life, there are other consumptive river users such as town supply reservoirs, industry, domestic users and livestock to consider. The consequences are, therefore, likely to be widespread

      After the Kaikoura earthquake:


      Wisconsin, USA has provided learning opportunities for us in social welfare methods, not in a positive way. Here in milk; dumping milk. If not up to standard at the gate of the processor, they send the truck on its way. So where and how is the milk dealt with?

      What is happening in the USA generally?

      1/7/2015 USA https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-01/milk-spilled-into-manure-pits-as-supplies-overwhelm-u-s-dairies
      Domestic output is set to be the highest ever for a fifth straight year. Farmers are still making money as prices tumble because of cheaper and more abundant feed for their herds. Supplies of raw milk are topping capacity at processing plants in parts of the U.S. and compounding a global surplus even with demand improving.


      17/10/2018 USA https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-17/america-is-drowning-in-milk-nobody-wants

      And the effects of exporting milk from the European Union which is destroying the receiving country's own production business. (Which we experience ourselves from our imports in a number of sectors.) The EU is not a benign entity.

      European milk is pouring into Africa, with disastrous effects for local herders and farmers.
      Multibillion-euro dairy multinationals are exploiting rock-bottom European milk prices to expand aggressively into West Africa. Over five years, they have nearly tripled their exports to the region, shipping milk powder produced by heavily subsidized European farmers to be transformed into liquid milk for the region's booming middle class.

    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      Fonterra's on the rapid road to extinction, in my view.

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        What would happen then Robert? As the price of dairy farms plummeted?

        It could be that we could get back to growing grain on the Canterbury Plains.

        Pollution of river water would go down, also bores might be usable again.

        The foreigners might leave their dreary farms and buzz back off to Europe and USA again.

        Fonterra might employ BERL or pther NZ firm, in co-ordination with the NZ Co-op Association to redraw the terms and conditions for Fonterra Co-op to enable good outcomes on a sustainable basis. People will still be drawn to dairy feeding off open fields that have reduced pollution, and they can practice better soil, water and pasture practice reducing drought effects, nitrate or nitrite and as much of Mulloon Institute practices as suitable.

        • Jenny - How to Get there?

          greywarshark 6.2.1

          28 July 2019 at 3:40 pm

          What would happen then Robert?
          As the price of dairy farms plummeted?

          It could be that we could get back to growing grain on the Canterbury Plains…..

          Great idea. Maybe we could grow soy there Grey. What do you think? Give the Brazilian rain forest a break. Make use of all the mothballed dairy factories.
          I wonder, how hard could it be, to convert the dairy factories from processing cows milk to processing soy milk?

          Keep people in jobs, and undercut the global market for soy, put an end to clearing virgin rain forest for soy plantations.


          • Jenny - How to Get there?

            Soy cultivation is a major driver of deforestation in the Amazon basin. Seeds from the soybean plant provide high protein animal feed for livestock, and 80% of Amazon soy is destined for animal feed; smaller percentages are used for oil or eaten directly. Today Brazil has 24-25 million hectares devoted to the growth of this crop, and is currently the second largest producer of soybeans in the world.


            In the last few years, soy production has become a major force in the destruction of rainforests and other critical ecosystems, most notably in Brazil.

            The US imports little soy from Brazil, since the US is a major soy producer. But other industrialized countries, such as those in the EU, as well as Asia, are major importers of soy products from Brazil.

            One of the ironies of the destruction of rainforests for soy production is that soy was seen by many as an alternative product to reduce the beef production that was responsible for so much rainforest clearing in recent times….


            The real irony is that irreplaceable virgin rain forest is being cleared to plant soy, While land in New Zealand suitable for cropping, is being changed into unsustainable and environmentally destructive dairy conversions, in the greed for profits from what the dairy industry call 'White Gold'

            • Robert Guyton

              Oats for "oat beverage" is the most exciting development here in the South. All the preparatory work has been done; best varieties selected, the product made and tested, funders sought and found, the market identified and tested and projections made and found to be exciting.


              Who'd have thunk?

          • greywarshark

            But most of the soybeans have been genetically modified haven't they? I wouldn't want us to have another part of our agriculture falling into overseas hands.

            • Jenny - How to Get there?

              A hard choice I admit. Personally I would be prepared to risk this, than see the rain forest ploughed under.

              Maybe NZ could specialise in GE free soy, and corner that market. Strict inport control of seed crops, and testing, should hopefully weed out GE altered soy

              P.S. This would be mild compared to what some scientists are seriously talkng about, ie massive increase of Nuclear power, unlimited use of GE altered crops, especially super photosynthesisers to capture carbon. Ocean seeding, global dimming by injecting particles into the stratosphere.

              You name it and they are thinking about it.

              And if the Business as usual establishment decide to resort to these sorts of extreme measures to continue polluting at current rates, you can bet that we the people will not have any say in the matter.

    • Graeme 6.3

      The problem wouldn't be so much what to do with the milk, that can be made into products with some shelf life, powder, cheese or butter until the cows are dried off. Easy process, done every year as feed declines and mimics the calf weaning going from milk fed to grass fed.

      The shit will hit the fan via the shareholder's cash flow and ability to service their debt. That will be the same with all the players in the industry. A prolonged disruption to markets or the distribution chain would be devastating to the dairy industry, and New Zealand.

      I hope the industry has a contingency to deal with the eventuality, other than going to government for a bailout, in which case Landcorp might end up as the operator of an effectively nationalised industry.

      • greywarshark 6.3.1

        Yes that too. I was concerned about the milk output, that would exceed the processes available to deal with it. As I showed from what other countries think, this isn't a light matter. The farms themselves would be ruined for future use until the milks solids in the grass could be dealt with.

        So the financial problem of each farmer would be magnified. Their legacy to the country would stink, and their legacy for themselves would see our land sold for a sad song to overseas speculators, or Landcorp and that might not be a bad thing.

  7. greywarshark 7

    White thinking about the disaster of a huge spill or dump of milk I remembered some background from the Exxon oil spill near Canada. (And of course there has been the Gulf of Mexico one too.)

    Exxon when they started shipping oil south from Alaska were informed by their actuaries? that a collision was a likely possibility once in 25 years and when given leave to go forward with the tankers, there were stipulations as to what precautionary and disaster-allleviating mechanisms they should have. They didn't keep to the rules; the effect of their oil spill from the Exxon Valdez* was huge.

    I haven't got my source for the above info handy but here is part of a summary of the situation prepared for an education class.) It points out the faults that were observable and repairable and the lack of integrity from this wealthy business cartel which should have shown great responsibility in carrying its sensitive cargo.


    Captain Joseph Hazelwood was at the helm of the tanker, and he altered the ship's course to avoid icebergs. At 11:53 pm, Hazelwood gave control of the ship to the Third Mate, Gregory Cousins, who tried to steer back to the original course. Unfortunately, Cousins didn't see Bligh Reef because the vessel's radar was broken (in fact, it had not worked for a year). So, on March 24th at 12:04 am, the Exxon Valdez collided with Bligh Reef.

    Hazelwood received much of the blame, being painted as a drunk who passed out and gave control of the vessel to his sleep-deprived Third Mate, Cousins. Stories of Hazelwood drinking in bars earlier that day surfaced and several charges were levied against him, including operating a vessel while intoxicated, reckless engagement, and illegally discharging oil. In the end, only the last charge stuck and he had to do community service and pay a $50,000 fine.

    It should be noted that Exxon had not fixed the radar, had ignored reports that Hazelwood had been drinking for three years prior to the accident (his driver's license had even been revoked due to drinking and driving), and it had failed to provide adequate equipment for oil spills. In fact, ten months prior to the spill, oil companies from Alaska (including Exxon) met to discuss the challenges that would occur if a tanker spilled oil in the middle of Prince William Sound. At the meeting, the companies discussed the impossibilities of a clean up in the area and indicated that, to have an effective cleanup, they would need to spend millions of dollars on equipment. So they voted against dedicating additional funds for such cleanup efforts.


  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Insight into the future & how to get there is facilitated by comprehension of social psychology: how individual minds operate in communal contexts. I've been citing research on this from a couple of cognitive scientists. Here's a section from the intro of their book that shows (via example) how collaboration emerges in the hive mind.

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

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

    The authors refrain from pointing out that this is a paradigm shift. IQ tests measure intelligence within, and the notion of collective intelligence has yet to gain currency.

    "To function, individuals rely not only on knowledge stored within our skulls but also on knowledge stored elsewhere: in our bodies, in the environment, and especially in other people." The authors have a classic scientific style of writing, so the reader is not inclined to realise how revolutionary this actually is. I didn't. It only became evident when I went through my photocopies, marginal-indicated key points, and later reviewed those.

    "When you put it all together, human thought is incredibly impressive. But it is a product of community, not of any individual alone." Obvious, really, but rarely noted due to the ruling paradigm being the cult of individualism.

    "The Cast Bravo nuclear testing program is an extreme example of the hive mind. It was a complex undertaking requiring the collaboration of about ten thousand people who worked directly on the project and countless others who were indirectly involved yet absolutely necessary, pike politicians who raised funds and contractors who built barracks and laboratories."

    "There were hundreds of scientists responsible for different components of the bomb, dozens of people responsible for understanding the weather, and medical teams responsible for studying the ill effects of handling radioactive elements. There were counter-intelligence teams making sure that communications were encrypted".

    Of course such massive-scale organising succeeded due to top-down authoritative decision-making. We are shifting into a world in which hierarchies are being displaced by networks. How to be collaborative in an organic natural way is the new challenge!

    • solkta 8.1

      where's ya link?

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        Wasn't one. I'm a ten-finger typist since 1970 so no real problem to digitalise from my photocopies. If you're interested in reading the book, try searching The Knowledge Illusion on your local library website catalogue. And/or check out the wisdom of the crowd on the Amazon reviews…

        • lprent

          I was a 10 finger typist for a while. But it turned out that the pace of typing to creating code wasn’t similar. I just did a *lot* of re-editing and wound up with wrist tendon issues. I had to take 6 months of very careful reading of books on API and very little typing.

          However two finger typing works well with the pace of creation. I have to move the arm rather than just the fingers. Never had a problem with that in the last 25 years.

          Rather than typing, you should look at a scanner and some free linux OCR software. If it is in a typed form, then it should scan fine. If in a bound form, then just slice the binding and you can auto-feed the sheets (and rebind later if required).

          The OCR should just require a bit of proof-reading and editing.

          Be lazy – it is easier on a long career and way easier on the wrists.

          • Dennis Frank

            Excellent point & I did actually think of that recently too. I was using a free OCR download about twenty years ago & somehow forgot the option after replacing the computer. So yeah, I know about the editing around that technology use. I'll consider getting back into it, but I'm currently using a cheap notebook after my Toshiba laptop died halfway through its 6th year a couple of months ago. Maybe getting something better soon…

    • greywarshark 8.2

      My mind says that – organising succeeded due to top-down authoritative decision-making. We are shifting into a world in which hierarchies are being displaced by networks. – may be a statement of perception, not a fact. It seems to me that there are background Wizards of Oz all round us, directing our decisions in subtle ways, so still authoritative. Sometimes one only realises this when presenting a thought that seems reasonable after prior consideration, and finding others being totally affronted by it.

      And if we had networks instead of directed from 'top-down authoritative decision-making', will those networks be like the Facebook tides that ideas of all sorts float around on, in an equality of opinion where facts don't count for anything and only need the appearance of respected authority. It is numbers that count; the mass can't be wrong applying to business demand, becomes the accepted guide to decision-making about important life decisions, ie whether to get out of the EU by the Brits.

      Lecretia Seales noticed this. And each person, after thought, could come up with their own example.

      • greywarshark 8.2.1

        This from incognito 7 1 1 2 OM 28/7

        What the ideology assumes is the sum of these individual actions delivers the best possible outcome for the greater good. In fact, it is claimed that this is the only ideology that can achieve this outcome. What is often downplayed or outright ignored is that people don’t make strictly rational decisions and choices and that they are heavily influenced by marketing, advertising, PR, and spin, et cetera. The ideology further ignores that choice is an allusion and in fact an illusion because it encourages mergers & acquisitions into large dominant market players and monopolies.

        You will find incognitos full comment here https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-28-07-2019/#comment-1640861 and think this will take you direct to it.

        This is the main thing I had in mind when thinking about networks replacing top-down authority in decision making. I don't trust either – I have reservations about both.

      • Dennis Frank 8.2.2

        Oh yes, the residual patriarchy & its operational elites are still operational. Yet the shift has reached historical epic proportions. The historian Niall Ferguson noticed and documents the trend comprehensively in his 2017 book…

        "His latest book, The Square and Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power, claims to be “a whole new way of looking at the world”. That seems like publisher’s hyperbole. The study of networks is not only all the rage in our “hooked up” era but, as Ferguson acknowledges, several historians and plenty of sociologists have been this way before."

        "The thrust of Ferguson’s argument is that the world is shaped by two distinct organisational forces: hierarchies and networks. This often seems a distinction without a great – or great enough – difference. Most networks are hierarchical, after all, and there are few hierarchies that are not in some sense part of a wider network."

        "But the division made, it gives a structure that allows Ferguson to do what he does best, which is to jump around history taking fascinating empirical facts from one place, compelling anecdotes from another, and pulling it all together into a powerful fast-paced narrative." https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/24/niall-ferguson-square-and-tower-networks-hierarchies-review

        "As Ferguson notes, the Illuminati survived by infiltrating the Freemasons, where they achieved little, ultimately collapsing and disappearing long before they were adopted by the lunatic fringe as the all-purpose sinister “they”. So what was their significance? Ferguson doesn’t really explain, other than to say that they were an example of the intellectual networks that were “an integral part of the complex historical process that led Europe from Enlightenment to Revolution to Empire”. From someone who is not bashful about making bold statements, this is a deeply underwhelming conclusion. But it stands as the basis for his case about the ambiguous, not always progressive nature of networks. It’s an argument that takes in the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the Cambridge Apostles, the Taiping revolt, Henry Kissinger, al-Qaida and so much else besides, right up to Twitter and Donald Trump."

        A hypercritical reviewer (takes one to know one) but who expects an academic historian to be profound nowadays? Swimming that far upstream not a good career move. I'm only 20 pages into my copy but liking it so far…

      • Janet 8.2.3

        Nah, seems to me that networking is anti social responsibility. New Zealand is being sliced up for a middle layer of parasites to move in and “control.” They are of the academic kind who have never really dirtied their hands but somehow think that their 2,3,or 4 years of “learning” entitles them to control and direct. They are moving in between government departments and the active people/contractors who have been directly doing the work eg: the Billion Trees project requires one to work with “advisor/procurement” people/companies – to ENSURE that the monies go to the rightful place because the man on the ground can not be trusted any more it seems. Imagine how it feels for a person with 35 years practical and theoretical experience to be confronted with a novice with 3 years academic study and no practical experience telling him what and how to do. The result is the second aim of this project – to create rural employment – is in fact doing the opposite. Instead it is collapsing the small very experienced local rural operators in favour of mega companies, who live 100,s of kilometres from the project , who then engage their networked mates , who also live 100s of kilometres from the project, to supply and implement from the project.

        The same is happening with DOC and Pest Control. They are stepping back from directly dealing with the man on the ground.

        The funding of these projects is being swallowed up by this new middle layer of networked “Controllers.” Their naivety and ignorance is compromising the excellence of a job well done both economically and practically, and is demolishing rural cohesion. Social Responsibility has flown out the window.

    • Robert Guyton 8.3

      "our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective mind.""

      I believe this is the case, but I would expand the definition of "collective mind" way out to include … everything really. Intelligence resides in the same space and place memory lives smiley

  9. greywarshark 9

    Yesterday from Radionz – Very interesting. A must hear really.

    09:30 Dr Florian Graichen – Tackling plastic waste

    Florian Graichen

    Florian Graichen Photo: Supplied

    Dr Florian Graichen is Science Leader, Biopolymers and Chemicals, at Scion in Rotorua.

    Scion is a Crown research institute that specialises in research and technology development for the forestry and wood industries.

    Dr Graichen has an extensive background in developing renewable and sustainable 'green' resources, including helping develop bioderived materials for the chemical industry to use instead of those taken from the petrochemical industry.

    Recently, Dr Graichen spoke at the Royal Society Te Apārangi Parliamentary Speaker's Science Forum about how New Zealand could tackle plastic waste through circular economy approaches.


  10. greywarshark 10

    Family send me random general emails This is a recent one.

    Here's a small sample of how many coal plants there are in the world today. I could go into using the advanced technology of thermally efficient, supercritical steam generators using our own world's best metallurgical coal; but what's the point, it is treated as hearsay and political hyperbole here in Oz.

    The EU has 468 coal plants, building 27 more for a total of 495. They tell everyone else it's their responsibilty to 'Save The Planet' from Climate Change.

    Turkey has 56 plants, building 93 more, total 149

    South Africa has 79, building 24 more, total 103

    India has 589, building 446 more, total 1035

    Philippines has 19, building 60 more, total 79

    South Korea has 58, building 26 more, total 84

    Japan has 90, building 45 more, total 135

    AND CHINA has 2363, building 1171, total 3534

    And our AUSTRALIAN politicians are going to shut down our 6 remaining plants and save the planet.

    We are in cuckoo land !!

    (If someone has information that puts this in context, it would be welcome.)

  11. greywarshark 11

    Interesting TED Talks on Radionz tonight.

    Our planet has a carbon problem — if we don't start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we'll grow hotter, faster. Chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox previews some amazing technology to scrub carbon from the air, using chemical reactions that capture and reuse CO2 in much the same way trees do … but at a vast scale. This detailed talk reviews both the promise and the pitfalls.


    Climate change requires a concerted effort from the world – but we have done this before with combatting the depletion of the ozone layer. We can do it again.




    Conventional meat production causes harm to our environment and presents risks to global health, but people aren't going to eat less meat unless we give them alternatives that cost the same (or less) and that taste the same (or better). In an eye-opening talk, food innovator and TED Fellow Bruce Friedrich shows the plant- and cell-based products that could soon transform the global meat industry — and your dinner plate.

    and further:

    And I saw this and it looks interesting (they all are).

    The biggest obstacle to dealing with climate disruptions lies between your ears, says psychologist and economist Per Espen Stokes. He's spent years studying the defenses we use to avoid thinking about the demise of our planet — and figuring out a new way of talking about global warming that keeps us from shutting down. Step away from the doomsday narratives and learn how to make caring for the earth feel personable, do-able and empowering with this fun, informative talk.


    Jared Diamond has been referred to by commenters here. Here he is talking about why societies collapse. (https://www.ted.com/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse

    Under is a comment on the TED talk by Jonathan Foley (link below but as another commenter stated – the volume is too low even when on 100%), but this comment states a lot of salient points:

    ivan Celleri Contreras
    Posted 2 months ago

    1)diversify our custom diet, ancestors had a more varied, nutritious intake/food supply, today we grow select crops, the soil loses.
    2)get family planning and birth control in peoples' head without controversy, religion, etc. on the other hand more people, more consumers, more economic growth, no easy solution and there are other points of view https://overpopulationisamyth.com/episode-1-overpopulation-the-making-of-a-myth/
    3)other solutions for water management https://youtu.be/tUgVlMDbyl4, https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_pritchard_invents_a_water_filter?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare
    4)rich nations pressure developing countries which supply their foods care not how, what, when, why, where, etc.as long as they include some little "Green" overviewer sticker somewhere.
    5)lack of sharing technology/science due to cold wars, trade wars, etc hurt everyone except the ones who benefit from these situations.
    6)Marketing is a double-edged sword, sells but does not deliver. Globalization bringing the world to a cookie cutter state than respect for cultural, ethnic, social, traditional, etc. differences. Free trade a scam, enslaves countries which cannot compete and are rushed, pressured to sign such deals usually under puppet governments. https://youtu.be/TAKHTXj2cCk
    7) 1st world countries talk about the 3 Rs, but don't do it https://youtu.be/oRQLilXLAIU
    8) well-funded organizations spend incredible amounts of money in research for projects to Mars(place where we will NEVER GO, somewhere in an American or African dessert as well documented by Star Wars) instead of finding money-making solutions for the Earth. We will all be eating burgers and fries before we resolve to stop using environmental and political schemes to destroy ourselves. Will just live as regular folk, we have no real influence, no matter what is said money talks. All things considered, by now I believe that the earth is flat TED interesting platform to share ideas…

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    As recommended by RG: https://www.amazon.com/New-Wild-Invasive-Species-Salvation/dp/0807039551

    I hope he won't mind if I cite from a negative review (I already mentioned I'm a fan of the author on OM today):

    "The author leaves readers ignorant of the difference between alien (place of origin) and invasive (behavior). He portrays himself flatteringly as bucking conformity, forgetting that there may be some wisdom in what the majority of ecologists have found to be true. Another technique used by apologists for invasive species is to ignore the rate of change. Pearce claims that the Everglades has always been in flux, and that therefore we should not be concerned about the comparatively radical pace of species introduction in recent times. Rate of change, as with the speed of a car accident, greatly influences the ecological disruption that ensues."

    "It’s taken awhile for me, in reading books, opeds, and articles that claim invasive species aren’t really a problem, to notice just how odd it is to judge the destructiveness of invasive species by whether they have caused native species to go extinct. Pearce says, “There have been extinctions among the natives, but remarkably few.” Are we really going to defend invasive species by saying they haven’t killed every last one of this or that native? What I’ve seen in the field is that a native species may still exist somewhere, but has become so rare and isolated as to be functionally extinct."

    "One last quote that I find highly disturbing: “That means we need to lose our dread of the alien and the novel. It means conservationists need to stop spending all their time backing loser species–the endangered and reclusive. They must start backing some winners. For winners are sorely needed if nature is to regroup and revive in the twenty first century–if the new wild is to prosper.”"

    "Winners, losers, nature portrayed as down and out, needing to regroup and revive–doesn’t this sound like Donald Trump’s portrayal of America as down and out, as having lost its greatness, and needing to back a winner? I’ve seen a lot of what Pearce might call “loser native species” begin to thrive once deer browsing has been curtailed and the invasive species competition has been diminished. More often than not, by protecting those “loser” species, we also protect habitats and a web of life of which that species is a part."

    For balance, here's an excerpt from a supporter of the thesis: "If you are one of those people who go around worrying about this or that invasive species ruining the wilderness you need to read this book."

    "Much of the supposed knowledge of how invasive species interact in a new environment is based on a few studies done decades ago and cited over and over. Some of those studies were small and flawed scientifically, yet we continue to use them to sup[port the idea that invasive species are always bad. Pearce provides some studies and recent findings that seem to suggest that we are getting it wrong-invasive species usually are benign or even helpful in the new environment. A forest is a forest for example whether it is of trees that grew in the area long ago or of species new to the area. Other species generally adapt after a short period to a new species in the environment and adding new species only rarely cause the extinction of species already in an environment."

    "Kudos to Fred Pearce for bucking the trend and presenting real information instead of going along with the "accepted" body of knowledge. I can hear the howling of the native species preservationists now. Its amazing how fanatic some of those crusaders against "invasive" species can be. I hope they read the book and re-think some of their positions."

    It's a good illustration of why I often scan the Amazon reviews. You get a quick `pro & con' perspective on each book. In this case, it alerts us to an ideological divide in the Green movement that reading the book alone may not reveal.

  13. greywarshark 13

    This is an interesting exchang from Monday 29 July on AirNZ and using alternative energy say batteries for domestic flights and how they might try to get greener. But they get tax allowances on fuel and don't have incentives.

    • Stuart Munro. 10

      29 July 2019 at 1:03 pm

      I'm a little skeptical of Air New Zealand as a supposedly green corporate – if we take AGW seriously theirs is a sunset industry. Better they diversify away from air travel to something more sustainable than shop around for the cheapest dodgy carbon offsets.


      • Jess NZ 10.1

        29 July 2019 at 1:10 pm


        It's not hard to identify the sunset industries. Industries have had to adjust to realities before and some disappear. We've already wasted a lot of time propping up polluters (impossible futures investment) instead of listening to sensible voices about the possible futures.


      • Andre 10.2

        29 July 2019 at 1:51 pm

        I wouldn't be quite so quick to write them off as a sunset industry.

        Recently I saw a credible calculation of current battery energy density, energy requirements of various aircraft etc that concluded commercial passenger aircraft relying on batteries could replace dino-juice planes for flights up to 2000km. Just using current technology, not factoring in future improvements.

        Last time I looked into it, current world bio-fuel production is about 1/3 of total aviation industry fuel use. So a zero fossil-fuel world with electric short flights and biofuel longer flights is entirely plausible.


        • Pat 10.2.1

          29 July 2019 at 2:10 pm

          A long way off even if we ignore the energy inefficiency of biofuels…in NZs case we use around 1.3 billion litres of aviation fuel p.a….as at 2015 we produced a total of around 6 million litres of biofuel (of all types)


          • Andre

            29 July 2019 at 2:16 pm

            When I looked into it, I compared on an energy basis, not litres basis. So if the worldwide biofuel industry works out how to produce more energy-dense fuels, such as butanol rather than ethanol, they'll get even closer. We shouldn't mistake the pathetically laggard efforts being made in New Zealand as indicative of what's happening worldwide.


            • Pat

              29 July 2019 at 2:38 pm

              As Kevin Anderson says, by all means continue the research, but do not rely on it be successful


            • Stuart Munro.

              29 July 2019 at 6:58 pm

              I'm sure there are technologies that can appreciably reduce carbon footprints, but until we're seeing some of them trialed or prototyped locally professions of concern about emissions would seem to be no more than that. Diversification to other transport modes would at least argue some kind of engagement with the issues.

              A vactrain between Auckland and Wellington for instance, would save a lot of avgas, and it would require a corporation with the size and engineering safety perspective of Air New Zealand to operate one. A less ambitious highspeed rail link would also suffice, but at this time neither seem to be contemplated. Net zero avgas will require a power of a lot of planting without such a substitution.


        • Jess NZ 10.2.2

          29 July 2019 at 3:23 pm

          If they changed all their fleet to use them today, would it save the industry and reverse global pollution problems?

          We depend not only on solutions but industries radically adopting them.


          • Andre

            29 July 2019 at 3:35 pm

            The industry has precisely zero incentive to change and use them. They have no need to be "saved", they're in a spectacularly privileged position. If you have a need to get angrier, research how many taxes airlines manage to avoid having levied on them that ordinary schmucks have to pay, particularly on fuels.

            If somehow the alien unicorns turned up and started excreting electric and biofuel airliners and supply plants out their back ends, it wouldn't reverse global pollution problems. It would only stop airlines further adding to them.

            Meanwhile, on actual earth, one of the quickest, most effective and politically palatable measures we could take to reduce the damage airlines do is to reduce or eliminate the cushy tax treatments airlines get, and start charging them for dumping their hazardous waste into the atmosphere. Ie, a carbon tax.


        • Dukeofurl 10.2.3

          29 July 2019 at 6:55 pm

          Thats just fanatasy about airplanes relying on battery technology up to 2000km. Some small scale work with 10 seaters or less for flights under 20 min.

          " Just using current technology, not factoring in future improvements."

          The energy density isnt there compared with aviation kerosene) , not even close. As planes are very weight dependent ( more weight more energy consumption), plus other features.

          Its clear you dont have the technical background when you make those sort of claims

          People who know have spelt it out

          We learned that batteries as energy stores leave a lot to be desired. Here a summary:

          • The battery stores 40 times less energy per kilo than Jet fuel.
          • While jet fuel gets consumed during flight, the battery weighs the same at take-off and landing.
          • A battery needs 20 times more space than jet fuel for the same energy content.

          The inefficiencies make the battery virtually impossible as an energy store for longer range aircraft. In addition, the battery has four times higher maintenance costs than gas turbines; it needs replacement after 1,500 charge cycles.



          • Andre

            29 July 2019 at 7:49 pm

            That 40x comparison is to the chemical energy stored in the fuel vs the electrical energy stored in a battery. Electrical energy gets turned into mechanical energy around 3 to 4 times more efficiently than fuel chemical energy gets turned into mechanical energy, because that chemical energy has to get turned into heat first by burning it. Anyone ignoring or hiding that aspect right off the bat, as your article writer does, has a credibility deficit right from the start.

            That article is only two years old, but there have been significant, if incremental improvements in battery engineering since then. Particularly with respect to managing charging to improve battery cycle life.

            The issues around around weight reduction during flight due to burning fuel while a battery stays constant, and that a battery is around 1/10 the propulsive energy density of fuel are some of the reasons why current technology might get an electric plane to a 2000km range maximum at best, while commercial flights are regularly running longer than 15,000km routes (the A350 XWB Ultra Long Range claims 18,000 km).

            Now maybe that 2000km hypothetically possible range using current technology is optimistic, maybe 1500 or 1200 is more realistic. Even at 1200km, that covers a hell of a lot of the flying that gets done. In NZ, it would cover almost all domestic flights.

            But because airlines are exempt from many of the taxes that get levied on fuels for other users, they really have fuck-all incentive to push for an electric option.


            • Dukeofurl

              29 July 2019 at 8:25 pm

              Thats partly correct. The gas turbine engine is 40% of the efficency of the electric motor. Dont know where you get 3-4 times.

              Anyway Leeham model an actual plane flight from first principles and due to the 'weight problem' and look directly at energy use find the electric plane uses MORE energy than the fuel one.


              "As described, our electric commuter has an empty weight of 6 tonnes with a Max Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 7 tonnes (one tonne of passengers with bags is added).

              "Our gas turbine design has three tonnes empty weight. To this we add one tonne of passengers with bags and 500kg of fuel. Take-Off Weight (TOW) is 4.5 tonnes. During the trip ~100kg of fuel is used. We land with 4.4 tonnes landing weight.

              They get into such things as induced drag – which increases with weight of plane and other such things

              "we assumed a consumption for the electric variant of 45kWh during take-off, 160kWh during climb, 250kWh during cruise and 20kWh during descent and landing. This gives a total energy consumption of 430kWh.

              "For the lighter gas turbine variant, we reduce these values with 20%. The fan shafts then consume 345kWh."

              As for your claims for 'multiples' of increase in battery efficency' they run up against hard boundaries of physical chemistry and issues around anode and cathode designs.

              Look for more detail on this


              The aircraft engineer who wrote the series had a follow up, and its even worse:

              I wrote batteries are 40 times heavier per energy unit (kWh/kg) than Jet fuel. A more correct figure would be 100 times. Battery systems designed for the first electric aircraft have a systems level energy specific weight of 0.12 kWh/kg and jet fuel is at 12kWh/kg. The battery systems might improve to 0.30kWh/kg over the next decade but not more. Not for certifiable battery systems. This is what Vittadini’s team told me.

              So an efficency gain of 2.5X over next decade still leaves them at 40x behind.

              Thats a big issue , safety is paramount for planes, and getting jet engines certified as reliable is a big step. Certifiable batteries are even bigger hurdle.


              To me you talking about 2000km trips isnt even on the radar

    [I don’t see a compelling reason why a whole discussion thread needs to be copied & pasted here when a link to the first comment of the thread would suffice. I’ll give you a chance to explain. In addition, these long threads contain too many links and require a Moderator to manually approve it. Lastly, you posted it a second time @ 15 below and if it is identical, as it appears to be, I will delete that one outright – Incognito]

    • Incognito 13.1

      See my Moderation note @ 8:44 PM.

    • greywarshark 13.2

      Sorry about the two postings I don't know what happened there. I did not get a note that I had posted before by the way lprent. Thanks for taking it out again. I see that this comment group did not contain a lot of links so presume you are referring to long information pieces I have put up recently, and hadn't checked up on the number of links which I understand shouldn't be more than 10. So sorry about that. I want to put info onto the blog with some background detail so we get to know some of the what and why.

      The reason for my putting the whole thing in How to get There is because I think that the How to should be a record of particular value for future searching and so contains the whole of the discussion archived so the subjects are self-contained.

      • Incognito 13.2.1

        I have deleted the duplicate comment.

        Each comment in the thread has a date link and a reply link and these add to all the other links in the text. Thus, it easily goes over the limit to trigger Auto-Moderation.

        I understand that you want it to be self-contained but you do understand that it is still contained under the original post (in this, embark-2019). Everything on TS is archived. The discussion thread that you are interested in is quite recent and quite possibly still evolving (growing), which you will miss out on doing it your way. Just saying.

        I will leave the whole thread as it stands.

        • greywarshark

          Thanks incognito I will keep that issue of the dates etc in mind. About the growing content, that could very well happen. I want to include in How To as many topics as possible but can't guarantee all and must do stuff as i remember it. Those looking in years to come will see what was being discussed. I try to keep up but some stuff will be missed. It's a project to have the future thinking of all sorts under one heading. Thanks for your consideration.

  14. harry 14

    sport include all forms of the physical activity or games. It helps to improve and maintain the physical ability or skill of the person who play any kind of a particular sport. Sport is of many kind like cricket, badminton, tennis, etc. sport also help the economy in generating revenue for the country. Nowadays, people are more interested into sports. In earlier time people thinks that if they are playing sports they are wasting time but the scene is changing people know that playing sports is also important like studying.

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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