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How To Get There 30/12/18

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, December 30th, 2018 - 139 comments
Categories: class war, climate change, Deep stuff, Economy, employment, energy, Environment, jobs, Politics, poverty, socialism, sustainability, tech industry, transport - Tags: , ,

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!

139 comments on “How To Get There 30/12/18 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    There’s a useful praxis in regard to the future, which increases with age and I often find essential: shifting body & mind into gear each morning. Going out for a walk is the eternal method, but I use a few limbering and stretching exercises. Around ten of each is all I seem to require.

    I was never able to incorporate the tai chi sequence, but just shifting your weight from one side to the other seems to work well – in tai chi the centre of gravity goes from above the front of one foot across to the front of the other. I’ve evolved a method of slow easy flowing oscillation for that. After 20 or 30 times you don’t feel the need to continue.

    The theory for that became widely known in the eighties: the right side of the body is controlled by the left brain hemisphere & vice versa. Oscillating between both therefore activates both brain & body simultaneously. It works. Walking just does the same thing over a longer time period.

    Not saying coffee is wrong – I do that too, after breakfast – but the discipline of exercise is a praxis that achieves more than coffee does. It allows motivation to emerge, which is crucial for actualising the future. A better way to get there!

    • Ad 1.1

      you sound like you need a good sized dog

      • Andre 1.1.1

        Maybe a robot dog considering the climate impact of feeding a real one.

        • Robert Guyton

          And doesn’t leave “dog rolls” in unexpected places in the garden; as a “barefoot gardener” and one who uses hands in preference to tools, finding those canine -cup-cakes is no joy.

    • Robert Guyton 1.2

      A most useful suggestion, Dennis. I roll from my bed, sit on it’s edge and stretch before I stand up; a kind of “salute to the sun” before sunrise. Then I’ve a walk downstairs, which focuses the mind. If I have to get up during the night (to bring in washing from the line as rain begins or something similar) I walk down those stairs in the dark. That focuses the mind further! When my daughter lived at home, she used to lead my wife and I in a yoga session before breakfast; that was the best of times; yoga is marvellous preparation for the day; I can’t praise its practice enough. I take your point, that it’s the discipline of doing something like this regularly that is where the greatest value lies, thanks.
      I too have a “suggestion of the day” to share: declutter! (More a command, really, aimed at myself 🙂

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        My daughter does yoga regularly. I agree that it serves a similar purpose as well as being more therapeutic but I’ve never been attracted to it, dunno why.

        Yeah, declutter is also a praxis, and one which isn’t easily adhered to! I declared myself an xmas-free zone 12 years ago, which eliminated the inflow of crap, but I’m still working slowly on reducing the marginally useful trash downstairs.

      • OnceWasTim 1.2.2

        Yes to the decluttering.
        I now regularly have a ‘purge’.
        I used to keep all manner of electronic componentry, screws, nuts and bolts and all sorts of other crap. The only trouble with that approach is you can never find what you want when you need it, or you have to invest so much time in trying to find it.
        And anything useful but not needed can go to the Sallies

        • Robert Guyton

          Op shops are my downfall; I buy such useful stuff there, quirky things you just can’t find anywhere else: a lantern in the shape of a pagoda, a soft-toy fox, pottery goblets in which I can serve my cider, only $1!
          My wife despairs.

    • Dennis Frank 1.3

      Oh, I should have explained better in case anyone tries that oscillation: you shift your weight so your knee moves back from above the ball of the foot as the other knee moves forward to above the ball of that foot. Important that you don’t hold either position static, but are in perpetual shifting mode, from one to the other.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3.1

        Hi Dennis

        I am guessing that what you are trying to get to in this thread, in relation to climate change and “how to get there”, is to do something. ie, make a start, get up, get active,

        • greywarshark

          I am guessing that Dennis is about ‘How to be, while you are being’. It is only partly of value to work towards getting a greener future, being more resilient practically, if there is no person inside the body.

          And if that person is not in a society that has a high standard of appreciation of one’s own soul and that of others, and of the animals’ version, that person has cheated themselves of their humanness. Body, mind and spirit or soul, together they can make humanity great again!

        • Sacha

          It’s not all about climate change.

        • Dennis Frank

          Correct, Jenny. Grey interpreted my comment well too, and Sacha correctly identified that climate change is merely the most relevant topic within the framing given.

          Worth mentioning that commentary here reflects our life experience, and those of us with a long history as change-makers have to develop resilience at a personal level as survival skill. Any advice we can offer to further resilience at the community level is only helpful to the extent that others can assimilate it into praxis, so I offered it in hope that some will benefit from it.

      • Gabby 1.3.2

        I do that when I need to pee franky.

        • Dennis Frank

          You have good control over the oscillation extent, then. Or else you spend lots of time mopping the toilet floor, thinking “Goddam, oscillated too far again.”

  2. bwaghorn 2

    How to get there on climate change?
    Be realistic stop hoping everyone will become some eathmother father type living on the minimum.
    Stop being idealistic. We have 1000s of hectares of tussock that would be under conifers in 10 years if we wanted . The snails will cope .
    If there is a machine that can recycle carbon from the air into fuel use it because it will help a little .
    Go after the non essential pollution more than the food growers. All you farm haters probably still jet off here and there most years.
    If there is to be a carbon tax spend the money in this country on science and mitigation. Don’t just let it disappear

    • mauī 2.1

      The climate is all the Labour supporting tussock’s fault?

    • greywarshark 2.2

      The practical man, bwaghorn, gets on and does it, gets things moving. But hey, think it out in full first or you not only shoot yourself in the foot, you deny others the right to have a better solution. There is an opportunity cost for everything; while you put money and planning into one type of action, there may be two or more that would have been better, cheaper, slower perhaps because they involved training young people to learn the skills, but oh so much more satisfactory and effective and long-lasting.

      Importing rabbit colisi? virus at the wrong time of the year made its value doubtful, apart from it being illegal. That’s one solution that wasn’t satisfactory long-term and caused pain short term to some, and alleviation didn’t last long. The government needed to move better, but had tended to fund farmers to do it themselves which they thought good. An old bloke who knew how well that system worked told me that most farmers didn’t bother to maintain controls, and spent the money elsewhere with occasional purges. Planning and consideration of the best method, allowing for unintended consequences is absolutely necessary.
      An example is the 1080 solution, which has been monitored and mistakes rectified, and the alternatives found unsatisfactory.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Go after the non essential pollution more than the food growers.

      Most of the food grown in NZ is non-essential thus the pollution that it creates is also non-essential.

      When there’s only 5 million of us then there’s no need to grow food to support 100 million.

      • bwaghorn 2.3.1

        You are the most xenophobic person here we may feed only 20 mill of the wealthier people on the planet but if we didn’t they would get there food from others so someone would have less.

        • Draco T Bastard

          1. I’m not xenophobic
          2. If we didn’t waste so much of our labour fucking over our environment doing farming they could do something else – become doctors, nurses, manufacturing, etcetera. So, no, we wouldn’t have less but there’s a high probability that we’d be better off.

          • greywarshark

            You missed out one point in your list and that is, if we didn’t waste so much of our food and didn’t operate business in a narrow frame of profit maximisation there would be enough to go around, and still need less supply than now.

            There are many supermarkets that won’t give any of their leftovers away to food banks, really needy people. They lock it into their bins and dump it.
            They might lose a few dollars of turnover by giving it to some organisation that organises boxes of the slightly stale leftovers. And dumpbin divers are locked out so even if you are reduced to those depths, literally, they give you no chance.

            The local Kai Rescue in Nelson has to account to the Council? their funders?
            the public?, probably all three, and weigh everything, and have a well-run system. They have saved tonnes of food from the dump. And the suppliers are really appreciated I can tell you.

    • patricia bremner 2.4

      While we are doing all you suggest we do, may we ask…. What my earth dwelling friend will you be doing?

      No one will be a spectator in the coming changes… we will all be participants.
      Success will be dependent upon our combined level of useful active participation.
      Prevarication blaming and denial won’t help our situation.

      Everyone who thinks their pollution is essential is part of the problem.
      ‘Be realistic” you cry. We say “Find more earth friendly methods to grow the food.”

      Please look at the studies and suggestions which are freely out there to improve husbandry practice.

      • veutoviper 2.4.1

        IIRC bwaghorn works as a shepherd – in other words, out there with far more practical experience of nature in the raw than most of us urban based dwellers.

        Personally, i really want to hear and listen to what people like him have to say.

      • bwaghorn 2.4.2

        I’m would call myself a brutal realist also quiet a slacker. So I’ll vote for the best Gov I can get and hope . But other than that I think were fucked so I’ll muddle along enjoying a few small pleasures while looking after those close to me as best I can .

    • Gabby 2.5

      The tussock might be performing a function that pines aren’t up to waggers, like holding up the hillsides.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Too much hippy-dippy stuff, you reckon, bwaghorn 🙂
    “We have 1000s of hectares of tussock that would be under conifers in 10 years if we wanted .”
    Let the wilding pines roam free, you mean? There’s a following for that idea, but then again, there’s Proof. Marks who studies tussock fields and says they are unparalleled in collecting moisture from the air and directing it down into the aquifers, thence to the lowlands to be used by your beloved cow farms 🙂
    “Go after the non essential pollution more than the food growers.”
    How about as well as ? The “food growers” (you mean livestock farmers, right?) are making and will have to make changes to their lands practices. A little niggle from us “earth mother/father” types is helping that change along; without us kumbayaying at them, they’d probably not notice anything was wrong 🙂
    ” All you farm haters probably still jet off here and there most years.”
    Probably not, I’m guessing, but in any case, air travel is a different issue and one that could do with a good thrashing out here as well.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      “Proff. Mark” and the edit function seems to have dematerialised.

    • bwaghorn 3.2

      We need carbon locked up don’t we . ?? That is the only thing we should be focusing on . Pretty hard to have an environment if we turn the planet into venus .
      I have no affection for the dairy explosion so it wouldn’t pain me if Canterbury went back to dry land farming .
      My main point is we should be doing every little and big thing keeping in mind that most humans are grabby simple minded apes that in a democracy hold the power .
      So let the trees be free . Spend the tax in nz .
      And science really is the only way out of this .

      • mauī 3.2.1

        We need carbon locked up… an answer is right under the farmers feet.

        Soil holds more than three times the carbon found in the atmosphere….


        • bwaghorn

          Yip and alot of study is being done on it in nz.
          Of course the fact that the best way to increase soil carbon is to irrigate dry land won’t go down well with most here as in humid areas soil carbon is near maximum holding levels .

          • greywarshark

            I wonder? ‘Of course the fact that the best way to increase soil carbon is to irrigate dry land won’t go down well with most here as in humid areas soil carbon is near maximum holding levels .’

            Knowledgable comment on the above please.

            • bwaghorn

              I googled soil carbon sequestering and it was on a nz site . Would have linked but am unable to link from Google searches. I’m sure its doable but not by a luddite like me .

          • Robert Guyton

            Wouldn’t it be better, in terms of carbon “capture”, to grow trees, shrubs, vines and a mixed understory on those dry lands?

            • bwaghorn

              Probably but how they going ta have trips to wanaka if they are liveing the RG life.

              • Robert Guyton

                They could…live in Wanaka; and ” grow trees, shrubs, vines and a mixed understory on those dry lands”. Live the RG life right there 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard

          Soil carbon storage not the climate change fix it was thought, research finds

          Hopes that large amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide could be buried in soils appear to be grossly misplaced, with new research finding that the ground will soak up far less carbon over the coming century than previously thought.

          Radiocarbon dating of soils, when combined with previous models of carbon uptake, has shown the widely assumed potential for carbon sequestration to combat climate change has been overestimated by as much as 40%.

          Scientists from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) found that models used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assume a much faster cycling of carbon through soils than is actually the case. Data taken from 157 soil samples taken from around the world show the average age of soil carbon is more than six times older than previously thought.

          Opinion: Soil carbon sequestration is an elusive climate mitigation tool

          For nearly 2 decades, researchers in the soil science community have studied and estimated the potential of sequestering carbon in soil organic matter (2, 3). The premise is inherently rational: nearly 10,000 years of cultivated agriculture has reduced global soil carbon by 116 Gt (4), an amount equivalent to more than a decade of the present rates of industrial emissions. Through changed agricultural techniques, it is proposed, much of this carbon can be restored to domesticated soils and thus serve as a significant tool to mitigate climate change, providing a wider timeframe for society to decarbonize. Unfortunately, both cultural and scientific challenges suggest that this proposal is overly optimistic and inherently flawed.

          More study needed but it doesn’t sound like the quick fix you want.

          • Robert Guyton

            Yikes! That’s the innovative livestock farmers chastened then!
            What about charcoal/terra preta, Draco? Was that included in the studies?
            Is that the “missing link”?

          • bwaghorn

            Way to prove my point .
            It won’t get all the carbon so let’s not do it a draco .

            If it can remove 3% of excessive carbon its worth doing .
            Ever little bit is far better than the silver bullet you seek.

            • Robert Guyton

              Who’s seeking a silver bullet? Discussions here point to a nuanced, multi-faceted approach. Draco did say: “More study needed but it doesn’t sound like the quick fix you want.” That doesn’t sound like he’s rejected the proposal. Incorporating char into the soil does sound like a goer though, doesn’t it? We’re not seeking a silver bullet, more silver buckshot, as someone said here recently.

              • greywarshark

                But there is a tendency to find a fault in a theory and then imply that it wasn’t much good. A practical way to handle this would be for DTB to have said – “More study needed and it sounds promising for betterment but not likely to be a quick fix.” Then a sound critique expressing doubt, but everyone would be happy.

          • joe90

            More study needed but it doesn’t sound like the quick fix you want.

            In a suite of fixes, horses for courses.

            Forests have long served as a critical carbon sink, consuming about a quarter of the carbon dioxide pollution produced by humans worldwide. But decades of fire suppression, warming temperatures and drought have increased wildfire risks—turning California’s forests from carbon sinks to carbon sources.

            A study from the University of California, Davis, found that grasslands and rangelands are more resilient carbon sinks than forests in 21st century California. As such, the study indicates they should be given opportunities in the state’s cap-and-and trade market, which is designed to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.


      • joe90 3.2.2

        The wonderful Dr Sarah Taber on carbon sequestration via trees versus other plants.


        So there's a whole world out there of plants that can sequester carbon: ForestsGrasslandsWetlandsSeagrass meadowsKelp forestsBut when we talk "sequestering C with plants," we always mean trees. Because cultural biases.— Dr Sarah Taber (@SarahTaber_bww) December 11, 2018

        Carbon sequestered in marine environments.

        "Blue carbon," or carbon sequestered in marine environments, is a pretty new field of science. It covers carbon held in plant life like seaweeds, mangroves, seagrass meadows, and tidal marshes.so basically anything run by Aquaman pic.twitter.com/xsReoiQbjV— Dr Sarah Taber (@SarahTaber_bww) December 12, 2018

        • greywarshark

          I haven’t looked at the links but wonder how the soil carbon sequestration
          works, and is it calculated separately to the plant, shrub and tree carbon sequestration? So that is my next newbie information quest. I’ll read the links and see if it is explained there.

        • Robert Guyton

          “Blue carbon”!
          Beautiful. What a great re-focus your comment is., joe90.
          Hard to do anything about though, in the garden. Big ups to those who are working with the idea though – I wish them all the best!

  4. Jenny - How to get there? 4

    The dance between people and leaders is a subtle one. J.

    We are living in an age when activists must become politicians and politicians must become activists. J.

    In this country, the last person to combine both these roles to the greatest effect, and win major policy gains from a minority position, was Rod Donald.

    In the US it looks to be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    Can a Green New Deal boost the US economy and save the planet?
    Chelsea Whyte – New Scientist, December 13, 2018

    Support for the Green New Deal, a plan to eliminate US greenhouse gas emissions and create millions of jobs, is growing, in part thanks to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young, progressive Congresswoman just voted into office.

    The goals of the Green New Deal are wide-ranging. They include moving the US to 100 per cent clean and renewable electricity by 2035 and zero net emissions by 2050, while creating 10 million jobs to build out energy infrastructure.

    Tying climate change solutions to jobs is a clever plan. It could follow the path to success demonstrated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), an Obama-era law that increased access to healthcare……

    • Jenny - How to get there? 4.1

      The need for leadership is inescapable.

      Indisputably, our species greatest strength is in our ability to work as a collective, or team.

      Whether it is building a house, or a road, or crossing an ocean ti all requires team work, a collective effort.

      Whether this team is coerced or voluntary. to channel any collective effort requires leadership.

      And the greatest task ever faced by humanity will require the biggest collective effort ever undertaken outside of World War.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 4.1.1

        (Sometimes you have to state the obvious)

        What are the two ingredients for a successful collective effort?

        As I stated above one is leadershuip, the other is the team, the collective, the movement, (whatever you like to call it)

        Donald Trump has it. Bernie Sanders had it. Alexandria Cortez has it.

        Hilarly Clinton never had it.

        Clinton’s so called ‘Pant Suit Nation’ was a figment of her, (or her advertising committees imagination).

        As one wag once said, ‘The last person to look good in a pants suit, was Mary Tyler-Moore. Which sort of hinted at how out of touch Clinton was.

  5. Grafton Gully 5

    “We have 1000s of hectares of tussock that would be under conifers in 10 years if we wanted”. Probably if we wanted or not.
    Mangroves too.
    I used to panic and be aggressive towards introduced plants and animals but I’ve grown to accept and enjoy most of them and see “pest control” as a waste of life and a losing mission to bend the world my way. I still weed out oxalis and wandering willy and scatter ant sand. Feels satisfying and works for a while, but ultimately futile. Might as well accept and learn to enjoy and live with them.

    • bwaghorn 5.1

      Those rich city dwellers just want their water views that’s why they clear mangroves the fucking idiots.
      As for conifers those southern farmers running round asking for handouts to fight wildlings can go jump . We in ths north fight all manner of weeds out of the farm budget so can they.

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.1

        Whoa! An incendiary activist in our midst! And a shepherd to boot!

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        That expansion is down to widespread deforestation and the subsequent erosion has greatly increased the availability of the sediments that mangroves flourish in, Horstman wrote, relying on earlier research.

        Seems that it was the farmers that were the original problem – again.

        • bwaghorn

          If it wasn’t for farmers you’d be using skins to cover your bare arse and dodging bears and the competition out in europe some where.

          • Robert Guyton

            Maori covered theirs with soft harakeke fibre and didn’t care one whit about bears.

            • Andre

              Pouakai would have been a worry though. Until they were wiped out.

              • Robert Guyton

                Only for the tamariki – they’d never have lifted a bloke or blokess.

                • Andre

                  Munch ’em where you crunch ’em. They wouldn’t have lifted a big moa either.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Maybe broken its neck though. Or driven it over a cliff.
                    I wish they were still about. You could always wear an empty ice-cream container on your head, the way Aussies do to avoid magpie attack.

                    • Andre

                      Apparently bone remains suggest they grabbed ’em from behind then crushed their skulls.


                      You ever been up close and personal with a really big bird of prey? I’ve been fairly close to something that was a bit less than half the weight of a pouakai, and when it snapped its beak at me it seemed like a firefighter’s jaws of life were coming for me. Drumpfelthinskin took a lot of mocking for that incident with a bald eagle in his office, but I gotta confess I probably would have reacted the same way.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Interesting to hear what it’s like at the beak-face, Andre. My closest encounter was with a bald eagle, stuffed and mounted, on a pedestal, at the museum I worked in as “educator” – I’d placed the bird there and it fell, beaking a passing kid right on the noggin! I thought, I’m in trouble, the parents thought, we’re in trouble and the kid who had rocked the plinth thought, I’m in trouble, but also in pain! It all ended well – they continued on their way and I never breathed a word – till now 🙂

            • bwaghorn

              The other tribes made bears look friendly on occasion though a?

    • Robert Guyton 5.2

      “I used to panic and be aggressive towards introduced plants and animals but I’ve grown to accept and enjoy most of them and see “pest control” as a waste of life and a losing mission to bend the world my way.”

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    “If there is a machine that can recycle carbon from the air into fuel use it because it will help a little” – bwaghorn

    There is. But plants capture the carbon, and the machine (a pyrolisation unit) converts all manner of organic waste to charcoal for carbon sequestration, and biofuel.

    It will help a LOT. It is a total game changer.

    Lehmann, Johannes, and Stephen Joseph, eds. Biochar for environmental management: science, technology and implementation. Routledge, 2015.

    While you were decrying the hard time farmers are getting we were posting all manner of useful information containing methods for carbon capture and climate change mitigation.

    In addition, most of the things I write about actually improve a farmers lot while being sustainable. Water retention, fuel, food, shelter, nitrogen fixation, support species, biodiversity, crop diversity, pollination, pathogen reduction… If you want to be reliant on water pipes, fertiliser, herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, power lines, antibiotics etc, forever… carry on.

    If you want to thrive as a sustainable farmer, which the planet now demands, maybe you want to read a little more and sling mud a little less.

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      Six years ago I did a couple of shows on biochar for GreenplanetFM, which I trust can be listened to via this link, if you or anyone else is interested: https://www.ourplanet.org/Default.aspx?CCID=34961&FID=629092&ExcludeBoolFalse=True&ID=/greenplanetfm/search-results

        • greywarshark

          BIOCHAR – just want to put that on our radars if like me, you haven’t heard much about it. I do think that people taking an interest in what the devoted practitioners and scientists say will form a bloc that will help move things faster than waiting for the golden penny to drop into the slot on the head of agency leaders, CEOs and their pet politicians!

        • WeTheBleeple

          Couldn’t get it to run it started then stopped. The authority on the subject is the book I linked those folk have been working on it since the initial Terra Preta discovery.

        • Robert Guyton

          “lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum”
          Interesting interview there, Dennis and I enjoyed learning about your by-line 🙂

          • Dennis Frank

            Oh, it worked for you then. Wonder why it failed for WTB. Had to google the latin – and even after reading the page am still none the wiser for it!

            Not sure about the by-line ref, unless it means you also listened to Tim interviewing me several months earlier. If so, then that dimension of life would be too challenging for almost all here, eh? Shame, since it’s extremely resilience-inducing in the application thereof! 😎

            • Robert Guyton

              Do you have a link for that interview?
              I’m up for it.

              • Dennis Frank

                I’ve learnt to side-step self-promotion opportunities. In a culture of narcissism, being non-conformist sets a better example. Praxis.

            • Robert Guyton

              This is the Brian Eno link I share around:

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah, cool. Scenius? I agree the role played by social context in artistry is too-often ignored, or unrecognised. And, as you mention elsewhere, the wild is a vital context. I’ve prospered by living wild while seeming to be part of the scene. Mediating the shift from imaginal to real & back, and the reverse shift. Not easy, a long learning curve. I ended up with alt-Aotearoa as the brand for the niche I’ve occupied since the sixties.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Are there others in your niche?
                  Today, an “Angelo” (‘patently means you’re from Los Angeles) played her crystal bowls, Tibetan-style, in our big ger, to a group of young women living in our village while we husbands and grandfathers minded the children elsewhere. Is that wild or tame? Hard to say. The babysitting got a bit wild. By the time the bowls stopped ringing, we blokes were shattered 🙂

    • Pat 6.2

      Got a non spray method to control broom?….just before i buy some Tordon.

        • Pat

          Thanks for the link…I see it was released here 10 years ago so I wandered down and had a look for galls….sadly no sin, but is the healthiest looking broom Ive ever seen and judging by the pods it may be a mast year…tordon it is.

          • Robert Guyton

            The broom mite’s not a wipe-out agent, by any stretch of the imagination. Why anyone ever thought it would be puzzles me. Broom management always depends upon the site, the history and the needs of the manager. One size/solution doesn’t fit all.

            • Pat

              They dont claim it is apparently (although it was released not far from here 18 months ago and 10 years ago in nth canty there is no sign here so obviously hasnt spread as yet)….but its probably a good option for the riverbeds which are a sea of yellow here in spring

              • Robert Guyton

                The best management agent to suppress the growth of broom is canopy closure 🙂
                You can’t buy that in a plastic container from Wrightsons.

      • mauī 6.2.2

        Work with the broom, rather than against it. It only grows to a a couple of metres high. Wait for a few (several) years for larger trees to grow through and above it, or cut gaps in it and plant what you want in it and wait for them to top it.

        I’ve had to cut out lots of broom before, sure it was rewarding to be slowly clearing ground. But when you go back next year and see that the old generation left a ton of seed in the soil and new plants are springing up where you cleared, there has to be a better way. Same goes for gorse, worth trying a new approach than continual poisoning.

        • Pat

          tell me about it…, since i got rid of the sheep ive been cutting it but its a losing battle, although theres some trees planted it isnt having an impact and likely wont for some years so its gonna have to be spray for now

          • WeTheBleeple

            Yeah brooms even harder than gorse it’s a crappy nurse it crowds other plants out. Shame you don’t have the mite there they will weaken it for sure then you could plant over it. The thing with biocontrol is it is susceptible to farmers/orchardists, overzealous rose growers… If it got released then someone had an insect problem, sprayed for that… doh! As they spread slow they’re probably knocked back faster than they can spread at times. Be nice to get some local data on them now.

    • Robert Guyton 6.3

      Slinging mud – wasn’t that a solution offered for cleaning out our estuaries 🙂
      Charcoal is a stable form of carbon that has multiple added benefits. Perhaps our role is to multiply the natural carbon scrubbers, like seaweeds and trees, but also apply our cleverness to the next level of carbon capture, and char the crap out of it 🙂

      • WeTheBleeple 6.3.1

        Char the crap… a decent plan indeed!

        Many nutrients are retained when you char crap. All the pathogens are dead and the charcoal has immense surface area for colonisation of soil microbes including mycorrhizal fungi which love the stuff.

        Humanure has long been considered too ick for westerners to deal with, turning it into fuel and soil amendments/carbon storage makes sense. You can go the other route and use biodigestion for fuel and composts, but you’ll get a lot more carbon stored with the char. Char can help farmers too. Higher production, less nutrient losses, some power, carbon credits?

        Any industry with waste streams of organic solids might jump on the char bandwagon.

        It’s unfortunate you got slagged for suggesting biochar bwaghorn, I got a similar nonsensical pounding for mentioning soil carbon sequestration.

        Some people want to shout we’re doomed already, I’m not convinced. We’re imperiled, yes.

        I don’t think there’s any magic bullet but there are certainly a number of ways we can turn things around.

        Water, soil, power, waste, agriculture – the management of these is critical. Work on one aspect enhances the others in many cases.

        Water management enhances ag and hydro power
        Soil management enhances water and ag
        Waste management enhances ag and power and water
        Agricultural management enhances water, soil, power and production

        Ag management = on farm water, soil and waste management.

        The manner in which these ideas all start to tie together is promising. We are up against a myriad of things all tied together. We need ecologically sound plans for resilient systems where the sum is greater than the parts. We also need to keep it relatively simple.

        We could start by charring forestry slash, amending it with salmon (or other) waste, and using that as a pasture amendment to store carbon and reduce fertilizers. Win for farmers, fish farmers, rivers, forestry, the planet…

        Biochar also helps retain soil water, hint hint Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay.

    • bwaghorn 6.4

      Yes I’m aware of and linked it here a while back but because it still burned carbon was told it’s no good .

  7. greywarshark 7

    This was in Open Mike and thought it was a good example of using modern machinery to replace other systems as being better for the environment. May not be ideal for ever, but a good move for now do you think?

    30 December 2018 at 11:22 am

    Drones have rather limited range and endurance, so are really just an addition to people on foot for direct control. We’re doing some experiments with mustering deer in rough blocks with a drone, very early days yet but some success but some huge limitations. They don’t have the presence of a helicopter which combined with most deer’s fear of helicopters from meathunting days generally means deer will go away and down easily from a helicopter. The cunning ones will try and hide in thick scrub. With the drone most deer will hide in the scrub (and wait for the battery to go flat) if they can and have to be flushed out on foot. But the drone is awesome for observation and moving them in the clear.

  8. patricia bremner 8

    Robert, I loved your seasonal write ups explaining what was happening on your patch of recovered bush. It was always a pleasure to share a “happy place”. Bless.

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Thanks, Patricia. Sharing a happy place is the most powerful influencer of all, I reckon, because it’s real and everybody wants to be real happy 🙂

  9. greywarshark 9

    I’ll leave your question for some well informed person to explain what you ought to be able to work out for yourself. But querulous questioners may learn something at some time in their lives.

  10. greywarshark 10

    My remark at 9 should have been 7.1.1 to Morrissey but I muffed it.

    This about the ability of certain native shrubs to control Ecoli is interesting. (20/7/2018)

    Previous tests have shown E coli died off much faster under mānuka than under pasture, and significantly reduced the leaching of nitrate compared with pine trees and grass.

    But what happens if manuka take up something like Ecoli – does it harm the bees, come out in the honey? What about if cleaning up land spoiled with leachate, Taranaki fracking, mine spoil dumps etc?

    • WeTheBleeple 10.1

      These microbes become the food for other organisms, amoebas, ciliates etc. The wastes of the microbes predators are plant available nutrients the trees take up, not the microbes themselves.

  11. Janet 11

    I read Dr Suess ‘s book The Lorax one too many times to my son. He has lived his life ( now 50 ) farming sustainably but he also considers Needs and Th’needs.
    There is so much produced in this world that we simply do not need and finally they fill up our rubbish sites. The “de-clutter” mentioned above alludes to this.
    Manufactured items must be “needed ” and designed to last as long as possible. That could be regulated and import bans on Th’needs is needed to send the message to the manufacturers that this stuff is polluting our world in many ways.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Agree that book was so onto it. Your message is good and I hope you can keep it warm like Horton on his egg, and it soon hatches out while the circus is on; before the audience leaves.

  12. Sanctuary 12

    One idea I would lift from the USA is a left wing government funding the appointment of community organisers to disadvantaged communities. They would be a person whose job it is to coordinate cooperative work and campaigning carried out by local residents to promote the interests of the local community, for example to oppose a motorway being rammed through a poor suburb or to make sure everyone is enrolled.

    A good few dozen of these people nation wide would really help engage disdavantaged communities in the democratic process.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      And also have something in those communities that people can do to increase the solidarity and give a jolt to the sneerers who like to say ‘Those People Are Just Lazy and A Waste of Space’. Superior and snotty.

      The sorting of food for leaders of groups who are needing help is one way to help – also the koha sheds where clothes etc have to be sorted, carried, washed, hung, etc. Men and women needed there. Male muscle is needed and helpful and in short supply often, as well as their other skills.

      People working together, helping themselves and others at the same time, it’s a good feeling. You meet good people who are not moaners and takers, have a few laughs, share morning tea, feel happy, doing good for others and yourself.

    • Dennis Frank 12.2

      I agree with this idea. Problems with this sort of idealist scheme tend to emerge when they get put into practice, so I’d be inclined to put a clause in their contract that their tenure depends on community support.

      That would give them an incentive to actually do the job as specified, rather than just pretend (or go on a pub crawl, or surfing instead). Incorporate a recall mechanism. Another way would have their pay auto-suspend when a formal performance complaint arrives.

      I suspect Obama was a good community organiser. I say that as someone who mostly criticised his performance as president. I prefer the voluntarist ethic (produces authenticity), but have no problem with govt funding as long as accountability is included in the design.

    • greywarshark 12.3

      Along with community organisers could be community nurses as originally in the USA prior to 1910. These, as described in the Sue Barton books below, may have a regular beat, not just tied to a schedule of checking bandages and newly recovering patients home from hospital as with our district nurses. I don’t know if DHBs still use this system.

      (Note: In Canterbury NZ early on the Nurse Maude organisation helped with health care (still operating, and Christchurch has a free or koha hospital service for the poor.) I think that they had a washing machine when they were new, and drove that round the district helping with that requirement – (wet clothes are heavy and hanging out to dry impossible for people recovering from operations, with stitches etc.)

      Sue Barton was the main character in a series of books about USA public nursing.

      There is a Visiting Nurse Association in the USA

      Also a paper on how USA Public Health Nursing could have been more effective.
      Public Health Then and Now.
      …The work of nurses had expanded to include a variety of preventative programs. [eventually taken over by …education or health departments]…
      this article considers why a movement that might have been significant in
      delivering comprehensive health care to the American public failed to reach
      its potential. (1985 citation)

      • patricia bremner 12.3.1

        Reading your submission triggered a memory. Helping my Gran do her sheets.
        Wet they weighed at least 20kg!! Wrung out with the mangle about 10kg!!
        They were solid real cotton, and incredibly thick. I have some that are now drape backing and they are 75 years old!!

        That is another issue with modern materials. They are made light for transporting, not resilient for long use.

        • greywarshark

          They don’t make ’em like that these days patricia. I remember in the story They Called me Te Maari, Florence Harsant was writing about being a farmer’s wife. She had to wash by the creek, filling the copper and I suppose she had a roller fixed to get the washing out leaving the hot water behind. Then she might have rinsed in the creek. It would have been very physical work.

          She was slightly irritated as time went on and the family grew, that her brother in law who was in partnership with her husband always found a way to put any profit back into the farm instead of providing her with a machine, and leaving her with this back-breaking task.
          (She later as well, took on the role of a teacher to her and nearby children.)
          It’s almost sounding like a version of The Four Yorkshiremen, Pythonesque.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Dennis Frank at 12.2
    I am having trouble getting this comment up re yours about not misusing funding for community purposes. So will try again without linking to reply button:-

    Part of the scheme for disadvantaged communities should include some times of enjoyment. I don’t think that the average person understands the depths of bitterness that the righteous or those saturated with neo-lib behaviours can reach when thinking of the needy. They can sink to not wanting poor people to have any pleasure or gaiety in their lives if they are getting public services.

    So going surfing could be a treat, and a rare trip to anywhere, if they are from a poorer area. It would be essential to have a plan agreed as to this, how much, how many, where to, numbers of helpers etc. But it could also be good to have reliable members of the family come along – life can be narrow and joyless at the bottom of the ‘rubbish’ bin, which is how many view people of little income. We had Health Camps once when there was an idea of inclusion in society and help for parents as worthy people!

    I remember Rodney Hide making derogatory comments about an alternative school for those expelled, drop-outs or who had problems attending regular school. Some of the youngsters had been taken to a golf driving range. It could have been seen as providing the physical education that used to be part of the curriculum, and a reasonable idea for a school without playground. Of course many of the children would have difficulty with long periods of inaction, and look forward to sporting, physical activities. But no, his tight little mind couldn’t cope, as is with most of these class and wealth-oriented people.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Can the mod when you have time see if there is a comment from me for this post
    put in about 2.30 pm. I have had a couple of goes but it is being rejected and I didn’t think I’d done anything wrong. But it was a second or third reply to the same number, would have been about 12.2.1.

    • Sorted. Misspellings are a common reason for comments to get held up. In this case,it was your email address. Much as I wish there was such a thing as ‘.comi’, till the revolution, we’ll have to make do with .com 😉

  15. CHCOff 15

    With the flag changers in remission, lets have the flag of our NZ Commonwealth Economic Society stand for & inspire even more hope around the world in 2019.


  16. Dennis Frank 16

    “From Brian Eno’s fury-provoking Oblique Strategy cards that wrung a new sound from already talented musicians to how mixing differently talented teams can help them find solutions and keep their eye on the goal, Messy bolsters the theory that disorder creates heightened alertness. That alertness, in turn, fuels creativity, problem-solving, better driving, resilience, innovation, and much more. But if the only thing you get out of Messy is peace with the level of disorder at your coworkers’, staff’s, or spouse’s workspace, then that alone is priceless.” https://www.amazon.com/Messy-Creative-Resilient-Tidy-Minded-World-ebook/dp/B010RGSGDO

    I picked up a used copy recently and read the intro earlier. It told a story very relevant to our topic here – particularly if we get a global system crash. It exemplifies how the theory outlined by the Amazon reviewer plays out in real life…

    27/1/1975, “a seventeen year-old German named Vera Brandes” was “the youngest concert promoter in Germany” and “had persuaded the Opera House to host a late-night concert of improvised jazz by the American pianist Keith Jarrett. The concert was a sell-out”. That afternoon, she “was introducing Keith Jarrett and his producer Manfred Eicher to the piano”.

    “”Keith played a few notes”, recalls Brandes. “Then Eicher played a few notes. They didn’t say anything. They circled the instrument several times and then tried a few keys. Then after a long silence, Manfred came to me and said, “If you don’t get another piano, Keith can’t play tonight.” Vera Brandes was stunned. She knew that Jarrett had requested a specific instrument and the Opera House had agreed to provide it. What she didn’t realise was that “the piano movers hadn’t been able to find the Bosendorfer piano that had been requested, and so instead they had installed “this tiny little Bosendorfer, that was completely out of tune, the black notes in the middle didn’t work, the pedals stuck. It was unplayable.”

    A piano tuner was brought in, but couldn’t change the fact that “it didn’t make enough sound to reach the balconies of the vast auditorium”. “The best day of her life had become the worst”. Desperate, she stood in the pouring rain and begged Jarrett, through the window of his car, to play. “The young pianist looked out at the bedraggled German teenager standing in the rain and took pity on her.”

    Towards midnight, the performance began. “”The minute he played the first note, everybody knew this was magic”, recalls Brandes. That night’s performance began with a simple chiming series of notes, then quickly gained complexity as it moved by turns between dynamism and a languid, soothing tone. It was beautiful and strange, and it is enormously popular: The Koln Concert album has sold 3.5 million copies. No other solo jazz album nor solo piano album has matched that.”

    So what snatched a sensational victory from the jaws of devastating defeat? Artistry. Remember that as we segue from civilised systems based on order towards a managed resilience amidst increasing chaos. Democracy won’t serve. Not fit for purpose in regard to disorder. Only that mix of inspiration, applied expertise, and the motivation to work for the benefit of all will get the suitable result. Meritocracy!

  17. Robert Guyton 17

    Especially the wrap up:
    “So what snatched a sensational victory from the jaws of devastating defeat? Artistry. Remember that as we segue from civilised systems based on order towards a managed resilience amidst increasing chaos. Democracy won’t serve. Not fit for purpose in regard to disorder. Only that mix of inspiration, applied expertise, and the motivation to work for the benefit of all will get the suitable result. Meritocracy!”
    This is what I get from my forest garden.

    • Robert Guyton 17.1

      It’s pretty wild.

    • gsays 17.2

      Hey ,hey, I am enjoying a rare Sunday off, with not many plans beyond the cricket.
      That 10 minutes didn’t last like I had hoped so: went and mulched strawberries with pine needles, pulled back long grasses to reveal red currants that were hidden from the birds and me.
      Changed the chook laying medium (macrocarpa shavings), ate a plum or two, (poor year for plums here this year), got the bird netting out for the apples (lots of Monty surprise), tied and trimmed the toms and bottled 21 litres of cider.
      Kinda drowsy now because I had a glass or two of Julys vintage hopped cider.

      I got inspired by the no dig videos put up a coupla days ago. Makes a lot of sense.

      Wanna say thanks to Robert and cohorts for this thread.
      While I am being grateful big thanks for y’all who make The Standard what it is, from captain curmudgeon Lprent, to the contributors and moderators and all those who comment, cheers.
      Compliments of the season to all.

      • Robert Guyton 17.2.1

        Way to live, gsays!
        Those Monties are big suckers, aren’t they! Triploids. The trees are grunty too. You’ll be healthy as! Have you met Mark Christiansen? He’s a pretty interesting guy. I’m growing his collection of beans, tomatoes and corn this year – some of them at least – very exciting! Go easy on the cider – your hens need you to maintain some sort of regularity of habit!

  18. WeTheBleeple 18

    Just finished nutrient concentrations for 12 nutrients from 600 plant species.

    No mucking around aye!

    Plants are so interesting. e.g. a white oak has 14 times the average (272 ppm) manganese in it’s wood, or a gum leaf ten times; while a fig has merely 0.03 % of the average.

    Now, if your soil was lacking in manganese, what would you put in your compost?

    Now that I finally have all the data, the question is how do we apply it. I have best accumulators and worst. Some plants obviously actively exclude nutrients to be so low. some actively harvest them to get so high.

    I can now identify accumulators and excluders at a glance (for 12 nutrients).

    For dietitians, chefs, gardeners, land managers. Gonna have to mull this over a bit the applications may be broad.

    In the meantime, got a soil or nutrient deficiency, I might be able to help.

  19. WeTheBleeple 19

    Fig = 3% of average, not 0.03. I’m gonna have to be careful with units.

    I promised myself I’d have this database in 2018. I cut it a bit fine.

    One way to use such data:

    My soil needed calcium: Plant average 11244 ppm. Cucurbit leaves ~6.91 x, Tomato leaves 5.42 x… Sweetgum 3.74 x.

    Having mulched a sweetgum, my soil no longer needs calcium, though it took a few months after application for some plants to show improvement. Where I grow tomatoes and cucurbits, maybe I can even add a little liming. I did, eggshells.

    This is also about how to reduce fertilisers.

  20. OnceWasTim 21

    probably a shitload less ego and a little more humility.

  21. greywarshark 22

    Transferred from Open Mike 4/1/18. On saving on electricity, bringing the bills down.

    4 January 2019 at 9:30 am

    I would be interested in how you reduced you electricity usage. I think there are things I could be doing about that which would be good for my purse and the environment.


    4 January 2019 at 10:34 am

    Biggest single item is changing all light bulbs to LED. A 100W incandescent light costs $0.02 to $0.03 per hour to run, and puts out around 1400 lumens of light evenly distributed in all spherical directions. You’ll get about the same amount of light from a 20W to 25W compact fluorescent that costs a quarter or a fifth to run. But for most real-life light fixtures and situations a 9W or 10W LED that puts out 800 to 900 lumens gives pretty much the amount of useful light, because almost all that light is in a downwards hemispherical direction, at a tenth the running cost. If a light is on an hour a day year-round, the incandescent will cost $7 to $10 in electricity and last 2 to 3 years, the compact fluorescent will cost $1.50 to $3 and last 5 to 10 years, the LED will cost $0.70 to $1 to run and should last 30 years or more. Those LEDs are available at Bunnings for around $3 apiece (I went nuts when they had 6packs for $9) Be sure to buy warm or neutral colour, unless you like your living quarters to look like the alien autopsy room in bad scifi films.

    Probably the next biggest was dialling in my hot water. My place is low-pressure hot, with very high pressure cold. So I had the hot water close to 70 degrees so I could get a decent shower. I put in a booster pump for the hot water line to the shower, turned the temp down to 60 (and checked I was actually getting 60, go lower and the risk of growing Legionnaire’s disease in the hot water cylinder goes way up), and modified my Feltonmix showerhead with a hot-melt glue gun to block up about 2/3 the holes. That’s also noticeably reduced my water use, but the long hot showers are still just as soothing (better than drugs if I’ve got a nasty headache).

    In the kitchen I generally only boil as much water in the jug as I immediately need. If I’m cooking something in boiling water, if I can I’ll boil the water in the jug and finish it in the microwave, and be conscious of using just enough water. For most veges I’ve changed from using the stove to doing them in the microwave with no or minimal added water. I don’t use the oven much, but when I do I’ll use the smaller compartment rather than the bigger one if I can. If I do use the oven, it shows up as a huge glaring red spot in my energy use charts, like the red spot I get from the hotwater when I’ve had guests that used the shower a lot. I’ve also got a new fridge which uses less than half the electricity of my old one. And decided I could manage using just the freezer compartment if the fridge, rather than having a separate chest freezer. Which has actually saved me more than a few instances of “i wonder if that’s still going to taste OK since it’s been there a few years now”.

    • veutoviper 22.1

      For clarification purposes and the record, these two comments were copied from the post on “What can we do about climate change – air travel emission offset”, not from Open Mike 4 Jan 2019.

      Originals are still at and on the “What can we do about climate change – air travel emission offset” post.

      • greywarshark 22.1.1

        Thanks VV – my bad. And I recommend the ‘What can we do about climate change – air travel emission offset’ post of 2 January 2019 which has very interesting discourse.

  22. greywarshark 23

    The difficulty of conservative men and women to come to terms with changing reality and practicality over historic notions of aesthetics. Environmentalist in Wales has to take down roof solar panels because they detract from the view from his own house, and neighbours.


  23. greywarshark 24

    On human manure and artificial manure and how to get balance of supply and delivery where required. Also the authorities were not prepared to carry out research on what farmers needed and how to supply it, so they kept on importing guano from near Peru! The manure had to be tested to establish the basic levels of minerals and chemicals in it. And the authorities were not willing to put it into a form that farmers could use.

    (It’s like the plastics today, the authorities won’t take on the job and do it thoroughly, taking it from start to a usable finish that hopefully can be sold to at least break-even.)

    The terrible pollution of the Thames in the early 1800’s. caused eels from other areas to die when put in Thames water. The salmon vanished by about 1820. Fishermen lost their livelihoods.

    By the beginning of 1858, efforts to design a new sewer system were at a stalemate. The government had two proposals in hand—a £2.5 million plan from the MBW, prepared by chief engineer Joseph Bazalgette, and a £5.5 million plan prepared by outside engineers that the government had retained to critique the MBW plan. The banks wouldn’t finance either version without government guarantees that politicians did not want to give. Then fate intervened, in the form of unexpected weather, and England’s rulers once again confirmed Engels’s judgment that they would only improve sanitation when their own health was at risk.

    June 1858 was the hottest month in living memory. Temperatures of 90°F (32°C) and higher combined with low rainfall to turn the normally unpleasant smell of the Thames into a sickening stench. People who lived or worked near the river complained of nausea, vomiting, and fainting. The queen cut short a river cruise after 10 minutes. Westminster’s law courts stopped hearing cases. Barges spread over 200 tons of deodorizing chemicals a day on the river banks near sewer outlets, with little effect. Parliament itself was disrupted, and committee meetings had to be cancelled because it was too hot to have the windows closed, and too disgusting to leave them open. The engineer responsible for ventilation in the Parliament buildings had cloths soaked in lime-chloride hung by windows on the river side, but warned that he could not protect the health of MPs.

    William Budd, the physician whose research proved that typhoid was waterborne, described the smell as unprecedented: “For the first time in the history of man, the sewage of nearly two millions of people had been brought to seethe and ferment under a burning sun, in one vast open cloaca lying in their midst. The result we all know. Stench so foul, we may well believe, had never before ascended to pollute this lower air. Never before, at least, had a stink risen to the height of an historic event.”

    When government doesn’t want to do the hard yards, things get very hard for the people. The slackness in dealing with our pollution problem today is explained by looking at the attitudes in the 1800’s. We haven’t got it as bad. But the general opinion by informed commentators then was that the authorities would not do anything until they personally were ‘discomposed’ as it were. And what happened in 1858 proved the belief.

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