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How To Get There 4/8/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 4th, 2019 - 42 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 …

42 comments on “How To Get There 4/8/19”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    A short-story from "The Dark Mountain": The Horse Latitudes

    Poignant and sobering.

    "The ocean is white and pink and purple and red and yellow and brown and green. After weeks at sea, the captain clambers up the mast of his yacht and scans the horizon with binoculars, rotating himself degree by degree until he has turned full circle.  

    ‘This is it. I am here.’  

    There are nothing but plastic bottles, plastic bottles as far as he can see. "

    https://dark-mountain.net/the-horse-latitudes/

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Where are, who are, our kaitiaki?

    "In the wisdom of the desert, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, considering the moral obtuseness of the conquistadores, writes, 'In subjugating primitive worlds they only imposed on them, with the force of cannons, their own confusion and their own alienation.' If this colonizing impulse in our heritage is still with us, a need to dominate, must we continue to support it? Must we go on to deferring to tyrants, oligarchs, and sociopathic narcissists? The French poet, diplomat, and Nobel laureate Alexis Léger, in his epic poem Anabase, asks where the troubled world is to find its real protectors, warriors so dedicated to protecting the welfare of their communities that they can be depended upon 'to watch the rivers for the approach of their enemies, even on their wedding nights.'

    "Where, today, can the voices of such guardians be heard over the raucous din in support of economic growth?"

    https://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2019/08/listening.html

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Incorporating resilience as praxis requires comprehension of the knowledge illusion, so here’s a couple of examples the authors provide to show how it works.

    “Stall recovery is one of the most basic skills that prospective pilots master in flight school. This is why investigators were shocked when they recovered the black box from Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the ocean in 2009, killing 228 people. The Airbus A330 had entered a stall and was falling from the sky. The copilot inexplicably tried to push the nose of the plane up rather than down.”

    He didn’t know how to survive – he thought the system would save the plane. Knowledge is social: most of it lies outside the individual psyche. “A report commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2013 concluded that pilots have become too reliant on automation and lack basic manual flying skills, leaving them unable to cope in unusual circumstances.”

    “There are many stories of people driving into bodies of water and off cliffs because they were so busy obeying their GPS master.” GPS provides knowledge of localities and regions, and presents a plan of those to us, so we assume that we know it works. Most of the time the assumption is not flawed. Sometimes it is, and blind faith in the system kills us.

    “In 1995 the cruise ship Royal Majesty was sailing along near Nantucket, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. The cable connecting the ship’s GPS to its antenna became disconnected after being jostled by the wind. The crew unfortunately did not realize what had happened. The GPS did deliver an error message, a small chirp that emanated from the GPS display, but this was not enough to attract the crew’s attention.”

    You can see what’s going on here, eh? Design deficiency plus the knowledge illusion. The authors alert us to the equivalence of other people and the environment, as well as technology, to make the point that knowledge is mostly embedded in the systems we inhabit. Little of it is in our heads!

    “In the absence of satellite data, the system soon did what it was designed to do: it switched to dead reckoning (estimating the current position from a previous position using estimated speeds, times, and directions). It also stopped chirping.” Cue the entrance of the environment into the situation!

    “The crew failed to notice the small acronyms on the display indicating both this change (“DR”) and the loss of input (“SOL”, short for “solution”, a rather confusing way of abbreviating “no longer computing accurate position solution”). Dead reckoning is only an educated guess; it cannot correct for winds and tides.”

    “The crew did monitor the radar map, but it displayed route information from the GPS’s guesstimate, and this no longer reflected the ship’s actual location. The crew also did not check the GPS against a second available source, a navigational system that triangulates radio signals from shore.” “The 32,000 ton ship hit ground on the shoals ten miles from Nantucket Island.”

    “The Royal Majesty was freed by five tugboats 24 hours after hitting ground. Thanks to a double-bottomed hull, it remained operational and was able to deliver its passengers to Boston. It did, however, cost about $2 million to make it seaworthy again.”

    The moral of this story is the limits of knowledge, and their relation to survival. The crew relied on technology to map their environmental trajectory. The knowledge illusion caused them to believe it worked okay. Human error! “Their many years of successful navigation gave them a deep sense of self-confidence that masked their illusion of understanding.”

    The lesson for us here is to think beyond such mainstream syndromes. Resilience can only be achieved by collaborating when faith in everyone else and the systems we use isn’t blind. Survival therefore requires more than resilience gnosis in the individual. It requires disciplined praxis in the group!

    [DF quoted text from The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30780235-the-knowledge-illusion%5D

    • weka 3.1

      Dennis, can you please edit your comment to include where your quotes are from? Thanks.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        It's a design deficiency of our social medium.  I've been quoting from the book for several weeks here and mentioned the title & authors most times, so I'm (wrongly) assuming readers are hip to that.  I type the quotes in due to being a ten-finger typist since I was 20.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30780235-the-knowledge-illusion

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          You need to put the reference in every time, because there are always new readers who haven't seen your previous comments. Links are good, but you can also just reference the book title and author at the end of your comment 🙂

        • Incognito 3.1.1.2

          See my note @ 10:37 AM. Weka is correct and it is more than common courtesy because you are taking somebody else’s intellectual property. If possible, you may even want to include page numbers. Students at university get failed for not citing literature properly and they learn and know they cannot rely on a one off citation at the top/beginning of their work.

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.3

          DF this extract makes a point that is of growing concern to me.

          He didn’t know how to survive – he thought the system would save the plane. Knowledge is social: most of it lies outside the individual psyche. “A report commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2013 concluded that pilots have become too reliant on automation and lack basic manual flying skills, leaving them unable to cope in unusual circumstances.” 

          Knowledge is social, but individuals need to have the opportunity to obtain it and hold it for their own use and guidance.    We must not look to, and rely completely on, social media or the Great Tech to know everything and advise us on the best way to do everything.  

          Your quote indicates what children, and the rest of us, are being taught; that is forget your basic skills and filter every thought and action through a machine that will make you a supernumary.   This attitude we are being encouraged to conform to, takes away our agency in life.

          In education a local secondary schoool thinks that it is advancing its pupils by making them all work from laptops.   But it is essential that they also are capable of basic skills like handwriting, which is having less emphasis in schools.  There should still be educational books, not everything channelled through computer businesses.  And children should be able to gain a good basic education doing school work from exercise books, handwriting the material, planning simple projects (with tech for an adjunct even just the scanner function). There should be class time for basic work using paper, handwriting and books, creating ideas, making analysis and planning implementation of them.

          Also we should be remembering to use basic communication techniques like talking face to face, writing and posting letters not be dependent on machines.   I like to use a phone up system when possible, I don't want to sit at a keyboard, or talk to a machine rather than direct to a person who is employed and paid decent wages to provide communication of value to me.  I want to use my machine to be on this blog, but I fear the constant pressure to give up paper and rely on a computer, or some smart hand-held device.    The force is with such a system, and I resent and resist it, keeping it to the minimum.

          At present the impetus of the tech revolution is to do everything for us, the management system of government is run through computers, (we are advised to go to Facebook); the decisions of people finely honed to suit the need is being superceded by computers and their algorithms.   

          We are so frequently told how to do everything we are becoming supine, and being taught to be helpless.  This is part of a political system that is deliberately contradictory, making up principles as expedient; it can be viewed as deliberate falsehood used by the civil service who advise the pollies.    The health and safety regulations are onerous especially on small business, yet the authorities won't act to keep ecoli out of our water, and flood the country with visitors who bring new bugs into our environment.    The 'assymmetry' is farcical; our slogan for the age.

          Beneficiaries and the vulnerable are fed the line that they need to harden up and learn to manage themselves, the term 'learned helplessness' was common in recent decades, probably still is.   But then the system encourages helplessness, lack of self-determination, outer-ordered behaviour.   

          We have a lot of car accidents, so we must have self-drive cars;  we have work accidents, so an employer must go around the workplace and note every possible hazard, and the employees must be responsible also, and read a longish document about safety and sign it.  

          We live in a very risky and hazardous world with problems created by the resource-drive and money-drive of the wealthy, with people elsewhere bombed out of their homes and worse on the news (or deliberately not on the news so we remain ignorant) and either way we feel helpless.  But  we are driven with whips of regulations to eliminate falls etc. as we go about our daily business.   This practice of acceptance of carnage elsewhere, and micro-management of our own environment is so confusing that it results in us being helpless, we have no autonomy.   

          The belief that the machine knows best and overrides the training and finely-honed instincts of alert, intelligent citizens is killing us.

          • greywarshark 3.1.1.3.1

            This came up on 5/8 so thought I would put it in here in case anyone takes an interest in the subject.

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/395986/new-nz-digital-curriculum-set-for-2020-are-schools-ready

            • greywarshark 3.1.1.3.1.1

              And something about boarding schools in UK.   That they result in virtual abandonment of the youngsters there.   I have always wondered about that.   I think it was Robert Morley who, when asked whether he would visit and speak at his old school, said he would only return to burn it down.    In the USA males are often sent to military academies from a young age. 

              I think that this article finds that many of the politicians and leaders have had what must be a dysfunctional period separated from possible love and care of a family for much of the time.  Possibly at home the parents may be lacking in the love and care side of child raising, possibly never having known much of it themselves.  

              However there would be more privacy and less opportunity for bullying and the unfortunate effect of early sexual events that could harm the natural development of friendships and the ability to have a loving relationship with either sex.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018707127/dr-nick-duffell-why-boarding-schools-produce-bad-leaders

              Britain’s public school system has for generations produced a high proportion of its political leaders, despite the number of children attending these schools representing a tiny fraction of the larger population.

              Boris Johnson is Britain’s fifth Eton-educated prime minister since World War II, there have been 21 from Eton in total; David Cameron went there to along with Prime Minister's Alec Douglas Hume, Harold McMillan and Anthony Eden.

              But a British psychotherapist says schools such as Eton produce damaged individuals and very poor leaders suffering a form of “privileged abandonment.”

              Dr Nick Duffell is the founder of the boarding school survivors organisation, he himself went to Oxford and taught at a boys’ boarding school, and is the author of The Making of Them: The British Attitude to Children and the Boarding School System, and more recently, Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion…

              “It's very hard to develop empathy, because he has to live a cut-off life and develop a kind of upbeat self, which is what the strategic survival personality does always projecting out; I am happy, this is good. I deserve good things, etc, etc.”

              The sense of entitlement which is often the product of an English public school education is “compensation for irredeemable loss”, Duffell says.

              “It's terribly difficult when you haven't been raised in a family to become a good enough father, a good enough husband, a good enough family member because the family is not where you've grown up. You've grown up in an institution that's full of rules and conventions, and not love and relationships.”

    • Robert Guyton 3.2

      " It requires disciplined praxis in the group!"

      How do you propose we achieve that, Dennis?

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Pure identity politics, Robert, to start with.  A group forms when members sense the need for one.  Some here do so, others not.  A group acquires group identity when members co-create it.  Step 1.  Tacitly seen to be too hard in relation to complacency.

        So when it gets co-created, it tends to acquire a name as label.  This identifier then serves as a brand (commercial psychology) which may attract members if they identify with the ethos evoked by the brand.

        The social medium we're using was designed for a binary social structure:  essayists & commentators.  You could argue that non-commentating readers constitute a tertiary dimension to the structure.  Technically correct, but I'm talking activism.  Resilience requires mastery of the tertiary dimension of group psychodynamics, which is achieved when activists transcend binary polarising and adopt a praxis based on the common ground that is the holistic context of binary team-sport irrelevancies…

        But to get back to your question, people have to first identify the necessity of the group enterprise, then decide to form the group, then agree the label, then adopt the praxis required to achieve success in a culture driven by identity politics.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Weka; welcome back!

    Do you feel that while you were "away" the picture has changed?

    • weka 4.1

      Thanks Robert! Depends on which picture you mean, but definitely climate action and consciousness has changed significantly. Other areas like plastics too, so I think it's a big tipping point. I think we're going to see the rate of change increase now, and I'd like to focus on the proactive pathways and stories (and skills around emotional/mental resiliency). Exciting but makes me a bit nervous too.

      What's your sense about the picture?

      • weka 4.1.1

        I like this How to Get There discussion, ka pai.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.2

        When Stuff.nz signed-on to the global media movement to keep climate news in front of us all, we shifted-up a gear here in NZ. There's a constant flow of reports about the climate now and that influx is wearing holes in the denier-shell that was forming over New Zealanders, by default. Now, the media is siding with Mother Nature, rather than dismissing Her, as in the past. This changes everything, imo. Interpreting daily events is everything and how those are framed by the media changes possible outcomes significantly. Mr Bridges and his coterie of nay-sayers are feeling the pinch and the need to double-down, and that's heightening tensions. I'm feeling a quickening of events and responses and changes in light of those. It's exciting to be in a more active environment, but each day is one closer to trouble, so it's a mixed blessing. The language has changed, the sense of immediacy has changed and everyone's feeling it. 

        • weka 4.1.2.1

          I've been sitting with this all day, such a gem of a comment. Good news that the Stuff decisions has changed the conversation, and that there has been a shift in the MSM. I agree it changes everything. That journalists have kids is a big motivating force and they're going to be more exposed to climate crisis information. It will be bloody interesting to see how they cover Bridges/National going forward.

          "It's exciting to be in a more active environment, but each day is one closer to trouble, so it's a mixed blessing. The language has changed, the sense of immediacy has changed and everyone's feeling it."

          Ihumātao brought me back to writing, but it's climate change that's been on my mind all these months (and the two are intimately connected). It feels like writing now could have a different impact, because we are all in such a different place. 'Feeling it' will enable more change, best we take advantage of that.

    • Ad 4.2

      Since Weka's been absent here, there's been some big shifts. 

      The plastic bag thing shows how a massive environmental improvement need not be a massive social shock. 

      Also the skill at which Shaw and Upton have altered the discourse with farmers concerning climate change: pretty hard to underestimate how that is going to tilt lobbying on The Terrace and within National. 

      Also the whole of the European news cycle is dominated by climate and weather stories as we haven't seen before. Only Australia and the US stand out in that media cycle now.

      Surprising what can happen in half a year or so.

      • weka 4.2.1

        "Also the skill at which Shaw and Upton have altered the discourse with farmers concerning climate change: pretty hard to underestimate how that is going to tilt lobbying on The Terrace and within National."

        Can you say more about that? What they did, and the potential impact. I knew it was happening, but haven't followed in any detail.

  5. Perhaps Farmers in Australia may awaken. 

    The State and Federal Government are buying water "Back" off the Farmers to put into the Murray Darling River System,  which is showing horrendous effects of Farmer wells and artesian draw off,  overstocking or cropping with their high water use on top of the lack of rain. 

    Surely the penny will drop that the drought is part of the pattern and not the cause,  all being exacerbated by the greed for water.

  6. Sabine 6

    maybe we get 'there' when we start raising our kids for the world that will be, rather then right now where we educate them for a world that has not existed since the last 40 odd years, and in saying that some might say that world did never exist in the first place. 

    in the good news a marai by whanganui planted some trees, so did the people of Ethiopia which planted what would be quite a few trees. https://www.euronews.com/living/2019/08/02/ethiopia-breaks-world-record-by-planting-350-million-trees-in-one-day

    and i picked up a bag full of rubbish in our local park,. What else is there to do really? 

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Your mention of Ethiopian trees reminded me of the Fistula Trust operating in Ethiopia (literally).   These are very poor people who are putting a lot of effort into the African tree planting pledge.    The help we have given women with their health begun by the Hamlins, is a bit like the Fred Hollows Eye program.  

      https://givealittle.co.nz/org/tashmyers

      Together these represent two of the three aspects we have to remember to help and work to better all the time, to check bad effects resulting from climate change;  this two are the environment, appropriate food growing and distribution and simple shelters, and people's resilience through better health and practical kindness, and the third are the animals being affected and needing help (bees needing water, stopping spraying weeds with glyphosate?, little blue penguins needing nesting boxes in Wellington etc.)

      I think these are other things to do.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Today's news, yes, but what a long needed policy from the Greens today.

    We'll be offering a pathway to home ownership for people who rent and cannot afford to save for a deposit.

    – Marama Davidson

    This is crucial to the success of housing reform as it caters for those outside current Kiwibuild criteria.

    In my view, every single person in this country should have access to healthy, stable housing no matter what their income or status. That is the way to strong communities and better outcomes.

    The Greens also said:

    The Green Party is also fighting for reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act, and a mandatory Warrant of Fitness to enforce proper standards for rental homes.

    "We have a plan to shift New Zealand's approach to private rentals as well. We'll be reforming the Residential Tenancies Act this term, and we believe that no-cause terminations must end," Davidson said.

    Any progressive government in this country today needs to "shift New Zealand's approach to the rental market"

    We need to get amateur landlords out, and professional landlords in.

    Hope they can work together with Labour on this in the next government. What a formidable government that would be!

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/08/fundamental-human-right-green-party-releases-housing-policy.html

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    What an excellent enterprise!  "Manawhenua.com is a website to help our whanau to connect to their identity as Maori, as whanau, hapu, iwi. This is to help our whanau connect back to their roots, their whenua, their tupuna. The holistic vision of Manawhenua.com to address the physical (whenua), the mental (tangata) and the spiritual (atua) parts of our Maoritanga is our motivation."  http://www.manawhenua.com/about-us/

    "I have lived on our whenua in Ahipara for 30 years, practising organic gardening with my father Herepete growing kumara, peruperu, bananas, wormfarming, pinetrees, drystock cattle and many other varieties of products for the local markets. It was about independence, more than money, why we raised to work hard.  Herepete taught me the basics of Maramataka to grow by the Maori moon calendar which is passed down through generations."

    "10 years overseas in the building, transport and event management industries has given me a wide range of experiences to give me a wide range of skills and perspectives. I am continually learning new skills everyday.  This mixture of professions, dialects, cultures and philosophies gives me an interesting perspective of the world."

    "My tupuna embraced the world and its innovative technologies without losing their own proud identity. I hope to emulate them and pass these experiences onto to our next generation. Hence the creation of this website, to share my alternative perspectives of the world with you."

    "Ahikaaroa Trust has a Kaumatua Kuia advisory group to ensure we maintain Tikanga Māori and work with whanau within a Maori world view.  We have a team of expert practitioners, who provide advice and support to our trust.  These consist of engineers, architects, planners, energy experts, trade technicians, Roading and infrastructure specialists.  We have extensive networks with alternative building and energy efficiency experience."

    "Ahikaaroa has presented at all three Maori housing conferences 2010-2016 on sustainable living on whenua Maori. The trust participated in the productivity commissions housing report 2012 and recommendations towards the Maori housing strategy 2014."

    "Ahikaaroa Trust has a following of over 3000 subscribers. Our Facebook video Living off the Grid on Whenua Māori received over 207,000 views. Our other videos have averaged over 80,000 views. The trusts audience is 70% Maori. We respond to emails, private messages and with regular follow ups, ensure whanau are supported during each stage of their building."

    "Ahikaaroa Trust work is regularly featured in the Northern News, The Northern Age, Te Hiku media, Te Kaea, Te Karere, Maori TV, Indigenous documentaries including appearances on the Nigel Latta show featuring housing."

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      From their home page:  "Whare Uku / Rammed Earth Homes are quality, low maintenance homes built using a sustainable model, with no pollution, using natural resources that will last for generations."  http://www.manawhenua.com/

      "We build three bedroom earth homes including road access, construction, alternative energy and an eco waste system for $150,000*  There are Architect Plans for consented 1, 3 and 5 bedrooms homes available.  We have helped 50 families with their housing solutions as of November 2016."

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        Spent a night in a where uku recently; warm as toast and with the funkiest floor I've ever walked upon; a gently undulating, delightfully mottled, giving, almost living,  floor. Every brick in that house was hand-made by the owner and his family and now his grandchildren are helping shape it further; at this stage incidentally where an under-stair space has been crafted with mud to form an igloo-play-space for them, but I'm betting it won't be long till they're adding features of their own to the family home. 

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Lifeboat Earth gets a rerun on Common Dreams:  https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/31/lifeboat-earth

    "Droves of voters have abandoned mainstream parties across the planet, disillusioned by the way they’ve supported a version of economic globalization that has wildly enriched the already rich, challenged the middle class, and left the poor at the bottom of thebarrel. Those voters have increasingly turned to right-wing populists who disparage “globalists”"

    Yeah, because they can't see an alternative to neoliberalism that provides progress, so they revert to nationalism.  Corbyn & Sanders advocate socialism without explaining how it can provide progress for the common good.  Hint:  collective enterprise that is designed to benefit all stakeholders rather than just the owners.

    "In the early 1970s, after the world’s first Earth Day, the lifeboat problem seemed to be on everyone’s mind."  Half a century ago, as of next year!

    "In 1979, however, scientists from 50 nations did gather in Geneva for the first World Climate Conference to issue a call for action on global warming. Later that year, the leaders of the seven richest countries on the planet actually agreed on the need to reduce carbon emissions".  Incredible, such progress 40 years ago!  No wonder the controllers freaked out!!  Urgent call to Ronald Reagan ensued, to put on his cowboy hat & jump on his horse to go get 'em.

    "Still, in the 1970s, it was commonplace to assume that the two systems would sooner or later converge at some social democratic point on the far horizon. On the environment, in other words, two wrongs would somehow make a right. In their 1974 book Ark II, Dennis Pirages and Paul Ehrlich proposed adding a “planning branch” to the U.S. government that could address systemic problems like the environmental crisis by developing not only five-year plans, as in the Soviet Union, but 10-year or even 50-year plans as well."

    Planning, the socialist nirvana!  Jeanette Fitsimons worked in the planning dept of the U of A when I met her.  We can all make progress if we just agree on the plan…

    "And so Leviathan has returned.  “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being,” scientist James Lovelock said in 2010. “I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war.” A slew of books in recent years have addressed the question of whether democracy can handle climate change. In Climate Leviathan, political theorists Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright suspected that William Ophuls was prophetic, that a powerful hegemon would “seize command, declare an emergency, and bring order to Earth, all in the name of saving life.” In The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith identified the possible solution as a Singaporean one: rule by an enlightened class of technocratic mandarins."

    Oh, you mean like the EU?  Gosh, everyone will be so thrilled.  They weren't, though.  "Libertarians, liberals, and radicals all rejected the eco-authoritarian option. Libertarians worried about limitations on individual rights. Liberals pointed out that only democracies can hold their leaders accountable for the direction they take, while “real existing authoritarianism” generally can’t. Radicals like environmentalist Naomi Klein urged not less but more democracy as climate activists, through pipeline blockades and fracking protests, challenged the nexus of transnational corporations and corrupt governments."

    Yeah, like more democracy is gonna solve a problem created by democracy??  Remotely possible.  "Something as transformative as the Green New Deal — a democratically achieved Climate Leviathan — will not come about because the Democratic Party or Xi Jinping or the U.N. secretary general suddenly realizes that radical change is necessary, nor simply through ordinary parliamentary and congressional procedure. Major change of this sort could only come from a far more basic form of democracy: people in the streets engaged in actions like school strikes and coal mine blockades. This is the kind of pressure that progressive legislators could then use to push through a mutually agreed-upon Green New Deal capable of building a powerful administrative force that might convince or coerce everyone into preserving the global commons."

    "Coercion: it’s not exactly a sexy campaign slogan. But if democracies don’t embrace moonshots like the Green New Deal — along with the administrative apparatus to force powerful interests to comply — then the increasing political and economic chaos of climate change will usher in yet more authoritarian regimes that offer an entirely different coercive agenda.  The Green New Deal isn’t just an important policy initiative. It may be the last democratic method of guiding Lifeboat Earth to a safe harbor."

     

  10. Jenny - How to Get there? 10

    Transport our second biggest cause of CO2 pollution.

    If we are to ever address this problem we have to move from private cars for commuting to public transport.

    Long ago we determined that single payer was the way to address deficits in education, in policing, in health care.

    We need to enact, as some places have, single payer for public transport.

    Is it really that far a step?

    Already our policy makers implement this measure when it suits them.

    Free public trains to big football matches or even the America's cup.

    Free public transport on Christmas day, so that poorer families with limited transport can visit their loved ones in neighboring suburbs.

    And now news that free buses will be laid on during the period of disruption to the train service caused by the construction of the South Auckland transport hub, in the knowledge that free public transport will encourage people not to abandon public transport for their cars during this period.

    Why can't we extend this realisation to the whole public transport system?

  11. Jenny - How to Get there? 11

    Free the buses!

    ……. a new, free, Puhinui-Papatoetoe loop bus service will run every day, with services every 10 minutes during peak times, providing station users with southern and eastern train line connections from Papatoetoe Station.

    The 349 Puhinui-Papatoetoe service will not require a HOP card or cash ticket, and takes 10-15 minutes in each direction.

    https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2019/08/puhinui-station-60m-upgrade-to-start-in-september/

    Now picture this, city wide.

    The motorways would be empty, the air would be cleaner, commuters wouldn't be stressed out even before they get to work. Or when they get home.

    We could use the 6 $billions earmarked for the never ending and pointless expansion of the motorway system to pay for it.

    Those cities that have implemented free public transport have found it "liberating"

  12. Jenny - How to Get there? 12

  13. Jenny - How to Get there? 13

    Cars

    Aucklanders are spending close to 80 hours stuck in motorway traffic congestion each year, time that the AA describes as a "noose" around motorists' necks.

    The Automobile Association is calling for a raft of initiatives to tackle the problem, including encouraging parents to send kids to school on foot or by bike to put a brake on the number of cars.

    An AA Congestion Report released today picks apart the time Aucklanders spend moving at a glacial pace along the city's busiest routes…..

    …….Latest figures show about 40,000 more cars jammed Auckland's roads in 2017 compared to the previous year.

    Each motorist wasted an average 78.6 hours sitting in traffic, just on our motorways.

    This equated to close to two full weeks of work for many Aucklanders – though most motorists would not be receiving pay cheques for the wasted hours behind the wheel.

    Between the hours of 7am and 9am drivers were travelling at an average speed of 43km/h on Auckland motorways last year. This slowed even more on our arterial roads – where drivers were crawling at just 34km/h on average.

    The AA's principal adviser Barney Irvine said congestion was "right at the top" of people's frustrations with city living.

    "Congestion is worse in the evenings than it is in the mornings, and it's eating into our family time as we go home," he said.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12003722

    Buses

    I could read on the bus.  I could write blog posts on the bus.  I could text on the bus.  I could meditate on the bus.  I can’t get a speeding ticket on the bus.  I could talk to tourists on the bus.  The bus driver is my chauffeur and I feel like a million bucks. I know how to get to work, school and the Santa Monica rings with the bus.

    https://antranik.org/alternative-transportation-is-oddly-liberating/

    If you think that watching paint dry is the most boring thing you can do.

    Then you have never driven in Auckland traffic. Watching paint dry you can lift your gaze, you can look away occasionally and without consequences. Lift your gaze or look away in heavy traffic and chances are it will feel like someone has hit you in the back of the head with a cricket bat. Followed by hefty repair bills and if you are particularly unlucky a traffic fine as well.

    Watching paint dry with someone standing behind you with a cricket bat, waiting to slam you with it if you dare lift your gaze or look away, is not an activity that any one of us would choose voluntarily, yet we choose it for our daily commute to work.

  14. greywarshark 15

    Just in case this has not been noted here Scoop of 5 August offers info on the BioDiversity Plan.   And through its Hivemind program offers an opportunity for your input.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1908/S00012/the-nz-biodiversity-strategy-discussion-document-explained.htm

  15. greywarshark 16

    This was the starter comment by Robert to a very extensive and interesting discussion on trees and carbon sequestration (I think it is called) and conversion of marginal farming land to forestry. A live topic at present and continuing no doubt. I am noting the long thread which followed, full of questions and explanations and info which will reward being read for getting informed. So I have given link to it – too long to transfer to here for archiving.

    From Daily Review 6 August 2019. https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-06-08-2019/#comments

    Robert Guyton 1

    6 August 2019 at 6:23 pm

     “In other words, simply shutting down those farms is likely to be more beneficial to the local economy than letting them continue to operate. And that's without even considering the value of the carbon stored. 

    Looked at like this, the message is clear: the sooner marginal farms shut down and are converted to trees, the better off we'll all be.”

    Climate Change: The double benefit of forestry conversions

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2019/08/climate-change-double-benefit-of.html

  16. greywarshark 17

    This is a useful and immediately understandable answer to the question of WTF is the use of climate change emergencies springing up in Councils around the place?   And particularly good, as it comes from a thoughtful Councillor who has faced this question, and lost the argument temporarily I should think, in his southern SI council beset by those wishing-away harsh reality looming.
    Copied and brought over from Open Mike 7 August.

    Robert Guyton 4

    7 August 2019 at 9:02 am

    What's the point of a climate emergency declaration?

    "That question deserves a considered answer. First, let us immediately concede that the declaration of a climate change emergency produces no automatic and positive outcomes. It produces no new resources or solutions and provides no new powers. Such a declaration has no legal or statutory force – in that sense, it changes nothing.

    But in other senses it is a significant step forward. It is, first, a formal and public recognition by those in authority that the issue is real and that the threat will only become more serious if it is not addressed.

    And, it signals a determination to take whatever action is necessary to avert the threatened damage to our planet and our way of life. That signal serves as a constant reminder to themselves of their commitment to act – but is also a message to those they serve, alerting them to the certain need for measures that may be unwelcome."

    http://www.bryangould.com/whats-the-point-of-a-climate-change-emergency-

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 17.1

      The hostility shown by those opposed to declaring a climate emergency, convinces, me more than anything else, that it is important to call a climate emergency.

      That they think it is important to oppose it, means it is important.

  17. greywarshark 18

    Interesting information on the pistachio tree that hasa very interesting green nut, and apparently quite likes a saline situation.

    Habitat

    Pistachio is a desert plant and is highly tolerant of saline soil. It has been reported to grow well when irrigated with water having 3,000–4,000 ppm of soluble salts.[14] Pistachio trees are fairly hardy in the right conditions and can survive temperatures ranging between −10 °C (14 °F) in winter and 48 °C (118 °F) in summer. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much water and the soil is not sufficiently free-draining. Long, hot summers are required for proper ripening of the fruit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistachio#Habitat

    It was being eaten in 6750 BC!

  18. greywarshark 19

    This has been a very fruitful discussion of Weka's post with 65 comments and growing.

    What if we let the wilding pines grow?

  19. Robert Guyton 20

    Please take a little time to watch this:

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