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How To Get There 9/6/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 9th, 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 9/6/19”

  1. WeTheBleeple 1

    WARNING: May Contain Hope.

    "The desert disappeared, and nature was restored in all its splendor".

    "Their income tripled, and their days of poverty were over".

    This is 40 mins. Click the 'CC' button for subtitles. Enjoy.


    • RedLogix 1.1

      I've personally seen something similar in Colombia. Land that just seven years prior was desolate tailings from a mining operation, now lush and highly productive food forest. Their guardian families now escaping poverty and living dignified lives. 

      It was a genuine privilege to spend some hours walking around, everyone was proud of what was achieved and what their future held.

      • WeTheBleeple 1.1.1

        Nice one RL. In the documentary they bring desert to production crops in five years. That's pretty amazing stuff.

        One point that is continually stressed is that there are four areas to restore:

        Inspiration (like you had when walking that site). Without inspiration humans (labor and investors) are not engaged.

        Social structures. Jobs, education, community, belonging, purpose. I was part of the farming community back in the day where we all mucked in and shared labor and equipment. This was community. Not the poisoning and pumelling of the landscape by behemoth machines driven by men in hazmat suits like we see today. 

        Ecology. Without functioning ecology there is no economy, period. Our air, water, food, medicines, materials…. Economists are feckless idiots. Ecology is our wealth while modern agriculture will be our downfall.

        Economy. Upon restoring lands yields might be obtained. Managed correctly the land's fertility will increase over time and the soil more friable and easier to work. Thus returns improve with time. Todays current model provides diminishing returns for more investment in salts and machinery that harm the land.

        A restoration economy based on ecology, community and inspiration. A significant contribution to our way out of this (climate change) mess.

        • Robert Guyton

          In our local council, there is a young woman who came to Southland from the UK where she was researching the restoration of mining "dross" using fungi. She's presently leading the team that manages biosecurity and biodiversity in the region. In other departments, there are scientists with outstanding knowledge of systems such as wetland and estuaries, hydrology and soil; our communities are rich with clever, learned people who think deeply and widely about their chosen "missions" and who could, if enabled, surge into restoring the environments we have been so careless with. This will be true up and down the country and likely true in other counties.

          • WeTheBleeple

            I've got a metal detox model here that incorporates plants, fungi and bacteria allowing succession (and even harvests) to proceed as detox does. I should meet your expert sometime we'd have much to discuss. I still want six more months in the data bases to tie it all together and provide sufficient proof of concept via other work of similar nature.

            The country has a lot of talent for sure. Now let's see leadership assign them to restorative ecology, not fiddling around green washing industry.

            • Robert Guyton

              I find the scientists here to be sincere and enlightened, studying far wider than their job requires and well aware of the need to act decisively and quickly. Like us, they're hindered by everyday constraints but also like us, they seek opportunities to influence thinking and act wherever possible. There's a weight of potential everywhere. Hence my plea for people to email the council chairman asking him to support the proposal to declare a climate emergency, as Christchurch City Council, Nelson City Council, Dunedin City Council and Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) have done. His name is Nicol Horrell and his email address is:


              I've written a letter to The Southland Times asking the public to do the same. It's an unprecedented strategy and I'm bound to raise eyebrows and maybe ire at the council, but as Jenny so often says here, ya gotta get on and do something!


              • WeTheBleeple

                Absolutely agree. I love scientists as a group they're switched on and extremely interesting. The corporate hijacking of science unfortunately gives them all a bad name when the majority are there trying to help.

                Nice move on the letter to the paper. Hope you survive it not get a large conspiracy against you from investor types who see you as an upstart.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Enjoyed that you didn't say, "young upstart" smiley

                  Right now, I'm listening to this:

                  It's plain, but he's sensible; all about growing perennial vegetables.

                  It's actually very good, imo.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Just got my first lot of sorrel gifted this week. I thought I'd divide it some up front for me, some close to the chooks for them and the wild birds. The kale I planted right outside the coop is big enough they can browse it through the mesh now…

                    Laziness promotes great design.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Non-intervention, rather than laziness, says a non-interventionist man smiley

                      Is your sorrel, French? That's a lovely zingy leaf, great to nibble-on while out wandering the garden and delicious in salads. Perennial and pretty. The mashua tubers are ready for harvesting right now; plump and crisp. I ate some flowers recently; nasturtium family is peppery to taste, but these were sweet as well, very sweet, filled with nectar as they were; a wonderful surprise and new taste sensation!

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      My sorrel is exactly as pictured in your link (red, as the link picture could also be beets). I do not know its pedigree.

                    • Macro

                      We have plenty of that red sorrel growing as well – let it seed and you will never be without it – excellent all year round in salads. Same with french sorrel which is growing vigourisly here. 

        • greywarshark


          'Economists are feckless idiots.'    WtB 1.1.1

          While looking up the records-destroyer Canadian ex-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, so popular that he remained in for a decade, I noticed that he was an economist.   I see he comes from Toronto, a city that is tainted with electing a buffoon and then his brother to Mayor.    Not a good look for the people of that region.    Also Harper now fronts a body that purports to represent Democratic urges where they still show their faces.   But what faces, perhaps that of Dorian Gray?

          Stephen Joseph Harper PC is a Canadian economist, entrepreneur, and retired politician who served as the 22nd prime minister of Canada for nearly a decade, from February 6, 2006, to November 4, 2015. Harper has served as the leader of the International Democrat Union since February 2018. Wikipedia

          If I come across a story about economists and their attempts at wisdom and guidance I will try to put up a brief note about it.    Some of their results will be good, it's just a pity that they fall so easily into their own fables and become full of grandiose ideas of their complete irrefutability.   Something goes wrong and their response is 'If only you had followed the instructions correctly.'

          (This in relation to a better future?   If we are to even get on the right path to 'There' we need to get second opinions from non-economists about all their schemes.   At present we seem to be locked into an Economists Cult which is a bit like Scientology don't you think?   And that doesn't seem a healthy path even though it has celebrity successes as show ponies for it.)


  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Living in a forest garden, food forest, woodland or any treed space that provides shelter and food for those who manage it, has an effect greater than you might expect; something to do with reconnecting with personal true purpose and that of humanity at the same time. If ever there was an opportunity to re-establish links to other living things, the wild garden must be one of the best. In my experience and opinion.

    • WeTheBleeple 2.1

      Merely visiting a wild place can be healing. Bringing the wild to your door lends healing to your trip to the letterbox.

      "But the good news is that even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I've conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits."


      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Forest bathing?

        I'm soaking in it, as Marge famously (almost) said.

        We'd like to open forest garden up to people in need of a healing dip in a wild garden forest. Even a day spent amongst the trees here would soothe the savage breast (or beast). I'd give forest-bathers here plants to plant wherever they chose, giving them the opportunity to "become" the garden and also increase the random element of the design, such as it is, of the man-made forest, bringing it a little closer to its best form.

    • phantom snowflake 2.2

      Hi Robert. Somehow I'm increasingly taken with the idea that "Our" (the biosphere) salvation lies at the intersection of environmentalism and indigenous spirituality. And so, the following was the most encouraging piece of "news" I've read in a long time. In the light of a comment of yours yesterday, ("I'm studying communication between trees and forests and other beings") I'm curious about your response to the idea of communication between Kauri and Tohorā. (Whales) [To the atheist/materialist contingent: "Sorry not sorry."]

      A Northland woman says a recent experiment she conducted to treat kauri dieback has had remarkable results.  Lynn Butterworth, a student of Māori medicinal expert Tohe Ashby, tested the possibilities of using to rongoā Māori to treat the tree disease.  Butterworth has been practising traditional Māori medicine for two years now and has been investigating a possible treatment for the devastating disease."In 2017, I was doing a level 4 rongoā course with Tohe and we were talking about kauri dieback and we knew there was something quite not right with our trees," says Butterworth, "He had some rongoā for me to use and we went through the steps of how to prepare it and how to apply it."Since their trial, she and Ashby have seen the trees within the forest grove in Northland that they work in replenish over time. 
      Ashby, who is an expert on kauri trees and understanding the Māori tikanga around treating the disease explains how they formulate the medicine."We gather the fat of the whale and use also the bone of the whale, we mix both elements and then apply it on the bark of the tree.  Within this process, we deliver our karakia."



      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        Hi Phantom; firstly, I've something odd to say smiley

        When I stayed on Waiheke Island, I was gifted something unusual and special; a piece of kauri bark in the shape of a tohorā! 

        I found the article you quoted very interesting and didn't baulk at any of it. I thought this:

        "Since their trial, she and Ashby have seen the trees within the forest grove in Northland that they work in replenish over time. "

        worth highlighting; results, after all, are important places to work back from when looking for causality. Your second sentence, "Somehow I'm increasingly taken with the idea that "Our" (the biosphere) salvation lies at the intersection of environmentalism and indigenous spirituality." has my full support and the example you've given certainly supports your idea. It's interesting to think that some folk might pooh-pooh the idea that the methods used by indigenous people for curing a native tree might be suspect, if in fact there are some that do think that. I'd give credence, even before knowing the details, to the idea that humans living in an environment for centuries longer than the secondary wave of colonisers have, have more intimate knowledge of the living things they shared the space with for so long. I believe there's a plethora of examples of this phenomenon, but here and elsewhere in the world, to support that notion. If you know of more, I'd love to hear them. 


        • WeTheBleeple

          I tried to get this conversation going and all I got was Gosman being a facetious disrespectful fucktard.

          I studied the plant pathology side of Kauri dieback for a considerable time as it was to be a doctorate till my team started falling over. If someone with knowledge of rongoa wants to discuss this with a plant pathologist, I'm right here and I am dead keen to learn.

          • Robert Guyton

            I recall he dragged homeopathy out and gave it a bit of a disrespectful thrashing. He's a funny old trout, but lacking nuance on many issues.

            • WeTheBleeple

              I can be a kneejerk dick on things spiritual too. Not anyone's fault 'cept the FEAR OF GOD upbringing I had. no

              Am a fan of meditation, not a great practitioner but when I do it it is very helpful. I like to do it as the ambulance teeters on the clifftop.


  3. James Thrace 3

    The ongoing debacle that is fast becoming public transport in NZ has left me wondering whether the better thing to do is have a centralised agency that pays and organises for employees, equipment, etc.

    I would call it KiwiBus.

    It's main responsibility would be to hire drivers, source equipment, and supply both those things to the regional/local councils that need them for public transport.

    Having a central body, heck, a monopoly, providing PT throughout the country offers economies of scale and henceforth a better ability to be able to pay drivers appropriately.

    The current PTOM model would have to be scrapped. At last count there were roughly 15 companies vying for public transport operator services. It is ridiculous having that many companies operate in the sector. How any of them can make money without screwing the workers is beyond me.

    KiwiBus would still operate like an SOE, turn a profit etc, but at least being a central agency, with NZ wide responsibility, means that at least people could go between cities and use one payment network (I think Snapper as it's far more user friendly than AT Hop) no matter where in the country you are.

    Councils then having to deal with just one agency for PT timetables and a faster ability to scale up/down services as needed would be much more beneficial. Additionally, a central body is able to adequately plan for the long term and would be able to invest in better buses and the like, as it would not have the fear of losing the next tender round…

    The disgustingness that was NZ Bus being told to upgrade their fleet (which they did) only to then lose the tender for many routes was a complete dogs breakfast.

    There's a lot to be said for a monopoly for a public good. Public Transport is one that should be a monopoly as a public  good. Right up there with electricity.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      I want to comment about buses concerning those providing services through limited-term contracts perhaps in rural areas.    I read of one bus owner, might only have had one bus, who provided school transport.   Had complied with all the regulations, kept the bus to standard, might have installed seat belts – I think they were recommended but not mandatory at the time.   Anyway had provided the service, provided the bus, and got undercut by another when tenders were called again.   

      It was hard to bear for the owner who had not been in it to make a profit but was a local doing a local service and trying to make it pay for itself and provide a wage – money in the local economy.    I thought how wasteful of capital this business of tendering is, and it opens the way to big firms gaining a monopoly, building up a business and then selling it off to foreigners so basic needs and the profit from providing them wafts off out of the country.   

      Keeping up standards is important, and long-term providers can get sloppy and cut corners, and costs need to be checked against industry statistics.   But constant tendering is disruptive to the local provision and business and leaves the locals prone to sharp practices.  The favourite example used tends to be the monorail salesman in The Simpsons!    A very clever series not to be forgotten.

    • Brigid 3.2

       But why does it need to turn a profit?

      • greywarshark 3.2.1

        It is wise to aim at a small profit to show that the enterprise is being run efficiently and to allow for funds for future maintenance or replacement.  This can be done in a not-for-profit business way that just covers the necessary costs and provides a safe and efficient service at the most reasonable price for that time.

  4. Blazer 4

    'To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
    You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.

    In order to arrive at what you do not know
    You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.

    In order to possess what you do not possess
    You must go by the way of dispossession.

    In order to arrive at what you are not
    You must go through the way in which you are not.

    And what you do not know is the only thing you know
    And what you own is what you do not own
    And where you are is where you are not.

    ― T.S. Eliot

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    "Talk to Sandy Haidekker about insects that live in streams and rivers, and her face lights up, her smile broadens and her hands become so animated as to appear beyond her control.

    Talk to her about climate change and her shoulders slump, her eyes darken and she exhales in a way that suggests she's taken her last breath.

    The German-born freshwater scientist who's called Hawke's Bay home for 11 years, like others in her field, knows the fate that awaits these tiny important creatures and despairs at the lack of attention they get."



  6. CHCoff 6

    There is a big price to be paid, & it probably hasn't really started to be paid yet, or that is just starting, on NZ account but it will be impossible to completely avoid.


    That's still no reason to keep digging though. In making the best of blundering idiocy, even if it may have totally screwed the proverbial pooch in some ways, i'd say

    -Go back to the NPC, in what was one of the best sporting comps in the world
    -Out of Super rugby
    -1st division NPC players receive a 'livable' wage
    – All Blacks can only be NPC players
    -Free to air television
    -Rugby union continuously lobbys the NZ democratic political system for support of club rugby development as a social/community good
    -Provincal clubs operate similar structure approach to below

    -top 7 NPC team squads by individual vote the All Black coaching team
    -top 7 NPC coaches vote/pick the main appointments of Rugby CEO and other important national body organisation roles

    -For player safety, & removing the mindless grunt that has overtaken the talent, in sporting spectacle, there should be weight muscle mass standards/limitations introduced to get away from the UBER bodybuilding bouncer type being the end all of the game, brute force while has its part should be limited to get back to skill, speed, and to give real talent (individual & team) it's full due again…..also i would note, the sport of bodybuilding itself is a non contact sport, the polar opposite of rugby.


    • greywarshark 6.1

      It would be good if sport can be more enjoyable instead of starkly competitive.    A bit of enjoyment watching the kids play rugby in the weekned rather than fights breaking out on the sidelines.    A bit of turning to the person beside you and saying hello.   A lot of people arrive in a group, mix with the group, stay with the group.    Not much community get together when that happens, it's very lonely when  you are part of a group yet apparently invisible, of no account;  you aren't one-of-us.

  7. greywarshark 7

    • WeTheBleeple 7.1

      No way! I thought at least comedians jobs were safe. 

      Got a series of sketches about robots stealing our jobs, but no jokes… yet.

      Robbie the robot's gonna get it.

      Every time I tell a joke that's not funny – the robot wrote it.

      Rhys Darby's job should be safe. He can pretend to be a robot.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        I put that up thinking of you.   You're fast off the mark.

        • WeTheBleeple

          It's fascinating. They have a thing 'class clowns' where schoolkids get comic mentors and do comedy as part of the festival, always seemed such an abstract thing to me: comedy, teachable? 

          Like Borat learning comedy – NOT!

          That was funny.

          That robot sucks. cheeky

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    From the Post Carbon Institute:

    "Last year Richard Heinberg shook things up, as he so often does, with a manifesto (http://noapp4that.org/) that questions the relationship between technology and morality in this age of climate change, overpopulation, and biodiversity loss. “Technology isn’t saving us from climate change, overpopulation, or collapsing biodiversity. While solutions have been proposed, some of which are technically viable, our problems are actually getting worse rather than going away, despite the existence of these ‘solutions.’” http://www.postcarbon.org/team-human-podcast-theres-no-app-for-that-with-richard-heinberg/Douglas Rushkoff (of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus (http://www.rushkoff.com/books/throwing-rocks-at-the-google-bus/) fame) invited Richard on to his popular podcast, Team Human, to talk. As you might imagine, the conversation (http://www.postcarbon.org/team-human-podcast-theres-no-app-for-that-with-richard-heinberg/) was very interesting."

  9. greywarshark 9

    Desert and plantings and Africa and Morocco solar array

    Some interesting vids  and climate info.

    Multi here:     https://interestingengineering.com/video/8000km-green-wall-of-trees-and-plants-will-provide-food-security-for-millions-of-people


    Clever and practical scientific thinking trumps political machination!  (my heading.)  Build Green Infrastructure Not a Wall, Says Leading Scientists

    An ambitious green energy park has been proposed by a consortium of leading U.S engineers and scientists as an alternative to a security wall on the U.S/Mexico border.




    Map Bou Saada in north   https://www.mapsofworld.com/algeria/maps/algeria-map.gif

    Bou Saada was the scene of a great tree planting pilot scheme in the 1960's by a New Zealander Wendy Campbell Purdie who had gone to Britain and been inspired by St Barbe Baker and his Men of the Trees visionary group working for remediation of land with tree planting.

    Twenty years ago (1959) an Englishwoman, Wendy Campbell-Purdie, having heard Richard St. Barbe Baker say that the spread of deserts could be stopped by a green wall of trees, bought a one-way ticket to North Africa and set to work planting trees.   On forty-five acres of desert in Morocco (Tiznit), she planted 2,000 trees, and four years later they were twelve feet high.  She proved that this manmade strip of oasis would change the climate (increase the surface humidity) by growing wheat and barley in the shelter the trees provided. 

    Then she went to Algeria, where a reluctant government, gave her a 260-acre dump.  The seedlings she set out there did so well that the astonished Algerian officials promised her help.  She went home to England to raise some money, and eventually she formed the Bou Saada Trust to wage biological warfare against the Sahara.  A few years later the 130,000 trees she had planted at Bou Saada (in Algeria) were flourishing and the fertile area they created was growing vegetables, citrus, and grain.  Plans were then made to invade the great desert with the green things growing.

    Wendy Campbell-Purdie has recently formed a registered trust called Tree of Life to continue this project and undertake similar ones…The Tree of Life evolved directly from the work of the Bou Saada Trust in Algeria.  This successful pilot reforestation scheme has now been incorporated in one of the world's most ambitious tree-planting programs–the thousand-mile protective "green wall" right across Algeria.  The first task of the Tree of Life is to set up similar pilot projects, in cooperation with the Governments concerned, to continue the green wall along the entire northern edge of the Sahara Desert….

    Since the beginning of 1966 the United Nations/FAO World Food Program has also been assisting the Government of Algeria in large-scale reforestation and land reclamation operations through the Chantiers populaires de reboisement. Begun in 1962 under the Christian Committee for Service in Algeria, this work is directed at the eventual economic development not only of northeast Algeria but of other regions. Forestry operations in this desperately poor area provide work for thousands of workers and their families, who are paid in the form of food provided by the World Food Program. …

    Up to the end of the 1965/66 planting season a total of some 30 million trees were planted on about 28,000 hectares. Species used included Eucalyptus globulus, E. camaldulensis, Pinus pinea, P. radiata, P. pinaster and P. halepensis, Cupressus sempervirens and C. atlantica. Samples of seed from other Mediterranean countries are being procured for future trials.


    I hope this photo will come out – I am not good enough with image transfer to smoothly get results.

    <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g1074167-Bou_Saada_M_Sila_Province.html#99928655"><img alt="" src="https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/05/f4/ca/4f/bou-saada.jpg"/></a><br/>This photo of Bou-Saada is courtesy of TripAdvisor

    Details about Bou Saada in wikipedia.   It is saddening that there is no mention of the extreme effort of Wendy Campbell-Purdie and the people in 1960's planting more than 100,000 trees to reclaim desert area and stop sand encroaching.   It was a massive undertaking, yet doesn't register now!

    More about her and also the women like her with get up and go and fire to do great stuff.
    Wendy Campbell-Purdie: She left Algeria in 1970, when her health broke down. She died in Athens on 20/1/1985, aged 59. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Campbell-Purdie




    Showing thick trees in a hollow – evidence of desert fertility given a chance.   And note white painted roofs on dwellings huddled together in the dunes.

    https://img.theculturetrip.com/x/smart/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/desert.jpg    Single tree apparently encroached on by shifting sands but still growing and flourishing.


    Solar array in Morocco




    Africas Green Wall that was envisaged by St Barbe Baker and Wendy Campbell-Purdie's work.


    The idea of a Great Green Wall has come a long way since its inception. Its origin goes back to colonial times. In 1927, the French colonial forester Louis Lavauden coined the word desertification to suggest that deserts are spreading due to deforestation, overgrazing and arid land degradation. In 1952 the English forester Richard St. Barbe Baker suggested that a “green front” in the form of a 50km wide barrier of trees be erected to contain the spreading desert.

    and   https://www.zmescience.com/ecology/climate/great-green-wall-04232/    More than 20 African countries are planting a 8,000-km-long ‘Great Green Wall’

    Heavy grazing, deforestation, and numerous droughts have degraded the once lush Sahel, making it easy pickings for the Sahara’s expansion. In order to stave off an ecological disaster across the continent…..The Great Green Wall.


    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9MV5CgPgIQ&nbsp; See the green climbers go up with David Attenborough's presentation.





  10. greywarshark 10

    I can't remember whether Bill's A Confession post was noted here but it has a wide ranging discussion and very interesting so am including the link here to bring it into the fold, so to speak.

    A Confession.

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