- Date published:
6:00 am, March 22nd, 2023 - 64 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:
Open mike is your post.
For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.
The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).
Step up to the mike …
(I found I had posted this where no-one would see it, but I was so amazed by it, I had to repost it…
It just shows the screening process for candidates/future MPs doesn't always go deep enough to weed out people who will happily exploit others, either as pimps or (in the past) as school bullies of the worst kind. No system is perfect but I do think the Nats have more than their fair share of this kind of person warming seats in the debating chamber.
He's an odious individual with delusions of grandeur and a thirst for power. Hardly surprising given he was a Slater/Lusk acolyte… apples never fall far from the tree…
So was Mark Mitchell a Slater/Lusk acolyte and I believe there are a few others still there.
Given mitchell's previous career as a mercenary soldier .
I prefer to use his full title .
Mark (the mercenary) mitchell..
Lest we forget..and all that…
There are major world issues food production and we need to be ramping up food production not cutting back to help avoid a world famine.
Putting my tinfoil hat on, is there a secret agenda to solve climate change by starving a lot of people to death thus reducing the world population?
For instance, the Netherlands appears to be shutting down 3000 farms. And a lot of our productive land is being turned into forests. All at a time when there are major issues with food production worldwide.
So, is there some sort of tinfoil hat global conspiracy to reduce the world population, or is it just that there is no co-ordinated response to managing food supply for the world while we simultaneously seek ways to reduce our emissions?
I think it's that most people and systems are just not equipped to think in systems yet. But yeah, there will be leaders who are not so much thinking about how to starve people to death as how to weigh up the increasingly narrowing options. And there will be a smaller number who are thinking that if lots of people starve then we have more chance. This is why the Green Party ties social justice and ecological wisdom together. Anyone who thinks we can starve millions of people to get out of this mess is insane.
Linear thinking says we have to drop GHGs and increase biodiversity, therefore we need to get rid of the problems. Systems thinking says that all the things are connected and humans are a part of that, so instead of shutting down farms, convert them to regenerative systems (some food and resource production, some nature reserves).
This is what some of us have been banging on about all this time.
Here's what's happened in NZ. The Greens and other system thinkers promoted the idea of planting millions of trees. The system thinking bit is that you do all the things: plant natives, plant shelter, plant trees in regenag, provide jobs, boost local economies, increase biodiversity, reduce GHGs etc.
Capitalist thinkers went 'cool, let's plant lots of monocropped plantation timber so we can sell carbon credits and make money from forestry, never mind about the food production'. It's insane and the sooner we empower system thinkers and stop giving power to people who can't think in whole systems, the more chance we have of averting utter catastrophe.
The good news is that all over NZ there are people getting on with doing regenerative systems anyway. So the tech is being developed (including how to adapt to changing climate), and the models are in place and getting better all the time. When the mainstream is ready to jump we won't have to start from scratch. But we are running out of time.
Re the Netherlands, I still haven't found a good explanation of what is happening and why. But I suspect part of it is that it's a heavily developed land base and they've realised the writing is on the wall. We cannot survive without biodiversity, because humans are dependent upon functioning ecosystems. If you remove all the habitat for insects for instance, what pollinates the food we need to eat?
Basically, the Dutch government plans to potentially shut thousands of farms in order to reduce harmful nitrogen emissions by half by 2030, since the country is failing to meet safety and environmental standards. That means in some areas up to 95% of some farming activities – particularly dairy – will need to stop almost immediately.
A group called the "Farmer-Citizen Movement" (BBB in Dutch) and analogous to Groundswell was created to oppose this with direct action like the now familiar convoys, road blockades etc.
Because farming occupies a mythical and exceptionalist position in most societies nationalistic identity this opposition has been hijacked by far-right organisations like the radical Farmers Defense Force and online conspiracy theorists everywhere who see in this utterly mundane piece of Dutch domestic squabbling evidence of all the usual nonsense – the "great reset", a globalist secret agenda for the "great replacement" of stolid, upstanding, white Dutch burghers with mass immigration.
So that is it. Another environmental discussion derailed by online lunatics and grifters and their far right fellow travelers in politics.
George Monbiot sums it up & debunks grifter idiots like Russell Brand.
yeah, I understood that side of it already. What I don't get is what they are intending to do with the land, why they're not converting some of it to regenag (or maybe they are), whether they are using systems thinking or doing the plan in a daft way etc. I suspect there's a language barrier in these things being obvious to English speaking countries.
One of the problem I see is what to do with the crops you could grow if ypu switched from mammal farming to cropping.
Take the ohakune area I'm in , it grows fantastic spuds and carrots , the richest people here are the people who grow spuds etc.
So why isn't everyone doing it. ?
Only a small area is grown each year and huge piles of seconds, that appear perfectly edable ar feed to cattle, (carrots) .
Starvation isn't a population problem it's a can't get it to the people problem .
Bit muddled sorry but 2 birds could be knocked of with one stone if the global supply chain worked
I agree we need to be thinking in systems, and that implies looking at the whole rather than the individual parts.
It is non controversial that climate change will affect food production world-wide. For example, China is facing massive droughts. So, in some parts of the world, it will likely require much more use of fertilizers, and release of higher emissions to maintain levels of food production, thus resulting in more pollution, and more emissions overall.
And if food prices increase due to reduced world supply, then there will be an increasing incentive for more rain forest in the likes of the Amazon to be cleared for farming. So, I think the way we are trying to solve the problem at the moment will cause lots of unintended consequences.
And, while it is good to find alternatives to chemical fertilizer use, a problem is that production rates are not as high with other methods. Otherwise, they would already be used in scale. Hence, it may mean more farming is required to keep food production constant with less productive fertilizers. So, the unintended effect could be that emissions go up overall. So, it isn't an easy problem to solve.
Again, the whole picture needs to be looked at. Instead of looking at the emissions and pollution from a given alternative fertilizer on its own, what needs to be considered is the overall effect on emissions, including the increased amount of farming that would be required using methods that yeild less.
So, it seems to me that it makes sense from the perspective of overall global emissions to focus food production in the areas of the world where that can be done most efficiently in terms of emissions, and fertilizer use. That may mean a world emission regime that penalises countries that produce food inefficiently compared to those that do it well.
And it may be that the climate bell tolls for us, and that we become inefficient for producing food due to climate change.
In the end, I think the world population does need to be lower. And, mass starvation might be an unavoidable consequence that leads to that. Not so good for the poor buggers on the receiving end though.
If we look at how the systems interconnect, we can see that while regenag produces less off the same amount of land. One of the reasons for that is because it allocates space for biodiversity. So immediately we have two things essential things happening: less GHGs, more biodiversity.
But the less food isn't a problem if we are selling it locally, because we waste less food that way. That's the increased efficiency.
Regenag also doesn't need to bring in a lot of inputs like fertiliser, so that solves at least four problems (emissions from transport, destruction of other ecosystems, degradation of soil from artificial fertiliser, peak phosphorus).
See how regenag itself is a metasystem that solves multiple problems because that is what it is designed to do. The system is inherently regenerative.
Your premise that we have to keep using art fert and chopping down the Amazon is not based in necessity, it's based in the system we currently use and that is a choice.
We don't have to starve people to get out of this mess.
The issue is not production. Distribution is the problem (my bold):
that's true, and we waste a huge amount of food. But there is no doubt that the global food supply chain and production will be badly affected by climate change, directly via droughts, floods and increasing temperatures, and indirectly by war, displacement, and panic.
Absolutely, however we produce roughly 1.5x the amount needed to feed 7.5 billion people, if food was distributed by need rather than for profit. That means there's enough excess production to ride the oncoming stressors brought on by climate change if we choose to. It absolutely is not some global plan to reduce population sizes via starvation; other than the currently existing one; people being too poor to afford food; artificial scarcity; also known as capitalism.
I don't believe it's a global plan either (but I do think that there will be people that make the choice to let others starve. Think the UK Tory govt response to covid early on).
Also agree about the distribution and how capitalism already lets people starve and throws out a huge amount of food in the process. They're the same thing right? The system that does that and the system that doesn't know how to respond to climate/ecology are the same.
That excess production is useful in the short term, but we produce that much food off the back of fossil fuels and degenerative ag. We can't sustain that. We also ship food around the world in insane distances, again using FFs. Regenag and relocalising food production while scaling back but retaining the essential global supply would give us a pretty good chance. But again, the current system (and tbh, people's attachment to it).
There are many varied ways to solve poverty and hunger, but all of them involve systemic change.
The latest reports from the IPCC reiterate that:
wow, that's a really good quote and framing.
I think that is a valid point. A problem is that increasing distribution will in itself increase emissions.
It may be that the world needs to consider establishing food hubs that provide food for the immediate areas. So, in that model, we may be supplying food for Asia, but not so much for Europe and Great Britain.
think of concentric circles from where you live.
Regenag surrounding cities
Regenag out in the plains
Excess produce shipped within a province or watershed or bioregion (bearing in mind they all have their own versions of the above)
Excess produce shipped between nearby regions
Excess produce shipped to nearby countries
Excess produce shipped within similar part of the globe
Excess produce shipped globally.
Within that also consider not centralising distribution where possible. No more shipping potatoes from Southland to Chch and back to Otago.
Also consider that if everyone in the right climate is growing kumara then the impact of Gabrielle is less. The system I am pointing to is more resilient than what we have now.
Those concentric circles are how we massive reduce food transport GHGs. There are details within that eg you run a truck out to neighbourhoods rather than everyone driving to the supermarket. Works rurally too, see the Longwood Loop system.
The main problem with what I am describing is the lack of imagination in how people can make a living doing that. And how to transition from our current growth/extraction/pollution economy to a regenerative one.
as a practical example, look at this pack of cherry tomatoes at New World.
I can't see where they were grown, but there's a good chance they were grown in the North Island, shipped to a packing house, shipped to a wholesaler, shipped to Otago.
Whereas I've been harvesting cherry tomatoes from my garden all year with minimal work and inputs (fertiliser is mostly from food scraps and other local biomass) and they're still going. They don't produce the plastic waste either, which probably has to be transported overseas for recycling.
Most people I know who grow food at home (which is a lot of people I know), produce excess and could easily scale up to produce more if required, so it's not like everyone has to grow their own.
Victory gardens of WW2 in the UK.
yes! Another outcome from such a system: a feeling of pride and engagement and empowerment in the face of climate change.
Re the excess produce theme, permaculture, one of the knowledge bases of regenag, has three ethics: earth care, people care, fair share. The latter is also known as return the surplus. Inherent in this is that good permaculture design inherently produces a surplus, and this can be shared.
This is in contrast to conventional ag which looks at squeezing the most it can out of any landbase, and then wastes huge amounts of produce and resources.
The Netherlands is slightly smaller than Canterbury and carries twice the dairy herd and >seventy times the number of pigs.They're drowning themselves and their neighbours in run off, refuse to clean up their act by reducing stock levels and when someone threatens to step in and do it for them, they have a cry.
I'm guessing there's not a lot of nature around. Once you socialise people out of nature, it's hard to get them to understand its importance. We are incredibly fortunate in NZ, although our nature literacy is in decline.
I have been to the Netherlands recently. We stayed in a house boat next to a farm area. Probably a 20 minute train ride from Amsterdam. We also went by train around some of the country.
What surprised me is that there is a lot of rural land over there, compared to cities. However, their population is over three times that of NZ for a much smaller land area. Hence why housing is a major issue for them over there.
They are a major food exporter. That is an interesting article, well worth reading. The fact that they are able to get that much production from such a small area is truly impressive.
It feeds into my argument that most productive food growing areas should be maximised and unproductive growing areas minimised in order to have the best net effect on emissions.
The netherlands is doing what we need to do…must do..to stop being a major planet-polluter
Another of our warriors has fallen fighting the fascist beast in Ukraine. May he rest in peace – If there is some sort of afterlife for soldiers, I hope Charles Upham is on hand to buy him a beer in the hall of the fallen.
Compared to Afghanistan, where 10 died over 20 years, we are losing fighters at six times the rate.
Who is this 'we' you speak of?
"We" you ask – count me as one of their supporters of these braver, younger, skilled people who have the courage to defend others against tyranny. Glory to the heroes!
He certainly has my respect and admiration.
Because Ukraine is getting such slow and limited support from the West, a very high price is falling onto a small number of principled people.
It was interesting that we are finally seeing some organised opposition to Evangelical white supremacism of which Julian Batchelor's odious little Christo-Fascist roadshow is but the latest example.
What I found fascinating is the opposition isn't coming from an enfeebled liberal middle class, which would rather spend it's time debating on twitter whether or not it is OK to punch a far right protester doing a Sieg Heil salute (plot spoiler: yes it is OK, always. In fact, it is OK to give them a second bop on the nose as well if they look inclined to carry on the dispute), but from Maori who actually got off their couches and went along to a drafty hall to give Mr. Batchelor's miserable, aged deitritis of Rob's mob a cold drenching of 21st century reality.
Balanced article on the front page of the Australian, after Hobart's #LetWomenSpeak event yesterday:
‘I’m no Nazi; just public enemy No. 1’, says transgender law critic Kellie-Jay Keen
Two full weeks after Census Day this is a poor response rate.
Five years ago, the response rate was only 83.3% and it looks we’re currently more than 10% below this.
What could this mean for the General Election on 14 October?
National using it a stick to beat Labour with?
And so they should. This failure has no excuses. Plenty of money, lots of lessons from the last failed one and tons of time to prepare. This is shaping up to be a complete failure to deliver a critical administrative function.
What should happen is first some highly paid people need to take responsibility for where the buck stops – stats NZ head Mark Sowden should be fired, Deborah Russell ought to resign and the resulting enormous scandal should make sure the next census with it’s nonsensical obsession with identity questions (was it actually intentionally designed to put people off?) is done with more common sense and less bureaucratic capture. You can just imagine the meetings.
“We must be inclusive and tick the all the right boxes, so remember to ask about all the self identification stuff because that is what inclusion actually is, oh and make sure it is a hard online form that about 25% of the population has no access to or won’t or can’t be bothered filling out because the ability to be counted isn’t really inclusion is it”.
Rather than going with a middle class solution that involves completing a reasonably difficult online process and that requires a reasonable degree of technological literacy and effort, maybe next time they could use the money they wasted on Wellington bureaucrats dreaming up this cockamamie online census on funding community groups like Kapa Haka or scouts or Grey Power – people who know their communities in other words – to actually distribute and collect a paper census pack.
You know, like how we used to back when the census was actually a success.
I agree that the process was fucked and we should just do what works. Do you know what the rationale was for changing to online?
Not sure about no excuses, whatever other poor decisions were made there's also the pandemic. Most systems I engage with now have staffing issues or residual failures from previous staffing issues.
At the end of the day there can be no excuses for a failure of this type.
These head bureaucrats are paid top dollar, Sowden will be on at least 400-500K. If you get paid that much and you fuck up the one thing you had five years to prepare to do then you resign/get sacked. Period.
And the relevant minister(s) should resign or be demoted as well, if there was any accountability. You don't sit in the beehive polishing your arse on a seat collecting a ministerial salary just so the only thing you bother having any oversight of is the lunch menu. The buck stop with the minister also. That failure demands a hefty price be paid is exactly the risk factor that is used to justify the huge salaries these people are paid in the first place. If you can screw up in high office and not be held accountable, then you should get paid commensurate to that level of skill, responsibility and competency – which in my book is about the minimum wage.
I couldn't believe they persisted with trying to use a clearly failed online model for the census.
Talk about a bureaucratic bubble of technocratic assumptions.
The people who are not counted by taking it online are the ones we most need to know about. It's their lives that might show that we have systemic economic failure that cannot be reduced to individual pathology.
my local electricty retailer has regular trustee elections. for yrs, it was mailed out and was easy to vote and send back. two yrs ago they went to online voting. its complicated , and I and others have stopped bothering to wade through the stupid code needed. . I emailed them and pointed out it was probably designed by a computer expert, and was very complicated for older less experienced computer users. no reply. the firm engaged has banked the $$$ ,and dont care.in a couple of yrs, electra will suddenly report that trustee election returns have shrunk…..
If I was reviewing the Census response rate I would probably start challenging the belief that online brings it up. Even if its easier online I think there is something about it which results in less responses online to on paper.
A couple of things that may have altered compliance to the census.
A further loss of faith in institutions since Covid. An unintended consequence of the state's response.
Also, speaking from an elderly biddy's point of view, two forms sent out, both mentioning computer/internet. This caused her to dismiss and close off from the whole process.
We did go through the questionnaire ( ignoring the 'gendered soul' malarky) and posted it off. Didn't help matters when someone with a foreign accent knocked on her door chasing the process up.
Sanctuary has it right, get local groups to service their communities. Not a lot of money for consultants, high level officials and their swathes of mandarins though.
The form was so poorly designed. It was bad, bad, bad, let alone the two letter thing. There was no explanation of rights (to privacy of your information) or obligation ($2k fine) up front. The benefits of filling in the census for your community and your interest group was not explained. There should have been a max of 10 simple sentences in double spaced 14pt font on page 1.
The first thing on the form should have been: if you don't understand or can't fill it in online, we will help you, ring this 0800 number.
Where I work all the paranoid refused to co-operate, 25% of the population being paranoid would be about right.
The thing that struck me most about the Census was the morbid facination with whether I still have the same bits I was born with.
That’s a projection.
It only asks birth sex and gender ID.
That is done to identify the extent of cisgender to other.
A lot more people climbed down the big state is after us after covid, bet that's a good few % of the non complient
The poor response is a symptom – from govts to individuals, we reap what we sow. "Fight Fight!"
Around here many who answered the silly questions just gave spoof answers that will provide little information.
A lot of "Don't knows" for sex on birth certificate and at least one saying the sex was 9 months BEFORE my birth.
Lots of fun comparing answers.
The 10 year old in me (South Park), can't help but think there is a lot of fun to be had with "spoof answers" and gender fluidity
Don't worry someone will always propose a final 'Final Solution' ……
[TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]
[You have been recently warned for climate denial and lying about it and you’ve been banned from weka’s posts about climate. You’ve been warned about trolling. Yet, you seem disrespect those warnings. Obviously, it is time for a short educational ban to see if this leads to improvement. If not, expect the bans to rapidly escalate in length. Take a week off – Incognito]
Sounds like Chippie to Nash.
Is anyone taking Luxon's announcements on education seriously? Is it just a way of avoiding having to talk about the IPCC report, or a stealth plan to breathe life into charter schools by discrediting pubic education, or the business sector demanding that publicly-funded education be a free gift to them that provides the sort of people they want? Or does he want to scapegoat teachers for not fixing all the social ills created by market economies? And when he cites successful education systems, why does Finland never get mentioned? His vacuity is exhausting.
Well in the spirit of TLDR I regard Luxon and all things related to him as Too Stupid Don't Bother
That would be a good tagline for luxon..
'luxon: his vacuity is exhausting'..
It sort of captures the man…
Mr Miyagi say: Luxon, Luxoff.
Meh 2 years 5 months and sixteen days without a drink …but dam I would love a few beers right now.
good on you. keep it up. time to change yr username to something up-to-date.
Ex-barfly would work..
And isn't it a truism that the only people amused/entertained by the ramblings of the intoxicated…are others equally intoxicated…
Drunks are so effing boring..
As funny as a fart in an elevator ..
I switched to 0% alcohol beers a few months ago, and found several that taste as good if not better than the selected beers I used to drink.
So, alcohol free not really from conviction but preference.