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The Future Is …

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 9th, 2018 - 288 comments
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The future is … unwritten.

This post is intended to be a place for discussion of the way forward.

The idea comes from an exchange on Open Mike a few weeks ago. TS regular Robert Guyton suggested we have a dedicated thread where “the way forward can be discussed, within parameters such as doable suggestions, successful examples, contributions from readers who support the concept of the thread, new takes on the future etc.”

So, 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.

If there is sufficient support from readers and commenters, this will be a regular weekend feature. No problem with it going up on Saturday, rather than Sunday, if that’s what folks would prefer. And we’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it! You might want to talk about gene editing or free public transport.

Maybe the future is solar? Maybe it’s female? Maybe the future is merely a philosophical concept that’s had it’s day?

How this post works is up to you, Standarnistas.

Let us know what you think.


288 comments on “The Future Is … ”

  1. Jenny 1

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    August 15, 2013

    “Some big-wig” that Ross Vernon, 37, had never laid eyes on told nearly 200 workers at Huntly East Mine headquarters that 93 employees would soon be redundant – 193 well-paid Waikato jobs, some of them already vacant, would be carved down to 86

    It’s economics, Solid Energy chairman Mark Ford told news media later in the day.

    The numbers do not justify the operation continuing in its current form.

    The mechanical fitter was one of the first miners to drive out of the company gates after the announcement.

    While other workers tore off and sprayed gravel, and flipped a middle finger at waiting media, he stopped and answered questions through the driver’s window.

    “They squandered the millions and now they’re having to shut it down,” he said. “We’re basically screwed. The place is going into care and maintenance and they’re going down to a couple of crews.”

    At the same time a move by Contact Energy to back out of a windfarm on the Waikato’s west coast has blown away hundreds of potential jobs in a move described as another disappointment to a region buffeted by lay-offs in the coal industry.

    The Hauauru ma raki wind farm, planned for the coast between Port Waikato and Raglan west of Huntly, was expected to inject $180 million into the regional economy, including $115m of household income over a five-year construction period. It was also tipped to create an estimated 1033 jobs once operational and generate enough power for around 170,000 homes, with its 168 turbines dwarfing the 28 turbines at the region’s next biggest windfarm at Te Uku.

    But Contact Energy, after years of indecision on the project, yesterday announced in its annual result that it would completely pull out of the project, leaving its future uncertain.

    Waikato Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandra Perry said the news was just another disappointment for the region, especially for those in the energy sector following last week’s Huntly Coal Mine lay-offs.

    After the announcement that 93 jobs were to go at the Huntly Mine, Ms Perry was hopeful that some of the younger employees facing redundancy could retrain and head into new jobs – like the construction and maintenance of the windfarm.

    It seems obvious, doesn’t it? When jobs are disappearing in the coal industry, that jobs should be made available in the renewable sector.

    It’s a long time ago that a coal miner was a man with a pick hacking away at a coal face. The skills that are used to maintain a modern coal mine, electrician, engineer, machine operator, driver. are easily transferable to the wind industry.

    Auckland Coal Action for a just transition

    Auckland Coal Action is a climate change activist based pressure group. ACA was founded following the tour of this country by world renowned NASA climate scientist, James Hansen. In his address to the Auckland Town Hall, Hansen identified coal as the most dangerous of the all the fossil fuels. According to Hansen; “If we can’ts stop coal it is all over for the climate.”
    Auckland Coal Action is determined to end coal mining in this country, but not as an end in itself but as example to other countries that coal can be removed from the energy sector. ACA recently organised a grass roots community campaign to stop the development of a new open cast coal mine planned for Mangatangi, just south of Auckland

    Our record speaks for itself.

    “We will stop your mine”

    Fonterra; [we] surrendered our mining permit at Mangatangi

    Auckland Coal Action is committed to shutting down other coal mines in the North Waikato Region.

    Nick explains why K1 must be stopped

    But rather than just being against things we need to be for things as well.

    Eric Pyle CEO of the Wind Energy Association said of the Hauauru Ma Raki project cancellation, “The project is fully consented and with the right policy settings it could be built in stages over time.”

    Let us lobby the the Green, Labour, NZ First, coalition to put those policy settings in place.

    Waikato Windfarm backtrack costs hundreds of jobs

    • Antoine 1.1

      Eric is just rent seeking

    • This looks like topical and specific activism as opposed to a big picture topic.

      Could anything like the current world population survive with no mining at all, or no fossil fuel use?

      I haven’t seen any attempt to explain what a substantially changed ‘green’ world would look like and how it would function. What some propose would be a huge experiment that could easily go badly wrong.

      People in France are strongly opposing just one small change to try to deter fossil fuel use, and the government has backed down.

      I think discussions should consider what is possible as much as what might be ideal. There could be quite a gap between the two.

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        My hope is that compilations of suggestions for genuinely sustainable activities being carried out now, or in the process of being developed, would be valuable and stimulating to read about., for example, water harvesting using home made containers (plucked from the air, that example), or the beneficial effects of art work in public spaces on well-being of those working there or passing through; that sort of thing; suggestions that might snowball as they gather and provoke further thought. There’s no need to solve the problems of the world with a single slogan, as you seem to be demanding, Mr George. How about you provide us with something worthwhile in the form of a suggestion you favour; one that would improve or at least help preserve a future for your children and those of other readers here.

        • Jenny

          “Mr George. How about you provide us with something worthwhile in the form of a suggestion you favour…”
          Robert Guyton 1.2.1
          9 December 2018 at 12:16 pm

          Yes I agree, Pete needs to tell us what his favoured strategy is.

          The strategy I have outlined here is “Think global, act local”

          But there are a number of others;

          From the “No need to do anything strategy” (promoted by the fossil fuel industry and their useful idiots the climate change deniers)

          To the frankly sychophantic “Fast follower strategy” (promoted by John Key)

          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          Sycophancy[2] is flattery that is very obedient, or an indication of deference to another, to an excessive or servile degree. A user of sycophancy is referred to as a sycophant or a “yes-man”.

          Alternative phrases are often used such as:

          ass/arse kissing
          ass/arse licking
          brown nosing
          sucking up
          yes man


          • Antoine

            > The strategy I have outlined here is “Think global, act local”

            When I actually read your post, the strategy you outline seems to be “Lobby government for corporate welfare for big (renewable) energy companies”


            • Jenny

              Antoine, if you look at Eric Pyle’s statement, Pyle doesn’t ask for money he asks for “policy settings”.

              When you are talking about corporate welfare, Antoine, it is hard to ignore the corporate welfare extended to Solid Energy, which amounted to a total of over quarter of a billion in taxpayer funds, ($256 million to be exact). A large portion of which Bill English admitted, the tax payer will never get back.

              $128m down the Solid Energy gurgler
              Chris Bramwell – RNZ, August 13, 2015

              The taxpayer will not get back the millions of dollars it poured into Solid Energy, Finance Minister Bill English says.

              Mr English said the banks were taking a hit and the Government would also not get back any of the $128 million it put into Solid Energy.

              “The Government is not in line to recover anything from the sale of the assets, the banks and other creditors as appropriate would be ahead of us.”

              As the saying goes: If the climate was a bank, It would have been bailed out long ago.

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        Pete George 1.2
        9 December 2018 at 10:46 am
        This looks like topical and specific activism as opposed to a big picture topic…..

        This is big picture stuff.

        New Zealand’s total greenhouse emissions from all sources, amount to only 0.2% of the global total.

        Precisely because of this 0.2% figure, (Sir) Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the last government, wrote on the Parliamentary website, on climate change, that New Zealand’s greatest contribution to fighting climate change will be by setting an example.

        Same thing with coal.

        Coal represents only 5% of New Zealand’s total electricity generation.

        But in Australia, coal represents 58.4% of Australia’s total electricity generation.

        Pete, if New Zealand can’t transition away from coal, how can you expect Australia to?

        We can, and should set, an example..

        Australia has massive untapped renewable energy resources, all that is missing to develop them, is the political will to do so.

        (That, and vested corporate interest in the fossil fuel sector)

        If we, on this side of the ditch, can set an example it may be just that little bit extra needed to create the political will for Australians and their representatives to stand against the powerful Australian fossil fuel interests.

        After all Australia is forecast to be one of the worst hit nations by climate change.

        Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest places on earth; it should waste no time escaping the “death spiral” of coal and instead becoming a global renewable energy superstar, said experts at a recent conference in Sydney.


        Climate change will hit Australia harder than rest of world, study shows

        Science agency the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology predict temperature rises of up to 5.1c in Australia by 2090 in their most comprehensive forecast yet


        It is quite possible that if Australia as a major world emitter doesn’t change it’s ways, that Australians will get to suffer ‘the boat people’ trauma from the other side of the equation.

        Let us hope that we are more accommodating of refugees than they are,.

        • Antoine

          > Let us hope that we are more accommodating of refugees than they are,.

          Let’s not!


        • JennyHow to get there?

          We ,must set an example

          We can, and we must, and we should, set an example.

          At the risk of being accused of monomania…..

          Getting rid of coal from our economy is the most important thing we can do.


          James Hansen has said if we can’t get rid of coal, it is all over for the climate.

          “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet.” James Hansen

          I can’t emphasise this enough

          We must set an example

          If New Zealand can’t get rid of coal, when it represents only 5% of our electricity supply, how can anyone else?

          How can Australia?

          Australia only nation to join US at pro-coal event at COP24 climate talks
          Country’s stance described as ‘a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours’

          Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the United Nations climate talks in Poland.

          Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as cleanly and efficiently as possible, as well as the use of emission-free nuclear energy”……

          ……Patrick Suckling, Australia’s ambassador for the environment, and the head of the country’s negotiating delegation at the climate talks, spoke on the panel. His nameplate bore a US flag…..

          [Talk about ‘nominative determinism’ J.]

          …..Wells Griffith, a Trump administration adviser speaking alongside Suckling on the panel, said the US would continue extracting fossil fuels, and warned against “alarmism” about climate change.

          “We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice their economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” he said.

          [read: ‘environmental surviveability’ J.]

  2. Estimates of the population of the world at the time agriculture emerged in around 10,000 BC have ranged between 1 million and 15 million.

    Even earlier, genetic evidence suggests humans may have gone through a population bottleneck of between 1,000 and 10,000 people about 70,000 BC

    World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of 1315–17 and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million.


    The population is now about 7.7 billion people. Subsistence farming and gathering (I guess many Greens are against hunting) would be impossible (for survival) in most populated parts of the world.

    • Grafton Gully 2.1

      Cannibalism is a possible solution to the dilemma. How much high grade protein goes up in smoke ? You could do the maths. Or if eating other people is not acceptable, why not convert them to fertiliser and food for farmed animals and pets. Organ and blood donation are already commonplace. There are precedents in Pacific cultures, abolished by colonisation, and in societies that practice sky burial. Post mortem processing of human fat and hair for soap and felt was undertaken on a small scale in WW2 Europe. Why not amend the relevant legislation to allow the recycling of human corpses ?

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Oh, how I wish I’d been first in line on this thread!
      I was ready, having written a cracker of an opening comment (imo 🙂 designed to set the tone for what I hoped would be an inspirational, fun thread that would attract the creative and pragmatic commenters, of whom there are many here on TS, some of whom helped forge the ideas for this thread – but I was delayed by visitors (nice, unexpected but delaying :-), and now here we are, discussing cannibalism and coal and getting a lecture from Pete George!

      Good Lord!

      Time to pull my Big Boy pants on and join the fray. First up, I’ll paste in my pre-recorded address to the nation, then roll my sleeves up and send Mr George back to his own playground 🙂 (too many smiley faces, I know, but I don’t know how to do the teeth-grinding emoticon!)

      How to get there? Why, start at the beginning, go on to the end, then stop, my last-year-at-primary-school teacher used to say. Everything’s up for discussion though, isn’t it? It might be that we’re already well through our journey (many TS posters were born well before the arrival of television in New Zealand, BT, that is, “Before Telly”, before Samantha’s twitching nose, David Frost’s gravitas, Ellie-Mae’s Clampett’s…good lord, what was it Ellie-Mae exuded???) So, many of the nuanced comments seen here on The Standard come from seasoned observers and thinkers who seem to me a little … anxious about the future and consequently keen to play a part, asap, in doing something about improving the outlook. TS, as a forum for tossing ideas back and forward, is doing pretty well, in my opinion, but can seem a like a Jackson Pollock painting at times; topics from all over and comments from all and sundry, splashing views all over the canvas, but producing something that you mightn’t especially like to hang on your wall.

      This thread, boldly titled, “How to get there” after a poem by Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig’s delightful-if-somewhat-sobering comment on life, accompanied by the images you see at the top of this post that capture the journey described, is intended to attract comments from those who want to … get there, and have something useful to recommend about the process of doing so.

      Over the past several whiles, various posters here have intimated their desire for a “softer” thread that might provide opportunities for non-combative discourse; that is, pleasant trading of ideas about worthwhile things to do, as we elsewhere wrestle with life’s tough stuff; whether that’s possible on an open blog with a clear political inclination is another matter, but we will see.

      This is an idea that arranged itself, as leaves piled after a little whirl-wind in a public park do, with several regular posters here gathering about the spark of the idea and fanning it with their own puffing and blowing, till the ember flared bright enough for the authors here, Te Reo Putake in particular, to take notice and offer to help; thanks TRP, I hope you don’t end up with egg on your face  It could flop. There may be so few people “out there” who care about getting there, or talking about ways that there can be got to, but we will see. In any case, I reckon it’s a good idea and am happy to contribute.

      (written last night, in a haze of bonhomie, before reality bit – gritted-teeth-smiley-face)

      • Antoine 2.2.1

        Good luck, you’ll need it

        • Robert Guyton

          Thanks, Antoine, that’s exactly the sort of positive comment I’m looking for. Do you have another? We can use them as glue to hold this thread together and maybe as buffers in case some naysayer does happen by and try to usurp the good intentions of the thread.

          • Antoine

            I think the thread needs a new title that reflects what you are trying to achieve, and I suspect it also needs some ground rules, which will need to be enforced. Otherwise it will just degenerate into a Russia/Libya slanging match or something.


            • Robert Guyton

              I agree, Antoine. I had proposed that the thread be titled, “How to get there” which is comfortingly vague and aspirational at the same time. That request was lost in translation somehow (no blame or criticism aimed at any one – such things happen easily, but are just as easily righted 🙂
              As for ground rules, my fervent desire is that we don’t express any. If the general tenet of the thread is strong enough, commenters will self-manage, capably assisted by the rest of us, if needed 🙂

              • I’ll retitle the next edition, Robert. The future is unwritten is a Joe Strummer reference. I guess I’m still gutted at losing Pete Shelley.

                • Robert Guyton

                  That’s all good, TRP – I read more closely, your intro when Antoine made the point and liked what you’d written very much, this especially I thought captured what we’d collectively hoped to say:
                  “So, 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.”
                  The future is unwritten, I like a lot also, believing, as I do, that writing; recording live storytelling and myth-sharing, with printed words, is one of the steps we took in the wrong direction. I’m certainly not advocating the rejection of writing, but pointing at one of the markers in human development that could stand some close attention. I reckon too, that the future is unwritten, but I’ve heard some very encouraging whispers…

      • Incognito 2.2.2

        I think this is a great idea and worth doing – sounds a bit like a cheesy add for a TED Talk, doesn’t it?

        I won’t make any significant contribution till well into 2019 though.

        However, I’d like to respond to your Jackson Pollock analogy. I’d like to argue that we are a tabula rasa or perhaps better, like a constantly changing and unfinished artwork (work in progress). If I want to see the effect or product of many a comment and post here on TS I only have to look in the mirror so to speak.

        You’ve probably heard that modern X-ray technology has revealed that many famous painters changed their mind during the course of creating a painting and in some cases covered up their work with an almost completely painting – maybe materials were expensive or they were very unhappy with their creation (which is quite common among very talented people I’ve been told). The term for this is pentimento. My life and life’s history is like a pentimento and posts like this contribute to it 🙂 Never underestimate the power of the written word!

        • Robert Guyton

          Some of us, Incognito, can seem pretty blank at times, it’s true. I really appreciate the view you provided with your reference to pintemento and encouragement to never underestimate the power of the written word; one of my core beliefs also! You would have enjoyed, as I did, watching the street artists who just recently painted our village red (well, all colours really) – seeing them mark-up their walls in a seemingly random fashion, start in unlikely parts of their design and bring it altogether with a final flourish of sprayed paint, was wonderful! I especially enjoyed watching the phenomenon you described; the artist changing tack, over-painting, introducing elements unplanned at the beginning- their freedom and adroitness of mind was a pleasure to see, culminating as it did in a shared wall where each artist added to the other’s work for a huge cooperative work that really made us villagers gasp! Those experiences change world-views!

      • JennyHow to get there? 2.2.3

        “How to get there?” Robert Guyton

        “Put the coal back in the hole”

        A Kiwi scientist’s haiku version of the latest global warming report

    • Robert Guyton 2.3

      Who is suggesting subsistence farming and gathering as a way to feed the present population of the planet, Mr George?

      • greywarshark 2.4.1

        It would be a help if anyone putting up links gave us their choice of paragraph from it making a really big point. The heading is useful as a guide, but what is particularly pertinent in the piece to your mind? Can we have that shown to us please.

        • Pat

          It is an audio file and the clue is in the title….future proofing agriculture and food production

          • greywarshark

            Did you read what I said. What you have said is obvious to me at first glance.

            • Pat

              pleased it is obvious and therefore dosnt need my interpretation…it is posted unsullied for any who are so interested to listen to and take from it what they will.

              • Robert Guyton

                Thanks, Pat. I’d like to have a listen to that later; right now, I’ve a grandson to entertain. He likes trains, which is a better fixation than cars, but I’d love him to shift his attention to companies of trecking dwarves, but he’s only 2.
                I’ve some lovely copies of The Hobbit, lying in wait for his 7 year-old self.
                I bristle a bit at mention of agriculture and keeping it alive into the future, but I’ll withhold my judgement till I’ve listened to the link you provided.

    • DJ Ward 2.5

      The 73,000 year ago event was the Toba eruption and was so massive that it caused the ocean to drop by 2 degrees for 1000 years.

      Think global warming is a problem!

      Think no crops grew this year, and next year.
      Think sunny Europe, New York, Moskow, New Zealand.
      Then ice sheets covering everything in a matter of years.

      Our very own Taupo is just as dangerous.

  3. gsays 3

    Hey big ups to Robert and others to get this thread off the ground.

    I see food security as the next ‘economy’.
    Gardening is a political act.
    Your food decisions are political acts.

    I have already picked up a couple of things from the regulars here n regards my overgrown raised garden beds. Buttercup is present in compacted ground.
    The solution of smothering is simple and works with the nature of the environment.

    When you have the courgette/MARROW glut, and there is only so much of them you can eat, they can be grated and turned into a cousin of lemon curd.
    I will scratch around when I get home and put the recipe up.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Thanks, gsays though I’m not sure we’re off the ground just yet; still taxiing on the tarmac I think but I know there’s a breeze out there yearning to lift our nose and get under our wings. Looking forward to your marrow curd recipe, for the sake of knowing how to make it but also because a recipe posted here on TS might be a first and that’s the kind of thinking I like! It wouldn’t surprise me if a poem or two appeared here also; poetic language, poems and other non-proser communications, are portals through which truths can be glimpsed, truths that otherwise might take screeds of difficult explanation to express. So yes, put your recipe up and save the planet 🙂

      • Antoine 3.1.1

        Zucchini slice is another option… a deep slab made with eggs and cheese… good eaten cold

        Or a zucchini chocolate cake

        I made a beetroot chocolate cake but I think I did it wrong and no one except me would eat it. It tasted very earthy, is the best you could say for it


        • Robert Guyton

          Putting your curcubits and beets to good use – it could be a sub-thread, Antoine! I’m wondering about your earthy beetroot chocolate cake – you didn’t have a bowl of beetroot-sized clods sitting on the kitchen bench at the time of the baking, did you? Accidentally substituting ingredients is a common enough mistake.
          Your comment is perfectly aligned to the kaupapa of this thread, Antoine, imo.

        • KJT

          Puha and Pakeha?

          • Robert Guyton

            Both tauiwi.

            • KJT

              Pakeha are treaty people. Not Tauiwi.

              Tauiwi is an insult, by the way.

              My family is all mixed up, Pakeha, Poms, Chinese and Maori, ship jumpers, along with Aussie convict and squatter, and probably a few other wild genes, it is hard to know how to describe us. LOL.

              I didn’t know that Puha (Watercress) was an introduced plant?

              • WeTheBleeple

                Puha and watercress are not the same plant. Puha is terrestrial, watercress (semi) aquatic.

                I used to grow watercress while working with lots of Maori. I’d get texts: ‘Got any watercress Bro?” I kept waiting for the cops to turn up, them being convinced watercress was a code for weed…

                • Robert Guyton

                  There’s a sow thistle growing here that’s as tall as I am. It’s using a shrub as a prop to reach that great height.
                  That puma though, is a toddler compared to the giant hogweed that’s growing beside the workshop – see here:

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Not bad. I grew a manglewurzel that cleared the house gutter by several feet. The seed filled half a 5 kilo rice sack. I sent it off free to dozens of NZ households via a garden group.

                    We’ve put it across a beetroot, now getting amazing red and pink stemmed silverbeet type leafy greens with bonus edible roots. The wild birds and my chooks go nuts for the leaf, I eat a fair bit myself. If the birds have a drink handy they’re less voracious on the veggies. The tubers are a bit bland, but will do in a pinch if one is hungry add a blob of butter and salt and pepper – all good.

                    Big ups on the start of this project. Here’s a pat on the back for all concerned! 😉

                    • Robert Guyton

                      “I grew a manglewurzel that cleared the house gutter by several feet. ”
                      Did you throw it?
                      Have you heard of the tradition of throwing a fresh hen’s-egg over the roof? If it lands without breaking, good fortune is yours. I tried it, successfully, hence my good fortune ever since 🙂
                      Eggs are strong. Admittedly, it landed on lawn, not patio but your account of tossing a huge manglewurzle over your roof is impressive (I jest).

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Thought I’d provide a soundtrack to these shenanigans

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      I just sprouted a triploid macadamia. Bet ya haven’t got one of them!

                      The ovules will be three. They normally have two ovules (diploid) but only one fertilises so only one nut. But I’ve had double fertilised nuts and they grow shell through the centre to make two half round nuts. I imagine Cadbury would be beating down my door if I could repeat this result as they’re perfect for coating in chocolate and putting in a tray…

                      Three nuts, what am I gonna do with triangular nuts?

                      Fuel to save the freakin world.

                  • greywarshark

                    Watch out for that puma Robert. They are meat eaters. Next thing you’ll be saying is that you found a triffid growing in your patch.

                • greywarshark

                  Puha – Vegetables
                  Puha or Rauriki is a green vegetable native to New Zealand. Traditionally it was one of the staple green vegetables of the Maori and is still eaten today. Puha can be found growing wild. The ‘smooth’ leaved puha is the most popular, however, the slightly bitter and ‘prickly’ leaved puha is also eaten.

                  Watercress is watakirihi and here included in a recipe using natural NZ foods – sounds good.

                  • Samuel Goslin: The Lost Springs – Whitianga for “Kaimoana Ōra Kaimoana Aroha” – (Live seafood, Love seafood) comprising horopito, seasoned seared Ōra King salmon served with crunchy piko piko, kina velouté and watakirihi pesto.
                  (One of five in 2014 – The five finalists for Best Ōra King Dish in New Zealand)

                • KJT

                  So the Maori asking to pick the ‘puha’ from our creek were wrong???

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Let’s just say you were all as well informed as each other.

                  • Molly

                    Not if there was puha growing there on the banks.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Not if they used the word “puha” to describe watercress and “puha”in the local dialect refers to watercress, not sow thistle.

                    • Molly

                      Thanks Robert.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Yeah I considered the option of Puha on the banks, and common names, but the jump to calling people wrong pushed my button.

                      Here’s a really good article on watercress. Includes traditional vs non traditional harvest, and how it affects the quality (and potential poisoning) of the food.


                      My rule of thumb has been to not eat wild watercress without cooking it first. Here they look at e coli, I’m more concerned with liver fluke. If the catchment doesn’t have sheep/goats, and you follow traditional harvest methods, your odds of a good clean feed will be a lot better.

                      I have created an aquaponic eel/watercress system that was highly productive and used flooding as pest control. That level of control gave me access to bulk raw watercress safe to eat. That stuff healed my liver after many drinkies. Anyone wanting to produce bulk quality organic watercress – I can definitely help.

                      Watercress has many health benefits. I could bombard you with science article links but go google scholar Nasturtium officinale and you can see for yourself.

                  • greywarshark

                    They might have thought you wouldn’t know te reo for Maori food items but would probably recognise the word puha, as in ‘Puha and Pakeha’!

        • Sabine

          too much beetroot. Like with a carrot cake you use the beet to inject moisture into your cake, so only a little bit. And then of course its important that you choose good chocolate for your cake, non of that button stuff. Funny thing is i could think that some of the more fruity single origin chocolates would have gone nicely with your ‘earthy’ cake.

          but yeah, next time, just go a little less enthusiastic on the beetroot.

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        Frankly Robert just reading your and others’ comments about gardening and how things are growing, and the birds and insects and so on is a sort of poetry to me, reaches my heart and I feel happy. So definite poems and organic ones, and ones like Leunigs, are all part of the creativity of us. If we can keep the acid-drops out we will have a lot of sweetness and hopeful stuff going here.

        • Robert Guyton

          How about this then, Greywarshark:

          What wondrous life is this I lead!
          Ripe apples drop around my head;
          The luscious clusters of the vine
          Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
          The nectarine, and curious peach
          Into my hands themselves do reach;
          Stumbling on melons, as I pass
          Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

          Andrew Marvell
          The Garden

    • patricia bremner 3.2

      Bottling may make a return, and swap meets.

  4. Ad 4

    Robert this is a great initiative to start on TS and I wish it well.

    Government will always be a part of collective action to determine what … the future is …

    So I keen to hear your thoughts on the collective impact of our suite of policy initiatives including:

    – passing a Zero Carbon Act
    – amending New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme
    – establishing an independent Climate Change Commission
    – continuing New Zealand’s international efforts to ensure the integrity of the Paris Agreement
    – higher fuel taxes
    and the last one that was launched last week, the

    – Green Investment Fund.

    Im almost tempted to ask Mr Shaw to come on this site and explain what difference it is intended this suite of policy measures will make.

    Just on the Green Investment Fund, I understand that its overall aim is to accelerate low emissions investment in New Zealand by focusing on the following four key objectives:

    – Make investments that lower domestic emissions
    – Crowd-in private finance
    – Make investments on a commercial basis
    – Undertake a market leadership role

    Sensibly for an investment fund throwing my money about, it seems to be concentrating on very well proven technologies that have a really good shot at computing in their fields.

    I’m not knocking it.

    But I’d like to hear your thoughts on firstly whether this policy set is the right direction, and secondly on whether the Green Investment Fund is right for us.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Hi Ad, thanks for your well-wish.
      The Government will always be … a part… yes, but politicians need suggestions, feedback and models, on a level they can embrace, of better ways to live. That’s what we can do, show our elected representatives how it’s done. The most powerful changers of behaviour, I reckon, are models; true, successful, vibrant and healthy working models of life well led. Make one, live in it, whether it’s a tiny home or a philosophical vehicle, and invite your local MP (or the leader of the party you support) to join you there; your reality-tested example will influence them more than any lobbying or party principle and taking that experience with them, they’ll go back into the heart of Government and change the settings (best case scenario 🙂
      As far as the Green Investment Fund is concerned, I don’t know. I’m not a political animal and don’t analyse policies and proposals very deeply. Sorry I couldn’t help there.

      • KJT 4.1.1

        It’s a start, like many things this Government are doing.

        Establishing principles.

        When people start to realise that these initiatives are working, they can be built on.

    • Jenny 4.2

      Since these investments are intended to make a profit, I imagine that initiatives like community gardens will miss out. And will continue to have to rely on the sacrifice and dedication of volunteers.

    • greywarshark 4.3

      Why can’t we form a policy discussion group, that would be parallel to this one. Can we discuss the idea of having a discussion group on policy and The Way Forward? If Ad is interested in Robert, what about others who have some expertise putting their hand up to be a sort of focus group.

      Good if we could talk with scions of government in an intelligent and hopeful and practical way? It would take a different line than this post’s, more placing stepping stones in the river so we can get from here to some future not-clearly-drawn place. It would have a sustainable and committed group of individuals who had bonded to make a hard-working, practically and usefully productive yet creative also; and enjoyable society. Can we make a rope bridge to get there from here?

      We would take a different line to “having smart arses telling us what a waste of time we are and that there may be no flies on us but you can see where they’ve been etc!”
      That wouldn’t be allowed.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Hey Robert – good one.
    Maybe it would be a help to start listing major themes, and then sub-themes.

    Water would have to be a main theme.
    Gathering, Retaining, Conserving, Keeping fresh, Preventing evaporation.

    Trees, forestry, another main theme.
    Uses – (subthemes)
    Safe for animals.
    Wood use and treatment.
    Fire prone or resistant.

    Perhaps we could have people just entering up themes as they think of them –
    put Theme and then subject at the top, and then subs under.

    Then these get collected and archived in a space especially for this whole topic area.

    The archive would be a good go to place for people’s experienced tips, for scholarly article links, for good sources, for lifetime committed people with vast knowledge. for a list of blogs for informed discussion.

    • Antoine 5.1

      This would work much better as a wiki


    • Robert Guyton 5.2

      You’re someone with a penchant for orderliness, greywarshark! I, otoh, am someone who welcomes wildness into their garden 🙂
      What you suggest may well eventuate. I’m happy to let whatever unfolds, to…unfold but it’s worth noting that I have exactly the same status as anyone else here and can’t cause anything to happen to a degree greater than anyone else! Open source, we!

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Well Robert we could draw in a lot of useful information. I have lots of useful stuff stored on my computer and have tried to set up systems but need better folders so i can track down what I am sure I have set aside as useful. So getting it talking about, keeping it, retrieving it that is important and why I think it is good to try for systemisation just for sorting and finding to make it an effective resource.

        And I don’t understand wiki but I would like The Standard to grow something permanent out of the hard work that has gone in and the millions of words that have flown through. It has got NZ political discussion going and crystallising and morphing etc. Further now we could be a home for something other than talk and being a hotbed of untested opinion and wishful thinking and venomous rejection. So sustainable outcomes could happen with a treasury accessable to any one who is seeking info, a way forward.

        • Robert Guyton

          You’re a visionary, greywarshark! The idea of collecting and making available, “the best of TS” is a very good one. Without systems people, us dreamboats would be lost at sea 🙂

          • greywarshark

            I can’t stand all this positivity. But keep it coming, I’ll just have to learn that I can drop my shield and my wooden sword and come out and play safely.

            • Robert Guyton

              Drop ’em but keep ’em at hand, greywarshark. It’s early days and we’re not into the woods yet.

            • WeTheBleeple

              Must reinforce ‘the best of TS’ is a great idea. I had it about an hour ago with regards to ‘how to get there’, so it’s possibly brilliant 😀

          • McFlock

            It’s getting to the stage where it can be quite difficult to find dimly-recalled posts from 5 or almost 10 years back. A lot of it has a quick expiry date in relevance, but there have been some really interesting pieces about finance, technology, science, or geopolitics over the years. Tags and even an operational search engine don’t really work for that sort of thing, but a wiki’s portal format might be just the ticket.

            A companion wiki might be quite useful – sort of file the best and ignore the shitfights. Doesn’t even have to republish the articles, just maybe do a paragraph summary and link. Not sure how it would handle links to interesting posts elsewhere, though – can get into copyright stuff.

            I’m not a developer, but I could help with collation and editing if needed.

        • Antoine

          > I have lots of useful stuff stored on my computer and have tried to set up systems but need better folders so i can track down what I am sure I have set aside as useful. … And I don’t understand wiki

          I think you need a helpful young person to come to your house, perhaps with a notebook and/or a tape recorder, and help you get some of this stuff in order


          • greywarshark

            I resist that, because I tell myself I have to learn myself. It’s so easy for older people to say I can’t do it, and I often do. But my approach now is first I try, and ask for help to do so when needed, then for a treat I will get someone else. So thanks for good advice Antoine. I must say that learning and failing provides opportunities for amusing anecdotes and shared experience with others.
            For instance
            I can appreciate the old joke of the woman who couldn’t get her computer to work. She thought it was like her sewing machine, put the mouse on the floor and tried to use it as a foot pedal.

            • Antoine

              Well then, I reckon you should go learn how to set up a wiki. It’s not hard.

              I use pbworks but other people here may have other suggestions.


              • greywarshark

                But I wanted to see it come from The Standard and The Standard to be seen as a real Sign-Post. Would a wiki be subservient to that? And I want to see NZs coming forward with ideas, not have it an international site with everybody else’s opinions dominating. NZs have to care enough to do things for themselves or we are just a popped balloon only good for blowing raspberries!

  6. Ant 6

    The competitive spirit, intrinsic to organic life forms has for decades reached unwholesome proportions amongst humans via drugs and match fixing in sport and as obscene imbalance of wealth.

    Sensing the futility of ceaseless one-up-man ship many are turning to cooperative ventures; these may be on a global scale or within modest local communities. Achieving things for one another, with sensitivity to the dire needs of our suffering biosphere, the movement grows with scant recognition or coverage by MSM.

    The postulate is: the competitive consciousness can be eclipsed by the cooperative one, -affording a sense of renewed purpose as the range of skills of individuals are welcomed and appreciated as community projects grow and diversify.

    “Happiness” is not the goal; a sense of directed purpose to one’s life is, a by-product of which is growth and levels of fulfilment that transcend the egocentricities of “happiness.”

    The December Circular 70 (pdf) of the Hurunui’s “Food for Thought” draws attention to progress achieved along these lines in just one such group since 2012. https://www.facebook.com/groups/218120821568830/

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      And that’s how you get there, Ant 🙂

      • Ant 6.1.1

        Aye Robert….I’d meant to include Emerson’s much loved “life is a journey not a destination” which underlines there is no “there”. Transitions are valid “moments” and we find ourselves in the turbulence of rediscovering/re-inventing/re-pitching whom we are as sentient life-forms. What could be simpler than living cooperatively? 😉

        • Robert Guyton

          Ha! Living cooperatively – good one! It can be done. Two things are needed, I reckon: a shared, strong belief system (religion, philosophy, whatever) and a strong work ethic. The combination of those two elements creates the best chance for success in any cooperative venture, I reckon. Maybe even marriage 🙂

    • WeTheBleeple 6.2

      Excellent comment Ant.

  7. Bruce 7

    HEMP, it’s the way forward for so many things but represents the biggest danger to those who profit from the status quo , hold it back to retain income and power. Clean the earth, stop erosion, save trees, fuel, housing , just think of an issue Google a solution and I’m pretty sure it will appear some where.
    Change the law tomorrow and were on our way to a better future, it’s easy as that.

  8. greywarshark 8

    I will start loading some things that others have put up while we have been discussing setting up this post. First up is a long, thoughtful one from Open Mike on 22/11:

    Tony Veitch [not etc.] 4
    22 November 2018 at 8:01 am

    Premise: we simply can’t go on rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!
    Some ideas for radical action. And I mean RADICAL!

    Action on cars:

    • ban the import of all combustion engine vehicles immediately.

    • begin a controlled phase out of all vehicles over 10 years old (my own included) with the government offering reasonable compensation.

    • allow the import of unlimited EVs – with subsidies.

    • 10 x the bus fleets in all our cities and towns (and only buy electric buses) so a means of getting around is not denied to poorer people.

    • make public transport (in the words of John Minto) free and frequent.

    • expand the rail network so the bulk of our long-distance transport is by rail. By bulk, I mean in excess of 80%.

    • rehabilitate some of the discontinued rail lines, and restore others (like the line to Gisborne.)

    In other words, do everything possible to take petrol and diesel vehicles off our roads ASAP.


    On Farming:

    • declare dairy farming a sunset industry.

    • ban large scale irrigation, restrict irrigation to vegetable growing.

    • Plant trees! And, incidentally, stop exporting our raw, unprocessed logs!

    • De-industrialise farming. There’s no reason (except greed) for a nuclear family to own more than one farm.

    • Actively encourage the move to a vegetarian diet (and I’m one who likes meat)!

    • Above all else, farming must be sustainable! If it pollutes in any way, it is not sustainable! Therefore, it stops!

    On housing:

    • much as I applaud the coalition government’s efforts to rebuild housing stocks, every new house should be able to be independent of the national grid.

    • in other words, all new houses should have solar panels and be energy neutral – it may cost more in the short term – but . . .

    On fishing:

    • ban all foreign vessels from NZ waters immediately, including joint venture vessels.

    • our fishing stocks are a precious tahonga and need to be preserved.

    On immigration:

    • New Zealand is approaching the upper limit of population – in the very different world we will face with climate change.

    • so, strictly enforce the sale of land only to New Zealanders.

    • cut immigration to the absolute bare minimum.

    • we simply cannot keep expanding our tourist population indefinitely. We will need to put a cap on tourist numbers.

    • restrict aeroplane travel !!

    On Natural monopolies:

    • all natural monopolies and essential services must be returned to government hands for the benefit of all NZers. Such as power and water services.

    • get rid of the neoliberal nonsense about SOEs having to return a dividend to the government. If they produce a social return (ie a good for the community), that should be enough.

    I’m sure other posters will have more ideas (and better ones!)

    Don’t tell me all this will cost a lot of money or that jobs will be lost – that’s just rearranging those damned deck chairs again.

    We’ve got between three to twelve years to turn this around, and yes, New Zealand can be a world leader in the effort to save the planet.

    If climate change is this generations ‘nuclear free’ moment, then let’s do something radical! (Rather like banning nuclear ships from our ports – that, in the context of the 80’s, was radical.)

    Further reading: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2018/11/climate-change-what-would-real-action.html:

    (I have tried to make the headings stand out a little more for effect with capitals and italics but this is all Tony’s work. Thanks Tony from Greywarshark)

    • Jenny 8.1

      Hi Grey, (and Tony). All good stuff.

      Tho as the crisis hits, I think that you may have to amend the policy on immigration on humanitarian grounds. At the very least the free passage that we enjoy with Australia will have to be extended to our Pacific neighbors, who unlike Australia are the people in the world least responsible for the crisis, but who face some of the very worst effects, from climate change fueled tropical super storms, to sea level rise, making their island homes unliveable.

      143 Million People May Soon Become Climate Migrants
      Laura Parker – National Geographic, March 19, 2018

      …..Sea-level rise is already prompting the migration of people from Pacific and Oceania island chains and low-lying coastal areas that flood regularly, and areas suffering extreme drought has sent others in search of sustainable farmland. Much of the coming migration will shift populations of people over the next three decades from rural areas to urban areas. Not surprisingly, the poorest people in the poorest countries will be hardest hit, the report finds.

      And as for refugees desperate enough to try and make a crossing of the Tasman

      I am against, (just as I am sure you are), the let them drown, policy now being followed by European countries in the Med.

      Aquarius rescue ship will no longer operate along deadly Mediterranean routes
      Middle East Eye, December 6, 2018

      A search and rescue ship that has helped almost 30,000 refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in international waters between Libya, Italy and Malta has been forced to suspend operations, human rights groups announced.

      Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS-Mediterranee said on Thursday that the Aquarius would no longer operate in the Mediterranean Sea.

      “This is a dark day,” Nelke Manders, MSF’s general director, said in a statement.

      “Not only has Europe failed to provide search and rescue capacity, it has also actively sabotaged others’ attempts to save lives. The end of Aquarius means more deaths at sea, and more needless deaths that will go unwitnessed.”…….

      …….Before the announcement on Thursday that it would stop operating, the Aquarius had been forced to remain in a European port the past two months, MSF said.

      The humanitarian group decried what it said were attempts by European countries to stymie the vessel’s efforts – as it was twice stripped of its registration and “faces allegations of criminal activity – allegations which are patently false”.

      In particular, MSF said it has faced “a sustained campaign, spearheaded by the Italian government and backed by other European states, to delegitimise, slander and obstruct aid organisations providing assistance to vulnerable people”.

      In particular, MSF said it has faced “a sustained campaign, spearheaded by the Italian government and backed by other European states, to delegitimise, slander and obstruct aid organisations providing assistance to vulnerable people”.

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        As John Lennon sang “Imagine there’s no borders”. To retain our humanity, the coming climate crisis may very well force that reality on us.

      • Sacha 8.1.2

        “refugees desperate enough to try and make a crossing of the Tasman”

        A figment of right-wing imaginations. Prepare for far more likely tests instead.

        • JennyHow to get there?

          “Prepare for far more likely tests instead.” Sacha

          Can you clarify?

          What specifically, in your opinion, are these “far more likely tests”?

          And how should we “prepare” for them?

          • Sacha

            Indonesia’s military invading Fiordland to secure a fresh water supply is way more likely than any refugees trying to cross the Tasman.

            Diplomacy and strong global relationships are about all we can do about that. No way the US or Australia are going to send their military to help us. China might, I guess, depending on what’s in it for them regionally by then.

    • Jenny 8.2

      Hi Grey, Tony et al

      If I could add one more thing to this wish list.

      It would be a total ban on all PKE imports into this country.

      New Zealand is the world’s biggest importer of PKE 

      Fonterra, New Zealand’s biggest company has been linked to deforestation for the production of Palm Oil

      Deforestation is a major factor in climate change

      Oh, and a ban on all new coal mines and coal mine expansion projects would also be a good thing.

      • Robert Guyton 8.2.1

        The PKE “ban” (or rather principled, voluntary rejection) is pending. Let’s not be cynical, let it go , but be alert for the next outrage 🙂

        • greywarshark

          PKE – Palm kernel extract. In my opinion why it is bad is because often it comes from clear felled forest that is part of the environment of local people in South Asia relying on the land for their food, water and necessities. If it is grown as a plantation that seems better, but often the land has been common ground or locally controlled before and is arbitrarily or with threats, removed from grassroots control.

          If our farms were not over-stocked and were properly managed we would need very little of this feed. But the large number of animals need it to supplement inadequate amount of NZ grown feed PKE is feed that makes use of leftovers but it won’t result in milk that has the same properties as that from grass-fed animals, is a vector for foreign bugs, and it is unfair to the ordinary people where it is sourced.

          • Robert Guyton

            That’s right, greywarshark. A permaculturalist might suggest that feed for animals should be grown on-farm….

            • DJ Ward

              We have intoduced crops as part of trying to increase on farm feed as well as being part of the grass renewal process. We also use Palm Kernel. We need scientists to help develope more options. We don’t use the other waste products like Mollasis.

              Don’t blame us farmers. Blame townies for the demand for the oil. Look in your pantry. You can see where this waste product we utilise to create food to feed people comes from and who is responsible. We convert it to extremely important fats and proteins. We Diary farmers had no part to play in creating the situation that created the waste product. We didn’t go, heh can you create palm oil so we can get some palm kernel. When a Buisiness is offered a resource that is financially viable and legal and would otherwise be wasted we will utilise that resource. I believe that Palm Kernal imported to NZ is on the basis of from within the industry already created, rejecting product from illegal expansion.

              Should we persecute animals that eat rice, or industrialised wasabi, or drink wine? Huge areas of Aboriginal and Maori land is being used and wasabi uses more fossil fuels than pretty much anything.

              Without industrialised farming modern cities would struggle to exist. The transformation back to deindustrialise and in turn the elimination of mega cities is just not going to happen.

              Without the Diary industry women would have all the freedoms gained by formulae taken from them. The science is pretty clear on the subject. Breast feeding is very important for the first 2 months after that formulae is just as healthy.

              • greywarshark

                Blame is that all you can think about DJWard. And justification for keeping on doing what is being done now. Doesn’t seem much to offer on a post looking to how to do things differently and better in the future. Try again, eh.

                • DJ Ward

                  Hypocrisy. Did you look in your pantry?
                  You blame diary for PKE.

                  I just analysed the situation to find the cause of the situation. You just described it as blame because I pointed the finger at you. Humans desire for palm oil.

                  What are you saying? Palm oil is an imaginary construct of greedy cow farmers?

                  If diary stopped buying PKE nothing changes. The desire for Palm oil will not be stopped by doing that. It would simply be stupid not to utilise the waste. Commonly referred to as recycling.

                  Very green policy.

                  Your pantry doesn’t change in regard to stoping Palm oil.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Diary, diary who can know these days?
                    Dairy farmers who use PKE are not “to blame for PKE” but they are feeding the problem. Twisty blame-shifting is pointless; the game’s up already and the problem recognised. Western Sarahara phosphate will go the same way, organic, regenerative agriculture will reign, until it doesn’t and plants regain their rightful place, where cows and sheep now pug 🙂

                  • Robert Guyton

                    ” You just described it as blame because I pointed the finger at you.”
                    Hey, DJ Ward! Do you mind not pointing your finger around here? We’re busy building something enjoyable and worthwhile and we find wee stabby fingers just annoying. Cheers!

              • Sacha

                What did dairy farmers use before PKE?

              • Robert Guyton

                “Without the Diary industry women would have all the freedoms gained by formulae taken from them.”
                Makes you wonder what women did before the diary industry came into being – probably wrote on scraps of paper or something of the sort.

                • DJ Ward

                  They were by circumstance tied to the home. Formula creates more freedom for women. Notice much change in the freedom of women since the introduction of safe and healthy formula.

                  If you don’t think feminists can be a powerful political force.

                  Take formula away from women.
                  See what happens.

                  • solkta

                    You can get these really great pump things these days that suck out the breast milk so ya can keep it in the fridge.

                    But, what about the diary industry? What did women do before that?

                  • Molly

                    “Take formula away from women.
                    See what happens.”

                    I remember vividly watching a documentary in the 80’s about “giving” formula to women in India, and the devastating results from what was a sales promotional campaign. (I think this might be it)

                    We have in recent history, 2008, fatalities resulting from Fonterra’s formula in China. which is not helped by the current discord.

                    “Notice much change in the freedom of women since the introduction of safe and healthy formula.”
                    Not really. Just another job description change.

                    • DJ Ward

                      Fonterra didn’t itself put the stuff in the milk. It like everybody else didn’t know it was happening.

                      So you complain about the patriarchy oppressing mothers into stay at home servitude to men. Which is really because we didn’t have contraception, or the fridge, or the washing machine, or the ability to travel distance, and religion etc.
                      Then you complain about things men have developed that give women the ability to make choices for themselves.

                      Can you make you mind up for once Molly.

                      Do you want freedom for women or not?

                    • Molly

                      Fonterra chose a procurement model for the financial benefits. Although they didn’t have to, they also chose to use this model to abdicate responsibility for ensuring that this would maintain the quality of supply.

                      The financial benefits were to Fonterra, the costs were borne in this case by the consumer. Fonterra chose this model, and also chose not to inform the consumer until they had to. Typical business practice, but not ethical or moral.

                      “So you complain about the patriarchy oppressing mothers into stay at home servitude to men. Which is really because we didn’t have contraception, or the fridge, or the washing machine, or the ability to travel distance, and religion etc.
                      Then you complain about things men have developed that give women the ability to make choices for themselves.

                      Can you make you mind up for once Molly.”

                      Link to any comments where I have stated any of these.

                      Preferably, stop the false accusations instead of discussing topics with clarity and integrity. There are better conversations to be had here.

                      BTW, if you really think product development such as you have described is an altruistic project in order to “free” women from what you don’t say but imply to be women’s work (ie. cooking and cleaning), then you have a naiive view of why products are developed for the market.

                      It is usually simply to make money.

                    • DJ Ward

                      I’ve been thinking about the formula sales stuff in poorer countries.
                      There’s no doubt formula is expensive. I’ve being buying it.

                      My partner petty much went back to work days after birth, plus she was having had actual issues and I was impressed she lasted as long as she did. Did the fridge thing to. Suplimented feeding. As a stay at home dad I think I’m inadequate naturally, so really formula is my only option.

                      Thankfully we are free now of the burden of buying it.

                      So to me if a mother can, she breast feeds. You also can’t force a woman to do something, so unless the child is wet nursed then formula is the next best option along with milk from other mammals.

                      If a sales person comes along and gives free formula to women to cause them to “dry off as a cow farmer might say”, then removes the free product, knowing they can’t afford it then that’s at least a few steps past corrupt, into intentionally causing harm, and deaths.

                      How do we seperate that from the advertising we have in our community. While many struggle, and formula is something some families avoid because of cost, there is still the ability to manage if you do end up using formula. So informed consent, quality medical system, midwives, Plunket. The family already has meaningful opportunity to learn the good reasons why breast feeding is best for as long as the mother can. The mother should be left alone, with quality information and support, to make her own decisions about her life, and in her mind, the child’s interests.

                      Formula is not any bodies enemy. It enables options for people to do the things they want and need to do. The human did the corrupt act. The formula, let’s say, had inert thoughts about the event.

                      $10 billion dollars a year of mothers making that choice.

                      Here’s one for you Molly.
                      I support descrimination agianst men.

                      Although I support equality in 50:50 shared care, variation by consent, I do support mothers having full custody in a defined period like 6 months with regular contact with the father.
                      Due to the importance of breast feeding.

                      Mothers also can try and extend breastfeeding by bottle feeding when they need too and breastfeeding when they get the opportunity. Students, workers, the PM, all have to make difficult decisions. Formula enables choice.

                      Formula is a major advance, at least for people living in cities. Not like they have a personal milking goat, or house cow. Terrible things were put in milk to try and preserve it, resulting in countless deaths. A mix of corruption and ignorance.

                      We should be looking how to make formula in more sustainable ways. I have no doubt the industry is investing in making there products better, and because of capitalism and a free market, cheaper.

                      Formula is in its infancy, development wise.

                      Thank you Molly for that link. I had not seen that before.

                    • Molly

                      If you find the documentary it is worth watching. we have never knowingly purchased Nestle because of the impact that had on me in my teen years.

                      Alongside the cost factor though, there was the issue that in third world countries access to safe drinking water – and cooking fuel for sanitisation – were inaccessible. Newborn babies were exposed to bacteria while their immune systems were new, got sick and died – all from some motivation to expand the formula market.

                      Here’s one for you Molly.
                      I support descrimination agianst men.

                      Although I support equality in 50:50 shared care, variation by consent, I do support mothers having full custody in a defined period like 6 months with regular contact with the father.
                      Due to the importance of breast feeding.

                      I think the ACT led bill regarding shared care was flawed. It doesn’t appear to be in the best interests of the child, especially when they are of an age to attend school. I think the reason it appeals to many non-custodial parents, is financial, if care is “shared” then financial support need to be offered. Not an admirable position to take as a loving parent – making them carry the burden of discord so that payment is not required.

                      If, however, it is in the best interest of the child – shared parenting will be the result. Life is a lot more complicated and messy than black and white strictures. I don’t think this issue is easy, but I do think the current perspective of the best interest of the child prioritises the most important aspect. 50:50 parenting advocates have other agendas going on.

                    • Molly

                      … need not be offered…

                      BTW, your example is not “discrimination towards men”. It would be a decision made in the best interests of the child. If you see it as discrimination, then you will be seeing discrimination towards men in everything. Something for you to ponder.

                • greywarshark

                  You are a hoot. This is very enjoyable so far. May the Forks be with you, and the Trowel too.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Formula is not great. It’s not what’s in it (excluding melamine) that’s the problem, it’s what’s not:

                “Gut microbiota influence the growth and differentiation of gut epithelial cells, and play pivotal nutritive, metabolic, immunological, and protective functions (O’Hara and Shanahan, 2006). Its deregulation is involved in the pathogenesis of immunological, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.”


                “Neonatal gut microbiota establishment represents a crucial stage for gut maturation, metabolic and immunologic programming, and consequently short- and long-term health status. Human milk beneficially influences this process due to its dynamic profile of age-adapted nutrients and bioactive components and by providing commensal maternal bacteria”


                Study after study rolls in concerning developmental outcomes affected by the gut microbiota.

                Convenience is at the expense of child health. Some need formula, others should not.

                • Molly

                  That is my personal view too.

                  But I have had friends who have not been able to produce enough milk to sustain their children, and have suffered both physically and psychologically because of it. And I feel for them because those first few weeks with a newborn child can be so enjoyable when all is well.

                  In that respect, having the option of formula is a godsend, even with the concerns re allergies and possible long-term health impact.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Not a view, a whole body of research. Your thoughts are validated.

                    Yes some can’t produce milk unfortunately. Some children can’t take breast milk too. My brother was on formula. He’s a corporate sociopath with dyslexia. The dyslexia is correlated with ‘gut issues’, the sociopathy?

                    Be very interesting to see how psychology profiles play out in breast vs formula.

                    “The concept of parallel and interacting microbial–neural critical windows opens new avenues for developing novel microbiota-modulating based therapeutic interventions in early life to combat neurodevelopmental deficits and brain disorders.”


                    • DJ Ward

                      I was raised on cold cows milk from day one. Something to do with me rejecting my mother, or her me.

                      Explains a lot.

                      The benifits of breast milk is the colostrum. Passing down immunity etc. Totaly agree with your breast is best comments and risk to health if it doesn’t happen. The exception being that after a few months of breast feeding there’s not much to gain vs formula. We don’t for example need breast milk forever to keep healthy. There is a cut off point to the significant health benifits of breast feeding. IE once all those immunities etc are past down to the child.

                      Irony. For those pro cannabis law reform like myself.
                      The endo canabiniod system.
                      Breast milk contains 2 canabinoids, so in effect not legal. If you processed human breast milk to collect and supply those cannabaloids you would be breaking the law. But obviously as evolution rarely lets bad things survive it must be beneficial to babies to give them canabiniods.

                    • Molly

                      “The exception being that after a few months of breast feeding there’s not much to gain vs formula.”

                      There are a few considerations beyond the providing colostrum.

                      Financially, if it is possible, there is a benefit to breastfeeding vs formula in terms of reduced cost;
                      Also, in terms of introducing unwanted bacteria – having to be scrupulous about sanitation and hygiene with formula is another level of possible infection being introduced,
                      And as wethebleeple points out the development of beneficial microbiota play a significant part in long-term well-being, development and health,

                      My older child developed chickenpox while I was breastfeeding his sister, and she developed one lesion which disappeared, which I contributed to my immunity being transferred to her. Several years later, I was informed that several of the children she had been playing with had developed chickenpox and waited to see if she would – she didn’t. And despite a couple more exposures, seems to have had enough exposure as a newborn to be resilient to infection.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      The gut is made up of autocthonous (local to the gut) and allochthonous (passing through for a short visit) microbes. Many beneficial species are in fact allochthonous.

                      Allochthonous microbes can hang around a while, and can multiply on fermenting prebiotics – basically the stuff in vegetables and fruits we can’t digest, the fibre. Prebiotics are feedstock for beneficial species as well as containing various other health benefits. Go figure, good food, good health.

                      The switch from breast to solids afforded ongoing ‘protection’ traditionally. Small numbers of beneficial species are found on vegetables e.g. bacillus on cabbage. And when you ferment vegetables and other foods the probiotic numbers increase exponentially. Fermentation was/is a major method of food preservation for us. Autochthonous microbes continued to be seeded in humans through their use of prebiotics (vegetables) and probiotics (fermented foods).

                      One day we’ll tailor a probiotic for infants to accommodate their absence from formula. I’m sure for Mums and kids that day can’t come fast enough.

                      The many health benefits implicated in the use of probiotic microbes amass an impressive trove of literature. But you’re not allowed to claim such things on food without way expensive research and procedures – for good reason.

                      In the meantime, they help…

                    • Molly

                      Thanks, WeTheBleeple.

                      We make a version of sauerkraut, not for the health benefits, but because we like it. I’ve always known about the health benefits of fermented foods, but have never bothered to find out why. Your clear explanation is a good basis to understanding.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    You’re welcome. I should maybe do a post on fermented foods . Like I say I’m restricted in claims I can make but the science can speak for itself. Also qualified in the field. And I have Bill Mollison’s ‘The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition’. It has a collection of indigenous ferment recipes spanning the globe.

                    If I forget to post materials in this area, feel free (anyone) to remind me.

                    Self-care and food preservation are both important topics.

                    • greywarshark

                      This gut thing is jolly interesting. Not a minor matter to be mentioned and pass on I think.

                      Being a hero! Being strong, being fit, being useful.

                      Also what I have got wind of from reading Christopher McDougall book Natural Born Heroes about retraining your body and gut from sugar to fat.
                      The best-selling author of Born to Run now travels to the Mediterranean, where he discovers that the secrets of ancient Greek heroes are still alive and well on the island of Crete, and ready to be unleashed in the muscles and minds of casual athletes and aspiring heroes everywhere….

                      McDougall makes his way to the island to find the answer and retrace their steps, experiencing firsthand the extreme physical challenges the Resistance fighters and their local allies faced. On Crete, the birthplace of the classical Greek heroism that spawned the likes of Herakles and Odysseus, McDougall discovers the tools of the hero—natural movement, extraordinary endurance, and efficient nutrition. All of these skills, McDougall learns, are still practiced in far-flung pockets throughout the world today.

        • JennyHow to get there?

          Robert Guyton 8.2.1
          9 December 2018 at 5:41 pm
          The PKE “ban” (or rather principled, voluntary rejection) is pending. Let’s not be cynical, let it go , but be alert for the next outrage 🙂

          You don’t see a place for regulation?

          And in my opinion, if you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.



  9. One Two 9


    I have thoroughly enjoyed the comments regarding gardening and growing, they are educational and inspirational…thanks…

    The future, however is ‘unknown’, but the big techs have been working ‘hard’ at removing unpredictable aspects of ‘life’…

    Should there be a continuation of the open slather and reckless deployment of technology, the future will become increasingly controlled, restricted and devoid of space in which natural entities can be ‘free’…

    The first thing humans should be doing is opposing the development of digital prisons which are being deployed throughput the natural world, forever altering them…

    Digital, is death to analogue…

    How long will options be available…before they are removed…permanently…

    I do not believe that ignoring the digital prisons is an approach which should be employed…lack of awareness is also an issue…

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      It’s the grass-loving ‘open grounders’ versus the green men of the forest…isn’t it?
      Trying to remove the unpredictability of life .v. inviting wildness into your world…that’s what us forest gardeners are talking’ about!
      Digital .v. Analogue … that’s interesting framing, One Two; very thought-provoking…

      • One Two 9.1.1

        Robert, I have been appreciating your comments and information regarding the council work, local happenings as well as reading and learning about the forest garden…

        Wildness, it is the essence of our ancient relationship with planet earth, and I believe we need to embrace it once again…quickly. ..and making some use of modern understanding and knowledge…

        Digital does not exist in nature…it is an imposter..a trojan horse seeking to usurp the natural world and the bahaviours of inhabitants…it will also mimic and alter the natural world so as to patent and profit from the plagiarism…

        This is the battle going on through rampant technology and the road maps corporations have which run decades into the future…those roadmaps are the financial life-blood those same corporations rely on to exist…innovation does not exist in the digital world…yet the word has also co-opted…

        The architects of ‘the future’ do not respect the natural and spontaneous world of imagination…we must all become very comfortable with the understanding that we are the defenders of the a analogue world…and we must do whatever we can to keep the trojan horse outside the gates…

        • Robert Guyton

          You’ve identified the threat neatly, One Two. Now, what to do about that? You have already recognised the need to take the analogue path and eschew digital language, thinking and mythology, in order to think clearly and healthily. Care to share some more observations with us? I was hoping for the kind of thinking you’ve offered here…

          • One Two

            Thanks, Robert…

            I am inspired towards becoming a gardener of some description…my green credentials to this point have been via awareness of my own contribution to the status quo, and seeking ways to minimize the footprint of that contribution..

            The plan of action is in various forms, constituent parts which I am fixated on turning into a more ‘natural life’…

            Commentary such as yours and wethebleeple have been wonderful starting points for recent changes in reading material…

        • Sacha

          “to patent and profit from the plagiarism” – that’s about capitalism, not ‘digital’ as such.

          • One Two

            They are becoming intrinsically linked, Sacha…

            It was not my intention to explain demarcation points…

  10. RuralGuy 10

    What an absolute hoot this thread is. I do enjoy when the standard decides to delve into parody topics.

    I enjoy reading how a bunch of urban f*#kwits think food is produced, in a thread championed by one of the most poorly performed regional councillors in the country.

    My challenge to you Robert, is to take your whacko and fruitcake ideas to the council table to see how real people dissect your ideas rather than the usual bunch of crackpots on this site.

    • One Two 10.1

      Are you ok rural guy?

      I have a challenge for you…it will be confronting, uncomfortable but potentially life changing…

      Start self evaluating…looking inside yourself. ..start by using that comment and examine why you wrote it….dig deep…identify as many rocks as you can to turn over…

      I challenge you…

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        One Two – RuralGuy yearns to be challenged but feels uncomfortable when he’s embraced 🙂

      • greywarshark 10.1.2

        Don’t waste your time advising rural guy. Since just about everyone learned to read and write, the idea that there are different levels of understanding and discernment has been overlooked by many of those who have achieved the basic skills. Being a know-all, with bullying tendencies, has no doubt served him well, and blaming others for any hitches in the plan also. A good bad example – not to be included in a co-operative venture.

    • Robert Guyton 10.2

      Hey, thanks for the endorsement, RuralGuy and how thrilling it is to have a representative of the country’s backbone here, on The Standard, to lend his support to our mission to make the world a better place! After reading your inspirational suggestions, I searched through the others here on this thread to find the comments you cited; “how food is produced” but couldn’t really find anything that might have spurred your interest – have you some links, so we can join in your excitement?
      I love your challenge, RG 🙂 Take your ideas to the council table and see how they’re received! Brilliant! Only, I’ve been doing that for the past 8 years and I’m pretty pleased with the way they’ve embraced such initially foreign concepts as…climate change – big ups to the farmer-councillors of Environment Southland who have really “gotten in behind”! Have you more, RG? I’m keen to hear from you – perhaps you could outline your proposals for a successful future?

      • WeTheBleeple 10.2.1

        I’ve an idea on that food is produced nonsense:

        Most animals need shelter. The provision of shelter increases production and birthing rates in NZ dairy cows [1,2], sheep [3], and even whitebait [4]. Many plants also require shelter to produce well.

        Traditional shelter belts in New Zealand are one or perhaps two exotic species of trees. Pines, poplars, gorse and even boxthorn have featured heavily in our bordering of paddocks and properties. But in many instances, even these are gone. The idea that shelter belts reduce production for pastures seems widespread; but evidence points to the opposite being true [5]. There is ecological and economic merit to increasing shelter belts throughout our landscapes.

        1. Kendall, P. E., et al. “The effects of providing shade to lactating dairy cows in a temperate climate.” Livestock Science 103.1-2 (2006): 148-157.

        2. Jordan, E. R. “Effects of heat stress on reproduction.” Journal of Dairy Science 86 (2003): E104-E114.

        3. Marai, I. F. M., et al. “Physiological traits as affected by heat stress in sheep—a review.” Small Ruminant Research 71.1-3 (2007): 1-12.

        4. Hickford, Michael JH, and David R. Schiel. “Experimental rehabilitation of degraded spawning habitat of a diadromous fish, Galaxias maculatus (Jenyns, 1842) in rural and urban streams.” Restoration Ecology 22.3 (2014): 319-326.

        5. Littlejohn, C. P., et al. “Shelter provided by a bioenergy crop (Miscanthus x giganteus) increases pasture production on dairy farms.” Proceedings of the 5th Australasian Dairy Science Symposium. 2014.

        I hope all that science doesn’t drag down the tone. A wee snippet from the book…

        • WeTheBleeple

          Note: The book makes a case for rethinking the design of shelter belts. Not for more of the same pine, poplar etc. We can plant for multiple purposes according to our needs:

          Pest control, pollination, habitat, carbon capture, nutrient capture, mulch, pole timber, building timber, investment timber, fuel, fruit, nuts, berries, herbs, medicines, animal forage, conservation, honey…

          and shelter.

    • Bruce 10.3

      Thank you rural guy, as an urban fuckwit l think I have a pretty good idea of how food is produced, I am in an area that that most would describe as abject poverty. Surrounded by rice fields no one goes hungry. Most houses have a room storing rice, a concrete block tank growing fish, and the people share knowledge of all the eadable weeds and plants that grow around. The morning market offers an abundance and variety food . There is no plastic packaging and every part of every thing grown is used for something. Population density would rival Auckland, but each area supports a market that shares it’s produce amoung it’s population and there are still plenty of open shared space to party. Its a life of simple pleasure and strong community I really don’t think the idea of taking something thats not yours has occured to the people, of course passion can get the better of anybody.
      I would suggest with the attitude you display that you look at your expectations, enjoy a bit of fruitcake and cooperate to build a sustainable future through community. Imagine.

      • Robert Guyton 10.3.1


      • One Two 10.3.2

        Excellent, Bruce…

        ‘Poverty’ as it is lived in some places, can provide the model needed for ‘rich’ nations to adopt…

        One way or another…is going to be the ‘poverty model’…

        Better to adopt it willingly and through learning…first hand such as you are ideally…

      • greywarshark 10.3.3

        hold out hope for the ruralguys to come around. They live and breathe by breathing disdain for others. And it is impregnated in their fibres. You have to be determined to despise, then if you hurt or steal from the despised, then that is not a subject for guilt – ‘they’ deserve it. When the going gets really tough, there can be no extension of tolerance given to such hatefull people.

        • Robert Guyton

          I don’t reckon, greywarshark. RuralGuy genuinely believes the things he says, and you’ve gotta respect that! Were he to contribute an idea that builds our store of realistic ideas for the future, I’d be very thankful.

      • DJ Ward 10.3.4

        Rice is a greenhouse gas (methane) polluter.

        And people bitch about irrigation as well. Oh the irony.

        They produce enough for themselves. What about the 4 billion people who physically can’t. A mass migration into the wilderness to develope small holdings?

        • Robert Guyton

          “They produce enough for themselves.”
          Excellent, that’s them sorted, DJ Ward. Now, what do you suggest for “… the 4 billion people who physically can’t. “??
          Come on! Share your ideas, that’s what we’re here for!

          • DJ Ward

            I have shared one in regard to population growth. Which I think is paramount to enable any solutions to be effective.

            The male pill. We can be proactive to what is clearly a proven solution, or twiddle our thumbs watching its opposition get its way. We need a little bravery in making dreams become reality.

            I have plenty more ideas, some that I’ve given in other posts. I’ll have a bit of a think, read and do a comment on what I discover next time this topic is posted.

            • Robert Guyton

              Cheers, DJ.

            • solkta

              We don’t need the male pill as on average our fertility rate in NZ has been at replacement since the late 60s and i believe is currently below replacement.

              I’m not sure how effective it would be globally anyway, the most sure method of lowering the fertility rate so far has been educating and giving equal rights to women.

        • Bruce

          Wow, rice maybe a methane producer but it’s grown and consumed within a kilometer of both practices. And it sustains the local very large population .
          You use palm kernel grown where once were trees that completed the irrigation cycle, and provided habitat, shiped on boats made consuming fossil fuel, burning fossil fuel, to feed to cows because the land they are on cant provide enough food for them , to convert to food for calves and sold to people in China.
          The 4 billion were able to live subsistantly till some one cleared the land to grow palm trees to sell for money. Or some other form of land rape to create money so they could put it in the bank and think of themselves as some how better and entitled.
          That’s the whole problem some people want more, not content to live and consume what is local , all the countries that are now plagued with hunger were once self sufficient, it’s only that some wanted more stuff than they needed and raped and pillaged those that were content, so they could bank it .
          The solution must be in some way to sustain ourselves locally

          • Robert Guyton

            “The solution must be in some way to sustain ourselves locally”
            Agreed, Bruce (with all your comment, in fact) but I have a view about sustainability that is local, based around Brazil nuts, which can’t be grown in *Not-Brazil and have to be bought/traded for, if a New Zealander like me wants to eat something with selenium in it – my point is, no man, or village, is an island ( except those that …are) – it’s good to have relationships with outsiders based on food, done right, and good to be a provider of something needed, done right. For all that, the basics should be produced as close to home as possible and giving up your vegetable patch to grow coffee, sugar cane, whatever, whether by choice of compulsion (it’s usually compulsion but what about dairying in NZ?)is dysfunctional.

            *not a real country 🙂

            • Bruce


              As I said in previous post ,if you have an issue, Google hemp for the solution and sure enough hemp seed and selenium brings a result.
              Not sure though if it’s high enough to replace Brazil nuts. And really I agree with your point, trade is and will always be be an important part to a good life. And commodities like nuts , herbs and spices will need be shared internationally but in amounts insignificant when compared to basic staples.

              • Robert Guyton

                Selenium in hemp seed? Sounds good, but if it was grown here, it’d have none, unless selenium was applied to the soil. In any case, good news.

  11. Morrissey 11

    The future is….


    Until January 19, 2025.

    The Trump Regime extends its thanks to the DNC, CNN, The Daily Beast, and all others who have assiduously focused on fabulous, fantastic, freakish, far-fetched, phenomenally phuckin’ footling phantasmagoria such as “Russian masterminds” and “Russian collusion” and “Russian meddling” instead of on our actual crimes.

    Laughing at you, SUCKERS!


    Real Donald Trump
    Jared Fuckhead
    Betsy De Vos
    Mike Pence
    Mike Pompeo
    “Mad Dogg”
    Ryan Zinke
    Ben Carson
    Wilbur Ross
    Wilbur Post
    Kanye West
    Kirstjen Nielsen
    “Bloody Gina” Haspel
    Steven Mnuchin
    Rick Perry
    Hope Hicks

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Morrisey your comment will I hope go to Open Mike. You are not thinking about how in NZ we can prepare for the future, and your opinion about things is not in the slightest bit useful for the purpose of the post. Put your clever mind to it over the next week and think of something useful. This is all going to be archived and like a rose is a weed when it is out of place, your piece is a weed here.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    Wellll…he made a tenuous link…perhaps though, a man of Morrisey’s calibre could contribute constructively to a thread like this? I reckon so. If not, let’s enjoy the incongruity of his comments anyway, greywarshark. Beautiful paintings in a gallery rely on bland walls to really pop!

    • Sacha 12.1

      It’s an apt mark of his calibre.

    • greywarshark 12.2

      It’s like graffiti on the wall but he isn’t Banksy. More like a kid roaming around the house with a bunch of crayons. Morrissey get yourself into gear and give us some good stuff next week – good links, ideas of how you want things to be without waiting for pollies to clean up their act. What if we don’t take potshots on them so much and plan something for ourselves. We need to have a cohesive system in mind that we start and show pollies how it can go if they and their administrative teams can get on board the people’s bus or train.

      • Morrissey 12.2.1

        Gosh, I really have put my foot in it this time. Of course I charged in on my high horse, seeking to inflict maximum carnage as always, and it’s the wrong battlefield. In fact it’s not even a battlefield at all, but a civilized coffee klatsch, full of serious people talking intelligently.

        And to this oasis of calm and reason, I bring in the loathsome Trump and his gang.

        I am sorry, everybody.

        And, Robert and Shark—and Sacha too: here is my positive contribution in the spirit of this excellent discussion….

        I agree with Ivan Illich that society should move no faster than the speed of a bicyle.


        • Robert Guyton

          Thanks, Morrissey, that’s brilliant.

        • greywarshark

          Haven’t seen Ivan Illich mentioned for years. Thanks Morrissey for bringing some of the deceased thinkers alive again, their words trembling vibrant in the air. Poetic eh! It’s not too late to consider them and include them in our mindset.

          • Morrissey

            He was up there with the likes of Chomsky and Bertrand Russell. You can still pick up some of his small, densely written paperbacks if you keep an eye out. Medical Nemesis is one brilliant book, and Deschooling Society is another—and even better immediately after reading Herman Hesse’s The Prodigy, as I did some years ago….

            • greywarshark

              Thanks I’ll note those and look out for them. But my guilty secret is I like reading British detective novels. The police are usually trying to do the right thing, they are thorough and in the end the crime is solved and the stress and horror is finished. It is so good to read about something that has an end to a certain level of satisfaction. But I must catch up on some of other more serious ones.

              • Morrissey

                I love British and American detective novels—especially anything by Ross Macdonald and Patricia Highsmith. I think the greatest modern writer—of any genre—is, without a shadow of a doubt, James Ellroy.

                I’ve read some fantastic New Zealand thriller writers—Maurice Gee, Charlotte Grimshaw and Paula Morris. Though I’m sorry to say I am unimpressed by Paul Cleave and Vanda Symon.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Morrissey – I wonder if you’ve read Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game”? and if so, did you find it valuable?

  13. Rapunzel 13

    The future is the “four day week”
    or variations of that with an income that is at minimum liveable, along with more on the job training which the now moaning “businesses” have ignored for years – that used to be the norm for the majority of people, obviously especially in trades.
    It will be better for families, it was once the norm to have a mother at home and kids weren’t farmed out early just so a family could, hopefully, be fed and housed. If parents aren;t working “full” weeks they can mix and match the care and duties – not everyone wants to be a fulltime at home mum as it is now anyway.

  14. Sabine 14

    i’d love to see more community based assets.

    i.e. community cars/shuttles to serve suburbs and smaller towns rather then giving contracts to big business bus services.

    community kitchens, where food can be prepared daily and consumed / handed out to anyone who shows up for a feed, this would be a lovely chance to get to gether and meet the people that live in ones town, suburb, town

    community bakeries, bake bread for sale to finance the bakery and bake the bread prepared by individuals, these type of bakeries were common in Europe before the 1940’s and are still in use in the Middle east.

    community gardens, food co-operatives etc, to provide cheap and affordable food to the local community

    more groups like Community Fruit Harvesting that picks fruit that is not good enough for exports, or is growing unused in backyards etc and prepares jams, Chutneys, cordials, fruit leathers etc and provides these free to food banks, old folks homes, and such.

    replanting of our tree less parks and play ground to provide shade and habitat for our birds
    clean ups of our parks and play grounds
    re-cycle and upcycle malls rather then more of the same two dollar shit stores

    park benches, so people can sit again in a park. Small things tht would bring people out of their single use houses and back into the community.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      “park benches, so people can sit again in a park”
      An innovation of inestimable value, I reckon, Sabine. There are significant numbers of experienced, thoughtful …older, members of the community now, who could foment delightful mischief/plan wonderful innovations for their communities, if only they had a place to sit and share ideas with others of their ilk. Mature community members, talking about stuff, in relaxing, leafy surroundings… a recipe for positive change!

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        well we need meeting spaces that are free of charge and nothing better then parks. I live near one which is a delightful little piece of wilderness in a town. Small streams, dykes, trees, grassy areas and one ….1 bench near a play ground. So even if parents or grandparents came with the little ones to play they would have no place to sit, they would have to stand while the children played, Bring back park benches and make common outdoor spaces something to be enjoyed.
        I agree with you, it would bring people together.

        i might have to make a bench and drop it at one of my favorite spots. Just sit in the green by the stream, and soak it all in. It clears your brain good.

        • Robert Guyton

          Our newly minted “MenzShed” (don’t start 🙂 has attracted retired blokes like a flame draws moths and they are yearning to build stuff for their community – what to make, what to make???
          I’m going to talk with our local crew on Wednesday about a great idea I saw online over the weekend…
          (thanks, Sabine!)

          • Macro

            Our newly created MenzShed here in Thames is (so I am told) doing just that – maintaining and creating the benches around the town.
            Just up the road from where I live, there is a playground, and next to it, a community garden begun by our excellent T3 (Transition Town Thames)
            https://www.t3connect.org.nz/ There are also numerous fruit trees planted as well not only in the park, but also on the berms along the road.

            • Robert Guyton

              That’s wonderful. I’m going to mention to our guys, what your guys are doing. T3 sound to be going very well indeed! I wonder if there’s a compilation of all those sorts of projects held anywhere? That’d be something to see!

              • Macro

                I’m not sure about that – but here is a list of the transition towns in NZ and their contact details for those on here curious to connect to a local group
                There is a facebook page as well

                • Robert Guyton

                  Thanks, Macro. I’ve a friend who was in Totness at the time this stuff was being gestated and hung around with the gestators, so I know something of the origins.

                  • Macro

                    Last month we had a gathering at “The Brew” (The Brian Boru Hotel) with a good 20 odd to hear and join in a skype call with James Renwick on the latest UN Report and its significance for us here. There are a number of initiatives started locally and some ideas wrt local sustainable energy etc – we have a very good wind resource and an arrangement with a solar PV supplier. The town has lots going for it having been in the past a large town with a population of around 40,000 – but now down to around 8,000. The result being that much of the infrastructure of the past remains eg Hospital, schools, Cinema, Halls, Pubs, etc. And the best Hardware shop in the country! But without the crowds….

  15. Sacha 15

    Successfully tackling big problems like climate change and a fairer distribution of resources will require stronger democratic decision-making.

    Citizens will be engaged in more ways than voting every few years, and each decision will reflect the makeup of society. This is already possible, just not being done consistently.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      They have to be thinking citizens though. We have the experience here of those who want to participate just long enough to let off a fart. When time is of the essence, those citizens who want to apply their minds and who want better outcomes for all from the resources available will have to be deferred to. If we
      want to put out a fire, we can try with the garden hose, but we will call in the specialists who have trained for the job. We need politicians who have done a training course, not just picks by the Party because they have white teeth and a proven record of being able to argue their way out of a paper bag.

      • Sacha 15.1.1

        The great thing is that it is no longer an either-or. Currently-used methods like citizens’ juries offer a good blend of being well-informed and being representative. There are also good online engagement platforms that weed out shallow opinions. We just need to use them more widely and consistently.

        • Robert Guyton

          “There are also good online engagement platforms that weed out shallow opinions”
          Can we be one of those?
          I’m up for giving it a go.

          • Sacha

            A blog is the wrong format, sorry. And we have seen the difficulty finding ways to coach and manage discussion quality here.

            • Incognito

              Nothing a bit of proactive moderation can’t guide into the right direction IMHO and then it is up to the participation of willing like-minded people to make it work. My sense is that this is a little different from the standard TS MO in that it doesn’t necessarily promote robust debate but instead asks for robust ideas to share.

              FWIIW, movements don’t appear from nowhere and are often gestated, if not also conceived, and given birth online in Social Media. A blog can be the spark that ignites (into) action. I think that’s the idea (or hope rather) behind this new initiative on TS but Robert or somebody else can correct me on this.

        • Robert Guyton

          I wouldn’t say, “weeding out” though, being a “natural gardener” who promotes the inclusion of until-now-despised plants, aka “weeds” in the wider system, managing them by increasing the numbers and variety of other plants as a mechanism for control. It’s interesting how the words and phrases we choose to describe our thoughts reflect our world views and quite important, I reckon, to think about as we communicate with each other.

          • Sacha

            “increasing the numbers and variety of other plants” – and how do we do that in discussion and decision spaces?

            • greywarshark

              Perhaps you can participate in this experiment Sacha and along with interested others, be there, participate and learn.

              For those who like Yes Minister’s little digs at our political system, this bit about trying new approaches will make the lips curl upwards.
              Let’s give this practical idea-seeking thing a go in an encouraging, hopeful way, with little negativity and a certain, but not onerous, amount of formality. And an occasional wry laugh.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: Minister, if you block honours pending economies, you might create a dangerous precedent.

              James Hacker: You mean that if we do the right thing this time, we might have to do the right thing again next time. It seems on that philosophy, nothing would ever get done at all.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: On the contrary, many, many things must be done…

              Sir Humphrey Appleby, James Hacker: [together] but nothing must be done for the first time.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, no, Minister. What I mean is that I am fully seized of your aims and of course I will do my utmost to see that they are put into practice.

              James Hacker: If you would.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: And to that end, I recommend that we set up an interdepartmental committee with fairly broad terms of reference so that at the end of the day we’ll be in the position to think through the various implications and arrive at a decision based on long-term considerations rather than rush prematurely into precipitate and possibly ill-conceived action which might well have unforeseen repercussions.

              James Hacker: You mean no.


            • Robert Guyton

              That’s a good question. What I note is that the time taken to stop and do battle with some challenger or other, is time not spent posting another good idea for those who are enjoying the discussion to harvest. In my garden, I don’t go out to clear away any particular plant, as a task, because that’s not as much fun as planting some new and useful plants which might require me to clear some convolvulus or nettle, but isn’t the main objective. That way, the job becomes a “building” one, rather than a “destroying” one. In a discussion space like this, attracting more and more people who want to contribute ideas is the equivalent of “increasing the numbers and variety of other plants”, where stropping up naysayers would be “weeding” – people love to be where there’s fun, light-heartedness and joy – parties are magnets, so if we can create and maintain a “party” vibe here, we’ll draw in people who otherwise keep to the shadows for fear of indelicate talk, or whatever and that way, we’ll grow our team, without having to squish bugs. Sorry about the mixed metaphors and imagery, but the garden of human thought is filled with creatures of every description 🙂

              • Sacha

                Weeds block access to light and food for other plants – often the same list of species who are vulnerable to being crowded out.

                Merely attracting more participants does not increase diversity. Composting may help, as will careful transplanting.

                Gardening thus tends to involve a mix of planting, tending and weeding.

                • WeTheBleeple

                  The point here (I think) is that you don’t weed what you are not tending. I watch people come in and weed and spray out back of my place for twenty years. Have they achieved anything – they’ve spent a lot of money, sprayed a lot of poison. Apart from economic and environmental insult their efforts have resulted in fuck all.

                  We are either stewards of the land, or we leave it to nature. Bare land is eroding land, thus it is polluting land, and not capturing carbon land.

                  Weeds are better than bare land. Weeds on bare land are not weeds at all, they are ground cover.

                  When you want to replace the weeds with productive plants, that’s when you weed. When you are prepared to take ownership of your actions and tend the ground you disrupt. Anything else is excessive, unnecessary, and in all likelihood detrimental.

                  Part of how we got here is the obsession with controlling nature. Moving forward requires working with nature. Inviting wildness is inviting the teacher to speak.

                  • Sacha

                    “Inviting wildness is inviting the teacher to speak.”

                    Back to what we were metaphorically discussing, are you saying unmanaged discourse will lead to wisdom? Even just looking around this place should disabuse you of that.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      You’d be surprised how much of everything is connected in some manner.

                      How dissenting voices give spark to ideas, give cause for concern, Give reasons for dissent.

                      We keep plants in line with deadly poison, and people with snide remarks, public shaming, and superior airs. I like to snipe them down with ‘facts’ myself.

                      Which one of the people I censor as we disagree is the one with genius, with ideas that have real traction, merit, wisdom?

                      Which is the canary in the coal mine, pointing out my folly?

                      I think every challenge is a means with which to ascertain truths in things.

                      Professional trolls and disruptors can be spotted though they get to throw stuff about for a bit. Even then they often bring in talking points and shoot their own stance in the foot.

                      I react to them, which is wrong as I’m short changing myself. But I’m learning. What manner of ills need to be addressed where people are in a rage over small issues, yet nonchalant over extreme danger.

                      Misdirection is all part of the game. We might save some ragged souls from BS here at TS.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      “Back to what we were metaphorically discussing, are you saying unmanaged discourse will lead to wisdom? Even just looking around this place should disabuse you of that.”

                      Our discourse here isn’t unmanaged, Sacha; there are posters here who are trying to shape the conversation by making positive, pro-active comments in order to nudge the way the discussion evolves and the direction it might take. Several of us have been sharing ideas on how this might (or might not) work and this is our trial post. There’s even an attempt to manage discordant voices in a way that doesn’t result in runaway squabbles/ a stampede of hobbyhorses, and that’s proving to be an interesting one, especially with comments posted after the initial day the post went up. As well, we’ve prefaced the discussion with some guiding comments about the intentions of those who birthed “How to get there”, so there’s that too as a management tool. As for wisdom and evidence of it here, that’s something that will, if it’s to be, reveal itself over time, as further posts go up. I’m hoping the wisdom will exhibit in the form of the shared/sharing mind, rather than individuals who write clever stuff; we aren’t looking for wise-guys 🙂 Inviting wildness in doesn’t mean not requiring it to wipe its feet on the mat before its comes in; that is, this isn’t an invitation for destructive chaos, Kali, more a polite visit from our shaggy-maned cousin. Probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, my mixed-metaphor monologue, but it was fun to write 🙂

                • Robert Guyton

                  Yes,you are right, Sacha – a gardener must make decisions, moving and removing certain plants in order to achieve whatever target they’ve set themselves. I guess I’m talking about intent or at least framing what you do in a way that fosters admiration and identification with the living organisms you are working with, rather than dislike and a desire to exterminate certain ill-favoured organisms. When it comes to food production, light is paramount, so clearing spaces to let sunshine in is required but there are nuanced ways to alter the mix of plants in a garden that go beyond “weeding”, imo.

  16. Jenny 16

    Me and my partner volunteer in our local community garden. It is not easy, being in a low decile area, often a lot of produce goes missing in the night. Also I don’t like going there alone because of the stray dogs in the neighborhood. But putting in a garden and making your own compost and trying to live as sustainably as possible, will not solve the climate crisis. Not while business as usual continues in wider society,

    Mass collective protest action which shifts the political goalposts, can’ and has made a difference in the past, And will do so again.

    Can’t stop using coal. We will occupy your coal mines.

    Can’t stop importing PKE we will blockade your ships.

    Can’t stop exploring for more oil and gas. We will place our bodies in the way of your survey ships.

    Pass laws that make it illegal to protest. We will defy them.

    Make it illegal to raise climate change as an objection in consent hearings for fossil fuel projects. We will shame you.

    Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals
    “Stop obsessing with how personally green you live – and start collectively taking on corporate power”
    Martin Lukacs – The Guardian, July 17, 2017

    ould you advise someone to flap towels in a burning house? To bring a flyswatter to a gunfight? Yet the counsel we hear on climate change could scarcely be more out of sync with the nature of the crisis….

    ……While we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant. The breakdown of carbon emissions since 1988? A hundred companies alone are responsible for an astonishing 71%. You tinker with those pens or that panel; they go on torching the planet.

    The freedom of these corporations to pollute – and the fixation on a feeble lifestyle response – is no accident. It is the result of an ideological war, waged over the last 40 years, against the possibility of collective action……

    …..Neoliberalism has not merely ensured this agenda is politically unrealistic: it has also tried to make it culturally unthinkable. Its celebration of competitive self-interest and hyper-individualism, its stigmatization of compassion and solidarity, has frayed our collective bonds. It has spread, like an insidious anti-social toxin, what Margaret Thatcher preached: “there is no such thing as society.”…..

    …..The political project of neoliberalism, brought to ascendence by Thatcher and Reagan, has pursued two principal objectives. The first has been to dismantle any barriers to the exercise of unaccountable private power. The second had been to erect them to the exercise of any democratic public will.

    Its trademark policies of privatization, deregulation, tax cuts and free trade deals: these have liberated corporations to accumulate enormous profits and treat the atmosphere like a sewage dump, and hamstrung our ability, through the instrument of the state, to plan for our collective welfare……

    ……Eco-consumerism may expiate your guilt. But it’s only mass movements that have the power to alter the trajectory of the climate crisis. This requires of us first a resolute mental break from the spell cast by neoliberalism: to stop thinking like individuals.

    The good news is that the impulse of humans to come together is inextinguishable – and the collective imagination is already making a political come-back. The climate justice movement is blocking pipelines, forcing the divestment of trillions of dollars, and winning support for 100% clean energy economies in cities and states across the world. New ties are being drawn to Black Lives Matter, immigrant and Indigenous rights, and fights for better wages. On the heels of such movements, political parties seem finally ready to defy neoliberal dogma…….

    …..So grow some carrots and jump on a bike: it will make you happier and healthier. But it is time to stop obsessing with how personally green we live – and start collectively taking on corporate power.

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      It’s time to look ’em in the eye, Jenny and with our carrot-enhanced eyesight, we’ll have the advantage if all about us is gloomy!

      • JennyHow to get there? 16.1.1

        I am distressed that you find my call to mass protest action gloomy.

        It is what has made a difference, from the Civil Rights Movement in the US, to the anti-nuclear movement here.

        From Bastion Point to the Springbok Tour.

        This is what works. While gardening and water harvesting are good, I do them myself. All around us unmoved by our individual efforts, corporations and governments continue with Business As Usual.

        If we are to make a real difference we have to throw ourselves on the levers.

        Accepting this reality is not gloomy, joining with your fellow citizens in direct action is transformative, and liberating.

        In the defying corporations and governments, we discover that we are not powerless afterall.

  17. Ad 17

    Great start Robert do another one

    • greywarshark 17.1

      I’m glad that you like this Ad. The thinking behind it is that it isn’t just a one or two-off, but permanent so you’re comment is limiting in its scope.

    • Robert Guyton 17.2

      Thanks, Ad and thanks for contributing. There was a good turnout on the day, wasn’t there! I didn’t even get a chance to talk about plants, so busy was I reading the thoughts of others – very interesting all round. I’ll ask for a spot next Sunday and we’ll see how that goes. There are some ideas here I’d like to see expanded; some of the “wee gems” that appeared here in this thread are most likely, seeds.

  18. WeTheBleeple 18

    “To be thrown upon one’s own resources is to be cast into the very lap of fortune, for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible” Benjamin Franklin.

    We can’t solve a problem without understanding what it is. Why do corporates act in inhuman ways that will ultimately result in their own destruction?


    “Both the Inter-American and European jurisdictions consider shareholders’ interests to be pre-eminent – either upheld directly as individual shareholders’ rights, or vicariously as “corporate rights”. This raises an unsolvable contradiction – shareholders are rights-holders without having any corresponding responsibility for the potential human rights violations committed by the company in which they have invested.”

    This is the loophole through which corporations stomp on others rights while protecting themselves. It only takes one well placed shareholder and a lawyer…

    The growth model, contrary to popular opinion, is not bound by law. It just slipped into the psyche as some kind of mantra for morons.

    It’s the sociopathic individuals, within or without the corporate boards that do the real damage. They use the human rights loophole to claim they’re hard done by if anyone does anything but make profit.


    “So, where did the mistaken idea that directors must maximize shareholder value come from? The notion is especially popular among economists unburdened by knowledge of corporate law. But it has also been embraced by increasingly powerful activist hedge funds that profit from harassing boards into adopting strategies that raise share price in the short term, and by corporate executives driven by “pay for performance” schemes that tie their compensation to each year’s shareholder returns.

    In other words, it is activist hedge funds and modern executive compensation practices — not corporate law — that drive so many of today’s public companies to myopically focus on short-term earnings; cut back on investment and innovation; mistreat their employees, customers and communities; and indulge in reckless, irresponsible and environmentally destructive behaviors.”

    Hedge fund managers, again…

    Passive income is a fair indicator of crimes against humanity and the planet. Human greed is a huge issue – what is it trying to compensate for?

    Lack of social structure? Lack of family structure? Fear?…

    Sociopaths supposedly make up only 1% of us. So where have the 30% Nat voters come from, the Republican numbers, the Tories?

    – The brainwashing of Hollywood and media that the rat race is the only game in town.

    – That lie that rich and famous is better than wise and caring.

    – The corporate advertising machine that tells you daily that you are not enough.

    But you are.

    ”Even at the moment of your failure, right there, you are beautiful.

    You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself


    Lidia Yuknavitch.

  19. greywarshark 19

    An apt slogan for this post:

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

    • Robert Guyton 19.1

      And isn’t it encouraging to realise that there are many people who have already been walking for quite a while – drawing up beside them as they continue on is a delight!

      • greywarshark 19.1.1

        Let’s all join them in the Long March, and think, as we journey, of the nature in all its meanings, of the sort of society we will have when we arrive at each staged restpoint on the journey.

        We need to remember that one meaning of revolution is of going round the full 360 degrees to the original starting point. Making useful change is a matter of degree, and part of a revolution. Somewhere motion must pause and the position be stabilised at an agreed point. Mere ideological propulsion for a revolution is not adequate to answer problems, but thought about how things ought to be done and when is necessary for a result of practical improvement.

  20. Puckish Rogue 20

    The future, barring some cataclysmic event, is blue-green or capitalism with stronger Green influences bolstered by stronger scientific advances

    However Socialism and Communism keep getting in the way and subverting what should be the most natural political influence

    How much has NZ been enriched by farming and, over the decades, how much better for the environment (through science) has farming become

    The future for world food production is in blue-green and NZ can, and should, lead the way in sustainable, efficient food production

    It can be if, and I admit its a pretty big if, both National and Green can compromise and work together.

    Blue-Green, not Red-Green, the best of both worlds.

  21. WeTheBleeple 21

    I’ve found the majority of blue voters only pay lip service to the blue-green fantasy, as they’re desperate to shut the left out.

    The future is cooperation.

    • Puckish Rogue 21.1

      “I’ve found the majority of blue voters only pay lip service to the blue-green fantasy, as they’re desperate to shut the left out.”

      No thats simply not true. You go to any deerstalkers meetings for example and you’ll see a large cross section of all that is good in NZ, all that NZ could be. You’ve got blue-collar, white-collar, you’ve got discussions on all manner of things that fall under the Green banner and its all good

      You are right in that cooperation is the way to go but how to get the past long held beliefs on both sides

      • Robert Guyton 21.1.1

        WeTheBleeple said; “Ive found….” so you can hardly tell him that’s not true. Only he can know what he’s found.

        Hey, Pucky! What’s your practical suggestion for move us all into a better space? Change who you vote for, was that it? We we’re amassing a lot of very sound, inspiring ideas yesterday, under the banner, “how to get there” and oddly enough, amongst the 150 or so comments, none was about voting…curious!

        • Puckish Rogue

          Well barring a cataclysmic event whatever happens will have to involve voting, I know its not “sexy” or “radical” though

          I’m confident that eventually the west will evolve enough to sort out the most pressing issues facing the earth

          Like look where the west is now compared to 50 years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago and to me the west isn’t the finished product yet

          It seems to me that other countries are in catch up mode, get enough chinese and indians into the educated middle class and the living conditions for their people will improve and then for their children they’ll wan the environment looked after

      • Robert Guyton 21.1.2

        “You are right in that cooperation is the way to go but how to get the past long held beliefs on both sides”
        That’s a critical element, Pucky. Is that your intention, hanging around a lefty blog, sharing your views?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Maybe its my ego (yeah ok it absolutely is my ego) but maybe some aspiring politician will read these posts and maybe think to themselves that red v blue, the whole adversarial way politics is done in NZ isn’t the best way or most efficient way

          Maybe they start to think about better ways, maybe a politician on the right thinks that dairying has gone to far and suggests a moratorium on diary conversions, maybe a politician on left thinks not bad maybe they can support an increase in defence spending

          Who knows but reading through TheStandard I’d say there’s more similarities than there are differences in most of the contributors and if that’s case here then why can’t that continue onto politics in general

  22. Robert Guyton 22

    “Like look where the west is now compared to 50 years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago and to me the west isn’t the finished product yet”
    On the brink of collapsing the entire ecosystem, is that what you mean, Pucky?
    I’m somewhat underwhelmed.
    When you say “product” I sense you have no qualms about commodifying anything at all and therein lies the “West’s” problem. Nevertheless, your confidence is something we can enjoy here; not that which you are confident about, but the positivity you express; better that than being a moaning Minnie!

    • Puckish Rogue 22.1

      No I mean we’re living longer than ever before, more people are out of poverty than ever before, more social welfare than ever before, less wars than ever before, women have more rights than ever before, more people are going to university than ever before, that kind of thing 🙂

      I mean as an example of how good life can be I’m communicating cheaply and easily with someone living in the riviera of the south, that by itself should be caused for celebration

      We have an unmarried mother as PM and on the other side we have a sexy, mature lady as the leader of the opposition so, for women, we have examples of being able to succeed no matter your circumstance (and a great deal of luck of course)

      Also cherries are available so life is good 🙂

      • Robert Guyton 22.1.1

        Yeah, I guess we are celebrating, only there’s this nagging feeling it’s not sustainable, the “cherries” on top of the Cake of Civilisation. What people on this thread are trying to do/are doing, is identify the problem, envisage a better result, pick the paths to get there and share ideas, large or small, that could serve as paving stones to make the path easier for others to follow.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Sure and I truly believe the way forward for NZ, for all NZ, would be blue-green, if both sides can compromise of course

          • Sabine

            We have many many years of past efforts of Team Blue working with others to point out that the others ‘parties’ are all dead…….hence the No Mates Party. 🙂

          • Sacha

            “blue-green, if both sides can compromise”

            What would you expect the Greens to give up in exchange for the Nats relinquishing oil and highways?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Do we need to give up oil and highways or do we rethink how oil and highways are used, can we have highways and rail ways together

              I don’t think its a case of either or but I suspect that there is the main stumbling block between National and the Greens, that neither party will want to have a serious discussion

              • Sacha

                “neither party will want to have a serious discussion”

                The Greens developed and published a policy-by-policy map of their position compared with National’s before at least two recent elections, and concluded there were not enough overlaps.

                They did negotiate a couple of specific programmes with the Nat govt – which subsequently abandoned one of them mid-term without any further negotiation. Pretty clear who was interested and who was not.

      • greywarshark 22.1.2

        No moaning Minnie, more Minnie the Moocher! Cab Calloway tells us about the original Minnie:

      • Sabine 22.1.3

        poverty. – more people then ever need a food bank to at least once daily, need assistance to pay for housing, need assistance to bury their relatives, need assistance to pay doctors etc etc.

        welfare – the world over welfare is gutted and made redundant one cut at a time

        womens right – yes, we have been given rights, thanks we have come a long way from biblical times where women were chattel to be sold, traded and used like any other domesticated animal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_rights_of_women_in_history

        living longer then ever – unloved and uncared for in expensive retirement home staffed by overworked and under paid staff.

        more people going to university – yep, lawyers and accountants galore, can’t find a decent plumber nor a decent builder not for love nor money, so we import them. And student loans – see poverty

        less war – War on Drugs, War on Poverty, War on homelessness, War in Jemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Uighurs, Tibetans, Rohingas, Iran, North Korea/South Korea – fighting stopped but the war not yet finished, The war on Truth, The war for oil, the war for water, the war or arabale land, the war against rising oceans……

        • Puckish Rogue

          • Sabine

            gallows humor does not change the fact that they are tied on a cross and are gonna die in a most painful way over the course of many many hours and days. First thing to give? Arms and shoulders. Then the blood flowing down to your feet, then the birds that come picking on your soft bits.

            So go on pretend shit ain’t happening, and sing us a song.

        • RedLogix

          womens right – yes, we have been given rights, thanks we have come a long way from biblical times where women were chattel to be sold, traded and used like any other domesticated animal.

          Completely true; yet it omits the equally hard truth that for most men life was scarcely any better. Slavery, feudalism, constant sacrifice in warfare, brutally tough hard labour, almost zero legal rights, constant threat of disease, crippling accidents, poor food, clothing and shelter, illiteracy and ignorance were the commonplace lot of virtually all people … male and female alike.

          This takes nothing away from your point; yes women were more vulnerable, less physical strength, periods that made life difficult at least several days a month, breast feeding was mandatory, pregnancy that could easily end in death and so on. Their domestic life before the invention of clean piped water and sewerage systems, electric appliances like the hot water cylinder, the washing machine and so on … was an endless round of dull drudgery carrying water, sweeping, cooking, washing and cleaning. Caring for the elderly and sick was a frequent burden.

          All of these specific burdens meant that none but a few unusually wealthy women could live independently. The way all human societies solved this problem was for men to take responsibility for protecting and providing for women. Wealthy men might have the resource to take care of many, most of the remainder partnered with whoever life made available for them, if any. Interestingly in our deep past this trend apparently took some extreme forms:

          Once upon a time, 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, something very strange happened to human reproduction. Across the globe, for every 17 women who were reproducing, passing on genes that are still around today—only one man did the same.


          My point is simply this; for much of our history life for almost all people (except for a tiny wealthy minority) was exceedingly difficult and oppressive. And each gender experienced this in specific ways.

          In my mother’s family we know that in the 1860’s two families left Ireland, two fathers, two mothers and between them eight children. On the five month voyage to New Zealand only one father, one mother and two children survived … who then recombined and became my great grandparents. We can scarcely imagine the grief and difficulty of their lives.

          Yet to frame all of this as somehow a narrative of men systemically oppressing women seems unhelpful. It may be hold some truth in some respects, but it leaves out a much more inspiring story … that for the most part men and women, despite their differences, have largely helped each other through a long and troublesome history. That we made it this far is to me a miracle we should celebrate a little more.

          • Sabine

            despite the fact that 100% of the world population was born to a women, MEN OWNED ALL THE WOMEN. But you have a point.

            • RedLogix

              I agree that the ancients thought of this as ‘ownership’; but really they had no other intellectual model to work with. The entire notion of the sovereign individual which arose in the West after the Renaissance, had yet to happen.

              The ‘king’ was the ‘owner’ of everything, all the land, all the resources and people. In practical terms much of this was delegated via complex hierarchies of both competence and privilege, but conceptually this was the only model they had.

              And it was normal to them. For instance us moderns are very disapproving of chattel slavery or serfdom; yet for thousands of years it was considered perfectly acceptable. It might not have been desirable to be a slave, but no-one quibbled with the legitimacy of the institution.

              After the Renaissance slowly but surely the idea of everyone being equal before both God and the Law took effect. This was the single most powerful and liberating idea humans have ever had. Inevitably the old notion that one human could ‘own’ another human body and soul became discredited. Slowly and with much difficulty we extended the idea of legal rights first to the wealthy, then over time to wider and wider groups of people. A process that more or less culminated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. (A much under-rated document.)

              So yes I agree that in our history the responsibility men had towards women was framed as ownership; but this is a model that we have thankfully discarded. But this doesn’t change the underlying relationship between us … which has always been one of mutual help and companionship.

              And dare I say it … sometimes an enduring wondrous love. 🙂

              • Draco T Bastard

                A process that more or less culminated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. (A much under-rated document.)

                And overly complex and poorly worded. And certainly not followed by the majority of countries. The US actively goes against them in many matters.

                So yes I agree that in our history the responsibility men had towards women was framed as ownership; but this is a model that we have thankfully discarded.

                No, we still have the same model. We just no longer allow it to apply directly to people.

                We still allow ownership of a business with the de facto ownership of the people who work there and the outright ownership of their produce.

                • RedLogix

                  I’m grateful for the progress we have made.it took thousands of years of struggle and sacrifice.

                  This web forum is a fucking miracle. As is most of modern life. It isn’t perfect and never will be. But straining at unobtamium is the enemy of what can be usefully achieved.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Nothing I said was unobtainable.

                    We have come a long way over the last few thousands of years. We have a long way to go. Labelling that path as unobtainable is what prevents us from walking it.

      • WeTheBleeple 22.1.4

        We’ve confused a veneer of civility for being civilised. We’re the assholes who turned up at the party and wrecked the house.

        Corporate control of science is quite literally a nightmare. It threatens everything. Now, the rich are beginning to understand the longevity of their businesses are threatened, so they want to co-opt the Greens to save them from themselves and at the same time deny lefties a seat at the table??? Always an agenda that doesn’t even make sense.

        I’ve been party to these ‘positive conversations’, nobody knew WTF they were talking about. But they liked saying ‘blue-green’ a lot, it made them think they care. I said ‘there is no economy without the environment’ and they lost their shit like a guru had arrived.

        Three glasses of wine and each became a philosopher.

        It’s gonna take years of therapy after all that self important drivel, many, many years.

        • RedLogix

          We’re the assholes who turned up at the party and wrecked the house.

          So the solution is to call the exterminators?

          Of course there is no economy without an environment. This is the eternal problem ALL creatures must solve. We’re all predators and exploiters of ecological niches to some degree or another. All species are prone to losing the balance in boom and bust cycles.

          It’s just that us humans became self-aware of the whole process; and some of us recoiling from the horror of it. This is the price of consciousness … we either fall into the trap of thinking our knowledge is the ‘total’ of all things and we fall into hubris, or we despair of our innate wickedness and embrace nihilism.

          Here is the truth of it; we are all oppressors and oppressed, we are all predators and prey, we are all dominant and submissive, we are all offensive and offended against. And we are all both privileged and deprived at the same time. Good and evil lies within us all, each one of us never sure which force will play it’s part on any day.

          All we have is the power of our moral choices.

          • greywarshark

            All we have is the power of our choices, and the banding together of trustworthy souls to make the right choices, then follow those up with planned good and practical actions. Words and thoughts to start, then physical actions that lead to moral outcomes.

            So what are your suggestions for actions Red L now you have done your tub-thumping?

            • RedLogix

              Sorry I gave the pulpit a bit of a bash there.

              Solutions will have to wait until I’m off this phone.

        • Robert Guyton

          I reckon some humans or other were bound to wreck the house – all thoughts become reality if shared by enough of us and civilization’s one of those thoughts that once thunk, had to be realised. The question is, what to do now? We’ve plumbed the depths and need to surface before we run out of air.

        • greywarshark

          Wouldn’t it be good if we could have a philosophers’ party with optional three glasses of wine and a bus back to the hotel, once a year or so. I remember Chris Trotter going to the Ika Restaurant of Leila Harre which I think would have a political address or something. There is the Bruce Jesson memorial address. Perhaps there would be a series of mind-feasts during the year that people would have listed where some interesting thoughts would be discussed and people from all-over could plan to go to, at least one a year and make bookings well in advance.

          Of course the truly green would be riding a bicycle, going on the ferry, travelling by rail or bus, rather than flying but might be able to organise the time if there was enough lead time for planning. And what about a train-fest infested with academics, new economists, small business entrepreneurs, a different topic in each carriage. That would do wonders for KiwiRail in its off-tourist season.

          • WeTheBleeple

            TED is a great form of idea fests. I’ve not attended a local event but should.

            Train Fest! You had me at trains. Great idea. Add some entertainment. Radar would be amazing, give a lecture on some part of NZ we stop for lunch at… but we have a number of great talents if he’s not about.

            Local musicians in the bar car.

            This could totally work.

            The idea itself is a draw. Some great speakers would seal the deal. And you might get funding fairly easily for promoting lots of good ideas including rail in such a manner.

            Advertising, well, it’s a great story – free media can do most of the advertising. That’s how I bolstered shows for pubs in the sticks, coming to town was news so I wrote a press release off to local rags. Published 10/10. Worked 9/10 times to fill seats but the onus was on the owners press releases just a bonus. <- see what I did there! More poetry!

          • Robert Guyton

            “Wouldn’t it be good if we could have a philosophers’ party with optional three glasses of wine and a bus back to the hotel, once a year or so.”
            Be still, my beating heart!
            Would we debate, Platonically?
            Whatever happened, it’d be great! And debates in trains, while they’re moving!!
            The only problem would be convincing us to disembark!

  23. WeTheBleeple 23

    I disagree that we either fall into hubris or nihilism. And I didn’t suggest calling the exterminators, you went there.

    But the reality of blue-green as a solution is, imo, entirely questionable.

    It’s called greenwashing. Now with an added dash of desperation.

    • WeTheBleeple 23.1

      In keeping with solutions based approaches.


      • Puckish Rogue 23.1.1

        To me this whole idea of “capitalism has failed” or whatever is completely wrong but does capitalism need some rules around it, it absolutely does but capitalism not socialism needs to be the driver

        But if what it took for the idea to be accepted then fine Blue-Green-Red it is, in order of importance

  24. Robert Guyton 24

    “Blue-Green-Red it is”
    Leaving Judith-in-yellow out of the picture altogether.
    I do wonder if you’ve all restricted your palettes unnecessarily.

      • Robert Guyton 24.1.1

        Fair cop. Bit mean though, to pull that one on a colour-blind bloke.

        • Puckish Rogue

          To be fair that was a bit of luck on my part

        • WeTheBleeple

          You guys are funny.

          Yeah Puck I agree that capitalism needs some rules but they’ve been riding rough shod over rules for ever. Or simply writing their own. The results… not good. Science gave us many benefits, capitalists exploited every one. I’m all for small to medium business there’s no issue with provision of goods and services – but these too big too fail bastards are screwing us all. The left are impoverished, the honest business folk tarnished. It’s not cricket. Large corporations suck. We should stop envying parasites and recognise the divide between the idle rich and honest business folk.

          I suggest the right stop voting for neoliberal tory bankers, and demand better from National. They are not representative of what business should be, but corporate globalism. A monster that will devour us all till there are two corporations left waging eternal war over dwindling resources.

          McD’s vs KFC, the Armageddon to end all Armageddons.

          Sustainable businesses will kick ass in our brave new future. Social media makes them darlings so the advertising is practically free. When the product/service is legit, the customer stays. Steady income not market driven uncertainty, undercutting and stripping trying to get more pie…

          We’re over that, the planet is over that.

          And businesses also need to realise not only are they nothing without a planet, they’re also nothing without their workers. Those commie bastards.

          We’re all in this together.

  25. WeTheBleeple 25

    Water Water Everywhere. Part 1.

    New Zealand is heavily reliant on water for hydro-electricity generation, agricultural production, and human consumption. We experience enough rainfall to maintain the flow of waterways and replenish aquifers. However, much of our rainfall is diverted straight out to the ocean taking topsoil, nutrients and other pollutants as it goes.

    The hydrology of our land has been extensively changed. In urban centres vast areas of roads, roofs and other impervious surfaces drain into the nearest water body. In rural settings, hardpan from soil compaction and drainage networks do similar. With local power shortages, pollution, drought, conflict over water rights between corporate and commons, and urban and rural water users; our system of draining the country appears to be broken and ready for an overhaul.

    We observe rivers flowing for months without it having rained. This is groundwater flow, water that has infiltrated the soil rather than running off the surface. Groundwater flow typically does not exceed a couple of metres a day and is how rivers keep running. Replenishing groundwater stabilises rivers (thus hydro-electricity) and helps replenish aquifers.

    It is not the amount of water we get here that is the issue. We often have too much. Feast and famine in the form of flood and drought. The issue is the speed of the water flowing through the landscape. Floods in lowlands are often the result of water in the higher catchment flowing over, rather than soaking into and slowly moving through, the landscape. While we might not prevent extreme events, we can certainly dampen their severity.

    Here is a video that illustrates the use of rainwater to replenish groundwater. I apologise to those who may, like me, be intolerant to folk music. Note that in the one application of earthworks (ponds and swale-derivatives) he has not only provided water security for his property, but also flood mitigation. All of these ideas scale up or down.

    This man not only waters his farm, he’s replenishing his stream and his neighbors well. One man on a mission.

    The video is so good I’m going to allow the folk music.

    In Part 2 I’ll explore a few urban options for capturing and slowing rain. In Part 3 I will don my flak jacket and look at ideas for farmers. Until then… hold your water.

    • greywarshark 25.1

      Thanks WtB good fklow of info and ideas coming from your lively brain, probably new stuff to a lot of us. Magic, but in real life. If we can connect ideas and network with like-minded people we may be able to save the essentials needed for
      a simpler way of life and people living well in respectful, friendly community.

      • WeTheBleeple 25.1.1

        Thanks. I’m just a conduit for others work in most cases.

        Water is a huge subject. I decided to KIS and cut it up into digestible chunks with videos to illustrate examples. We can link it as one thing later if required and according to how this evolves. Also stops me over-editing as a document gets longer. Bad habit, time wasting habit. Edit last. But, I can’t help it… posting chunks helps me move to the next bit.

        This wee farm does all right too. He talks about a seed selling business plus a couple hundred families they supply. Fair bit of variety grown so that’s not a piddling income. He only talks about 7 acres of production right now. Add amenities, borders, ponds, roads and call it 10 acres. Two hundred families supplied. You get 100 small farms and they might supply much of the produce to 20 000 families from 1000 acres. Protein production as well. Nothing to snort at. All of this scales.

        Those theoretical 100 small farms could work together in local clusters like we used to. In the days when haymaking was a community thing not vast machines. Farming was a lot better with people on the land. They’d share equipment, labour, scones, stories and beer. Get a sawmill running, fibre production, all sorts of industry could spring up.

        In the video, observe in the drone shots how the surrounding land, and to the right on his property where he’s just bringing things online… it’s dry and brown. But where he’s established the water systems, a green lush farm.

        His inputs will be very low compared to a conventional farm too. Onsite production is the permaculture way.

        • greywarshark

          Sounds doable to hang onto for hopeful future way. I think that local with seasonal work could apply. In the old days, the school might shut and everyone travel out to a farm, and pick etc. No reason that a sensibly organised local government system couldn’t organise that. Educational too, to see where everything comes from. Remember ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees children!’ But other things do.

          I think we need a total change in our education system to set kids up to be self-initiating and self-confident at running a household, with their parents.
          Not done that myself but with changing times and lack of physical jobs, it is time to give kids their rights to not be dependent on big machine boss. Got to get their heads out of the cloud eh. I looked at A S Neill and his self-choice freedom school, where kids didn’t have to go to class. It sounded okay and didn’t limit learning but I think was more a reaction to the rather rigid British system, and also from what I have read, between the lines, there seems to have been a fair bit of classism and homosexuality particularly at the boys schools. A S Neill encouraged kids to take an interest in everything but also to think and they had school management meetings where the kids spoke up, not scared to be heard, and pupils were elected to run them.

          So education that allowed working with the community and no-one being helpless and bullied, with basic education taught and then specialisation in the particular choices for which they could find teachers, would bring the whole area closer than tends now to be the case. Work skills and experience would fit right in there.

    • Robert Guyton 25.2

      Do you know of Haikai Tane, WTB?

      • WeTheBleeple 25.2.1

        No. Just looked him up. Has that multi-disciplinary look about him that marks the effective thinker.

        • Robert Guyton

          He spends half his time in NZ, half in China. Loves and champions willows. Doesn’t rate braided rivers 🙂

          • greywarshark

            Do we know if he and Shane Jones have had any meaningful talks. Jones could hone his Harvard knowledge with some of this more applicable on-the-ground stuff.

  26. WeTheBleeple 26

    Just a wee observation for AK gardeners to disseminate among themselves. Can’t speak for other regions but may be worth testing.

    Broadleaf plantain develops a leaf fungi early before cucurbits are starting to run. The fungi eating ladybirds (yellow), normally turn up way too late arriving on mildew battered cucurbits, but they arrive very early for the plantain.

    I suggest letting some broadleaf plantain run through winter close to where your pumpkins etc will go. The fungi looks like the plantain has been dusted with concrete powder, I thought it was the result of workmen putting in a path nearby till I saw the ladybirds have at it.

    While the ladybirds are not effective arriving late, they might be useful arriving early on plantain, before the cucurbit specific mildews show, they might even afford some control. I’ll be watching closely I’ve got a lot of cucurbits this year.

  27. Robert Guyton 27

    We do a similar thing for the parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in aphids – they’re not much good if they arrive late, so we grow grains that have their own aphids, harmless to brassicas but attractive to the wasps, and we time them to be ready well before the brassicas come in, meaning the wasp numbers are well built up in time for the brassica aphids. It works very well.

  28. WeTheBleeple 28

    Any specific grains? I can throw oats into winter cover crops with mustard and lupins they’re all good together would be great if they doubled as a lure…

    I find puha is a good trap for aphids in that they prefer it to brassicas, but if you want a feed of puha maybe not so desirable. We get all these orange aphids on the swan plants, they’ll go after roses but leave the rest of the garden alone. They’re typically late arrivals though. Black ones can arrive early on puha but they’re problematic, as are the greys. I guess what I’m missing is more hosts for the wasps. There’s some celeriac flowering only now. A bit late. Many flowers but nothing targeting the niche. Flowering coriander and parsnips are my favorites for the minute insect swarms they attract, too warm for parsnips here though.

    Suggestions of any perennial flowers appreciated.

  29. Robert Guyton 29

    Our greatest player is/are the apiacaea/umbelliferaea: fennel, parsley (giant black, cow etc) alexanders, giant hogweed 🙂 and so on, that attract hoverflies, which predate aphids, and flower early in the season. There are some succulents too, that are crazy-irresistible to hoverflies, especially drone flies. Our grain crops were oats and barley.

    • Puckish Rogue 30.1

      Giant Hogweed, not my favourite Genesis track (I prefer their later, more commercial work) but its not bad

      ‘Long ago in the Russian hills
      A Victorian explorer found the regal Hogweed by a marsh
      He captured it and brought it home…to London
      And made a present of the Hogweed
      To the Royal Gardens at Kew’

  30. WeTheBleeple 31

    Excellent that works. Got fennel celeriac celery wild carrot dill et al. The oats are easy and the chickens’ll love more of them. I’m pretty partial myself should learn to winnow em.

    That sweet cicely reminds me of tansy with different flowers. Interesting fern-like plant.

    I like how seasonal variation in pests keeps me on my toes as, despite some struggles, it keeps me looking to learn.

    Integrated Pest Management seeks to keep pests below a certain economic threshold, typically a percentage loss of foliage before crop is affected. Did you know brocolli can lose up to 40% of leaf mass and produce without losses.

    Like many gardeners with reasonable biodiversity will testify, if I don’t panic, and I don’t spray, the problem typically sorts itself out. Some losses are acceptable as the biodiversity has me covered. As you know…

    Have I mentioned my observation (purple) taro displaces lily Zantedeschia aethiopica aka death lily? They both love the same spots (provided it’s warm enough for Taro) but the Taro takes over the spot just one plant in a patch and watch it rule.

    This is a perfect example of your concept of letting a more desirable plant displace a less desirable one.

  31. Robert Guyton 32

    Death lily! Never heard of it, but it sounds …intriguing 🙂 But yeah, add rather than subtract. Gotta go, the Firm’s Christmas Bash tonight and I gotta scrub-up!

  32. greywarshark 33

    The Aral Sea dried up when its water was diverted by the Soviets.
    Things are changing for the the 4th largest lake in the world once covered in salt.

  33. greywarshark 34

    Creating soggy bottoms in Australia! How to deal with droughts.

    • WeTheBleeple 34.1


      “63% increase in production in the hydrated portion of the valley”.

      That’s something Farmers can understand loud and clear. Now imagine having the advantage of plenty of water without the public outcry.

      Probably worth doing.

      Keyline systems. Swales and ponds. Or stream works like above. The options are interchangeable and have the same goals.

      Keyline is amazing, and the yeomans plow something of a legend. I’ll get into that before too long plenty of our farmers would already know about subsurface ripping. But how many know they can push water towards their ridges using it?

  34. greywarshark 35

    From Bowalley Road Wednesday, 12 December 2018
    Normalising The Unthinkable.

    Would that the world’s artists were willing to latch on to the much more optimistic Fixing-Climate-Change scenario elaborated by Counterpunch contributor, Steve Hendricks. https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/07/what-if-we-just-buy-off-big-fossil-fuel-a-novel-plan-to-mitigate-the-climate-calamity/

    His eminently practical plan of simply paying the fossil fuel industry to keep their product safely in the ground; and then giving them the job of transitioning humankind to a sustainable green future; is proof of what we human-beings are capable of conceptualising when we shun the darkness and choose instead to keep our eyes firmly fixed upon the light.

    • RedLogix 35.1

      An excellent essay, well written and thought provoking. The fundamental premise aligns with my contention that while big industry got us into this mess; it’s also big industry that has the capacity to get us out of it.

      This isn’t the only strategy we can pursue, bio-capture of carbon is some form is the other method we have for getting the CO2 out of the atmosphere … but this Cash to Convert scheme is either brilliant of a dark satire. Hard to tell.

      • WeTheBleeple 35.1.1

        Yeah I can’t quite tell if it’s satire, or a brilliant plot by big oil to get a huge payout from all this, we already know they have a well-oiled PR department.

        Conspiracies R Us.

        Paying off big oil is not an example of big industry getting us out of this. It’s obscene. Even if it worked they wouldn’t have saved the day, rather, blackmailed the planet.

        Those paying the ransom would save the day. I’d be very interested then in finding the kidnappers, recovering the funds, and fully holding them to account.

        • greywarshark

          But you are talking more on what’s morally right, and process-right WtB. We may have to go with whatever is available and willing to do what is needed NOW. We are being blackmailed okay, swallow the dead rat. Ugh. But what would be right and what is the best offer in town may be two different, very separate things.

          I have thought of a basic premise for our human position that I think is correct and should be used as a test to everything we say and do when evaluating some plan or a contested action. This is that in NZ we don’t choose to do things because that would be sensible and precautionary and wise, we look at what is expedient, we look at the cost-benefit effect not to the country as a whole, but to the leaders and their advancement, then we act accordingly. This tends to be the thinking of the wealthy, and therefore the thinking of Conservatives. Where some action doesn’t fit within this premise, it can be seen as the exception to the rule, coming from some cause that is quirky and unusual.

          Perhaps it comes from the British character, and then it would show up in 5-Eyes territory. Certainly watching things that the Conservatives do over there might fit the theory. Why would May and the Party she is with have taken any notice of the referendum which they didn’t need to act on? Some idea of increasing their own influence, power and wealth, probably. But also they have been stretched by the numbers of colonials wishing to live with Mother Brit. and the refugees from the wars that Britain has participated in are the last straw. So it is expedient for them to exclude such people seeking help from the cause of their country’s destruction.

          If I am right about the expediency barrier, then that mindset should be taken into account when trying to get movement on important, even threatening issues. The argument for action should play to it, rather than morality; that the action requested is the right thing to do and important for some reason. If it isn’t important in aiding those in power then they will regard it as not expedient, and we have to make the case of why it is expedient, for them to use their influence to facilitate whatever is being requested and needed.

  35. WeTheBleeple 36

    Water security provides flood mitigation (think of the savings), drought mitigation (think of the continuity of the power supply), crop protection (did someone say GDP?), export income (trade), food security (good for PR), fertiliser reduction (clean rivers) etc.

    I spell it out clearly enough. There are so many benefits. But to benefit the majority, some rich people might not like it. e.g. water and fertilizer suppliers, oil companies…

    You’re just not going to please those bastards, they all want it all.

    Best we learn to look after ourselves, plan for self sufficiency and upskill in sustainability. Should the Idiocracy actually come through… at least I’ll be in a position where I’m not so dependent on them and can help others improve their lot.

    Water provides the means to grow my needs. Can’t control me nearly so easily if I’m fed and warm of my own accord. Not requiring a handout, or not handing a cheque over… So obviously not going to be popular with Government.

    Only necessity saw rain gardens and water recharge start in California. The land is crumbling in on the empty aquifer… Wildfires and drought, widespread desertification, and finally, some pilot programs…

    Methinks we need to be working as individuals and communities to solve things. I’m not going to hold my breath for the idle rich to help they’re welcome to join.

    My earthworks have made a difference to my creek. People can make changes. You’d be surprised once you get a few moving.

  36. greywarshark 37

    I am easily impressed. Put lots of zeroes behind a figure and my eyes light up (without electricity too) and so when these big figures cropped up in this article –
    which link was in my 35 (got it from Bowalley Road!) – I thought just a para would give us all an idea of what sets thinkers off with their own rocket juice!

    We’ve done our damnedest to stop them from wrecking the climate, but they’re nonetheless pulling carbon from the ground in wondrous quantities. It was once astonishing that in the U.S. alone they could extract 55 quadrillion BTUs worth of oil, gas, and coal each year, as they did from 1970 to 2005. (A new home furnace puts out about 50,000 BTUs.) But 55,000,000,000,000,000 BTUs looks almost quaint now.

    Big Carbon extracted 60 quadrillion BTUs from U.S. soil in 2011, 70 quadrillion in 2015, and next year it’s expected to be 75 quadrillion. No wonder the 40 billion tons in CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases that our species emitted in 2001 became 45 billion in 2004, 50 billion in 2009, and 55 billion today.

    Climactivists have mostly preferred to ignore these ugly facts and focus instead on the impressive growth in renewable energy. And it is impressive. But here’s another somewhat inconvenient truth: We’re not using the new renewables to replace fossil fuels. We’re just using them to keep up with new energy demands—demands from our growing population and the newly consumptive lifestyles of once-poor peoples being lifted from their poverty. In short, Big Carbon is a juggernaut that we’ve hardly checked.

    Sometimes pulling out an impressive para on its own gives that focussed view that goes to the heart.

  37. greywarshark 38

    I copied this over to here because it is so good, one of the success stories that good determined people are doing around the world that inspire us. Greywarshark

    SaveNZ 17
    14 December 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Nice story for a Friday afternoon.

    Desert turns into oasis: Man plants 50,000 trees in 15 years in N China

    A resident in southwest China’s Guizhou Province has been planting trees on a barren mountain for more than 30 years on end, without cutting a single tree for profit. He has, together with his wife, planted 76.67 hectares of trees since 1985.


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