Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The Long-Term Green Advantage of Uncommon Sense.

Thought For Food: Saving the planet and feeding all its people long ago ceased to be a practical proposition. The amount of cultivatable land will shrink – along with the quantity of water necessary to ensure adequate harvests. As the mean global temperature increase passes 2oC, millions of human-beings will begin to starve. 

THE MAINSTREAM NEWS media’s constant and effusive praise for Green co-leader, James Shaw, draws into sharp focus the party’s fundamental contradiction. That the supra-political character of the present planetary crisis must doom to failure any attempt to present the Greens as just-another-political-party. Undaunted, Shaw exploits with considerable skill the urgent need of the status-quo’s defenders’ to keep “common-sense solutions” in play. Were in not so tragic, this acquiescence to the short-termism that defines both the intractability of climate change, and of modern politics, would be hugely and comically ironic.

If Shaw’s acquiescence could be offset by a co-leader determined to bear witness to the long-term challenges of responding to anthropogenic global warming, then the damage to the Green cause might be mitigated. Unfortunately, Marama Davidson seems to be as much a prisoner of the short-term as Shaw. In the passing circus parade that is day-to-day politics she has opted for the role of clown.

In fairness, playing the whole Green thing for laughs must be tempting when the challenges are so very, very great. How, for example, do you inform humanity that their sheer numbers preclude any sort of “soft landing” for the climate change crisis?

Saving the planet and feeding all its people long ago ceased to be a practical proposition. The amount of cultivatable land will shrink – along with the quantity of water necessary to ensure adequate harvests. As the mean global temperature increase passes 2oC, millions of human-beings will begin to starve. What is the correct moral response to famine, disease and conflict on an unprecedented scale? When the boatloads of desperate climate-change refugees start appearing off New Zealand’s coast, what should a Green New Zealand government do?

This is a long way from green technological fixes and rehabilitating four-letter words.

So, too, is deciding what to do when the big container ships and the oil-tankers stop venturing this far south. When the sheer number of super-hurricanes renders voyages too far out into the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans uninsurable. How will a Green government keep the chronically-ill provided with their life-saving pharmaceuticals; and crucial machinery supplied with spare parts; when the flow of these vital imports ceases? How will it keep the lights on and the electric cars powered-up when the snow refuses to fall and the hydro lakes are empty?

Who in today’s Green caucus has the courage to tell New Zealanders that teaching young people the skills required to keep the post-industrial communities of the future functioning is now a matter of urgency. Because in 100 years’ time Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin will be only a fraction of their present size and most of the population will be living in the countryside – where the food is. Which of today’s Greens are working with Maori to preserve the indigenous medical and pharmacological knowledge built-up over the 600 years of non-European occupation of Aotearoa?

Who will dare to tell today’s captains of industry that in 50 years the Internet will be but a memory? That the genocidal global resource wars will kick off with the destruction of the undersea communication cables. That the revolutions, civil and religious wars that roll across the sweltering continents will leave the control hubs for satellite communication unmanned for a generation. That the rocket launching pads will become nesting places for such birds as still fly through Earth’s fetid air.

These are the challenges which Green parties should be preparing us for. The challenges arising out of the fundamental transformations anticipated and demanded in the latest IPCC report. Deluding voters into thinking that somehow the scientists will come up with a way of saving us all: a way which allows capitalism, consumerism and narcissistic individualism to continue unchecked and unmodified; is not something with which any responsible Green should be associated.

Green leadership should be about thinking the unthinkable and working through the changes required to live in the world which humanity’s unthinking folly is steadily bringing into being. It may even be about anticipating that world by encouraging the formation of communities capable of guiding the survivors of humankind’s addiction to fossil-fuels towards a very different way of living on – and with – the planet.

Like the medieval monasteries which kept literature, art and music alive when all around them the vestiges of civilised order were disintegrating, these Green communities may serve as bridges between the devastating collapse of our fossil-fuelled civilisation and the new, much smaller, more self-sufficient and ecologically humble human societies of the future.

Those who preach this Green gospel must anticipate scorn and ridicule from the majority of today’s voters. For a crucial minority, however, this Green version of the future will resonate loudly. And as, one after another, the predictions of the scientists come true, that minority will grow. Until the day eventually dawns when the Greens’ long-prepared and uncompromising policies strike the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders as the only “common-sense-solutions” on offer.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 30 October 2018.

28 comments:

Shane McDowall said...

" When the boatloads of desperate climate-change refugees start appearing off New Zealand's coast, what should a Green New Zealand government do?"

Well I do not know what those muesli eating, folk dancing poofters will do, but I do know what I would do - re-establish our air combat wing.

A couple of squadrons of Lockheed Martin F-35's armed with the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile and a couple of air tankers will see us through this crisis.

And having just read Craig Simons' " The Devouring Dragon " I suspect the time when New Zealanders will need the F-35 is closer than most people think.

greywarbler said...

Oh boy. Take a breather and meditate for an hour Chris. You have said what needs to be said, you have told the facts and truth to the largely 'wilfully ignorant'. A lot of people I know would just say firmly, "That's complete rubbish' as if by firmness of will and determination, the problems arriving in waves on a growing tide can be wiped out.

History has become of real interest to me. It is fascinating finding the real story behind what are well-known myths. King Canute demonstrated that he could not control nature when he went to the sea with his nobles. He believed in God's primacy, over his own humanity. Unfortunately today real belief in the goodness of Christianity has been lost by most, and religion has been bent to suit society's materialism and technological prowess over nature.
Canute was 40 when he died in 1035. He was also known as Cnut the Great, King of England, Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden. ...
More on Cnut at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Canute_and_the_tide


Unless we learn from history and resile from trying to be our own God, or think of ourselves as living in Godzown, we will not prepare ourselves for the unnatural disasters to come (along with the natural disasters like earthquakes) and gradually these will be understood to result from the same source, ourselves.

I suggest getting started with a folder with clear plastic sleeves, a useful plastic resource. Keep a note of forecasts, of protective measures that could be adopted, a list of the people who are actually doing something about the environment, also a list of people who seem to care about people and society in a kindly and practical fashion, and do something to help, if you have your health go and help these people with intelligent projects, and if you are sick, write to them encouragingly and ask what you could do to assist.

First thing to add - I looked up what we would do without toilet paper yesterday. I found mullein leaves praised, and though it is a noxious weed that is not because it is poisonous to man or beast, but because beasts won't eat it. However it could be very useful to people, and also suggested is to have hollyhocks growing on the way to your outhouse. Next look up outdoor privys and how to manage. We will not have enough water to float our floaters through the sewers and have big settling tanks. Some people have already 'got real' so we can go to them for advice as to changes needed. So start now at the bottom and work up. And try to keep a sense of humour which will be needed to carry us through!

Guillaume said...

At long last, someone has the courage to describe the road to an uncertain future. I still meet people who reject or deny the fact of anthropogenic global warming, climate change and the inevitable consequences. Governments and the people they represent are tightly wedded to the idea of growth on a finite planet.

I long ago gave up on the Green Party. I joined the Values Party in Auckland in the Spring of 1973, after reading the manifesto, which was based upon a book published by the Ecologists Magazine: “A Blueprint for Survival”.

I fear that given growing destructive global trends, neoliberalism and blind consumerism, the remedies or mitigation of this havoc is now beyond the powers of any political entity.

A popular worldwide revolution would now be required. A revolution rejecting the squabbles of nationalistic governments, corporate power and increasing expenditure on futile armaments.

Tom Hunter said...

Fantastic stuff, Chris. Have you tried scriptwriting? Because this is a far better storyline than The Day After Tomorrow

Having said that, what I take away from this piece is that you've given up in scaring the general public with such stories and are now advocating some Green equivalent of The Benedictine Option.

That's not surprising, since we've heard all this before:

“I’m scared, I have a 14 year old daughter whom I love very much. I know a lot of young people, and their world is being destroyed. My world is being destroyed. I’m 37 and I’d kind of like to live to be 67 in a reasonably pleasant world, and not die in some kind of holocaust in the next decade.”
– Paul Ehrlich, Look (1970)


Wish granted.

Anonymous said...

I take it you have been reading John Michael Greer's stuff?

Tom Hunter said...

And how similar are these lines to your, in their certainty and self-assurance: it's as if you're channelling that decade.
"The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now."
....
“If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”


Ehrlich again, around the same time. But perhaps I should stop picking on him. How about some others from that dismal decade....

1970:
- Gordon Taylor, in “The Doomsday Book,”, said Americans were using 50 percent of the world’s resources and “by 2000 they will, if permitted, be using all of them.”

- Harvard University biologist George Wald:
“… civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

- Senator Gaylord Nelson in Look Magazine, warned that by 1995 “… somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

And of course, The Club of Rome warned in 1972 that the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987 and petroleum, copper, lead and natural gas by 1992.

One of my favourites was when the Environmental Fund took out full-page ads in 1975 warning that “The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000.”

You're talking to and at many people who have lived through all this since we were little kids in the 1970's, not to mention the 80's kids who lived with the nuclear winter. Broken clock right twice a day and all that, but this ridiculous Chicken Little stuff has a god-awful history of failed predictions.

You are correct that people will just dismiss it, but you are wrong to think that it's because they don't care or are greedy or whatever. Rejecting more of this doomsday nonsense - especially when it's explicitly linked to the same old cry that capitalism will destroy us - is a perfectly rational response.

greywarbler said...

Effete Emperor Hunter quotes -
1970:
- Gordon Taylor, in “The Doomsday Book,”, said Americans were using 50 percent of the world’s resources and “by 2000 they will, if permitted, be using all of them.”

- Harvard University biologist George Wald:
“… civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

- Senator Gaylord Nelson in Look Magazine, warned that by 1995 “… somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”


And says with disdain, 'Your timing is out. This has not happened as prognosticated so therefore your advice is of no interest and I disregard it and discard it.'

If you can look beyond these comments that are out in their timing, is there anything else that we should take note of that is factual, or can be hypothesised? as likely? And getting through people's happy or unhappy self-absorption seems to require striking claims and hyperbole, and perhaps penetration of perpetual ignorance requires rhetorical devices; verbal IEDs.

Anyone would think you are talking about a bus timetable. The buses may not come because the timetable has been changed, there has been a bad accident, the drivers are on strike etc. Perhaps God is on strike. I wouldn't blame him as he looks at the quality of 'intelligence' shown by the latest models of his creation.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jeez Shane you are so keen, why don't we just line them all up and let you shoot them?

Charles E said...

It is morally reprehensible to paint a picture of certain doom for the future. As well as eternally wrong. Young people despair and actually kill themselves, and others, when seemingly knowledgeable people fill their innocent heads with such, frankly, genocidal crap.

And worse. You really should not launch into areas you know next to nothing about Chris. As with 99% of the awful Greens, you have an Arts degree of sorts. Pol Sci? History perhaps. Yes you do know a lot of the latter, which should have taught you doom mongering is as old as the spoken word.. But science. Nah. Like the Greens you are scientifically illiterate.

The world is adapting at a faster rate than it is changing for the worse. By that I mean, thanks to the great gifts of western science and technology (and capitalism) we are very likely to be able to keep ahead of the two main warming issues: So easily feed the 10 billion; and move out of the low lying areas that will flood over the next 100 years. Climate change may be rapid geologically speaking but not so rapid humans cannot adapt. We are expert adapters. And that adaption is underway now at quite a pace. The young are the future and they are right into change on a worldwide scale so sit back in your dotage Chris and leave out the grumpy old doom rot.

By 2060 it is also very likely fossil fuel use will be plummeting (or ‘clean’) and the CO2 levels flat or on the way down. Also very likely is massive worldwide re-forestation which will help this decline and help cool, plus provide fully sustainably vast resources to build CO2 neutrally with..

The evidence for these claims? Scientists, who yes warn us of big issues but also work away at solutions rather than sit back and spread fear and stories of woe to come for the next generations. The evidence for optimism is way stronger than your doom and gloom picture which a small minority of scientists support. Exactly like the climate change deniers the doom brigade are simply unqualified for their opinions, and have few scientists among them. It is as if 13 year old school kids starting spouting off to you Chris on the history of the Labour Party based on reading Harry Potter.

kevonz1 said...

"Deluding voters into thinking that somehow the scientists will come up with a way of saving us all: a way which allows capitalism, consumerism and narcissistic individualism to continue unchecked and unmodified; is not something with which any responsible Green should be associated."
Copout 21 in Paris and the delusional response from James Shaw was the tipping point.for me.
The cognitive dissonance of our predicament is a case study in psychology like no other.
Two years ago I was saying similar things.
https://kevinhester.live/2016/10/28/a-critique-of-the-green-party-of-aotearoa-n-z-climate-change-policy/

David Stone said...

Hi Chris
Reading through the comments clarifies the problem doesn't it!
@ Shane ... Chris suggests that wether conditions may make shipping hazardous . A likely development. So boat people in flimsy decrepit craft might not be a problem.
The F-35s however might be. But we are more likely to be on the wrong side of their deployment as the .1% clear the only remaining habitable land for their own requirements.
@ Grey W ... "Unless we learn from history and resile from trying to be our own God," This is a man made problem. We have to try to be our own God this time. We are wrecking what he provided for us if that is how it all came about, and we can't expect him to save us. But in a sense you might have hit on an aspect of the dilemma. Whether we believe in a god or not it is decidedly unnatural to view the world as anything but given. To imagine that we , instead of God could either preserve or destroy it might be beyond our mental/psychological/emotional scope.
@ Guillaume ... The Values in the 70s typified an awakening, a reaction to personal material wealth and acquisition in favour of caring for the planet and sharing . The 80s and onwards seem to have been a violent swing back again to selfish greed and materialism. Very disheartening.
@ Tom ... None of your quotes of previous gloomy prospects are likely to be wrong except in the timing. World population has tripled in my lifetime. It is amazing that this has been possible, but it can't go on forever.
D J S

Jens Meder said...

Still, might not a lower than population increasing birth rate especially by the poor and those who complain about poverty and want to consume more - be helpful in reducing pollution and the severity of all those climate change dangers we face - or at least give our reduced numbers of descendants a better chance to cope with them ?

Guillaume said...

The remedy proposed by Mr McDowell to the possible future arrival in New Zealand waters of seaborne refugees epitomises the populist response. Mr Trump now proposes to use the US military to prevent people from Central America entering the United States. It is always the poor, benighted people at the bottom of the pile who suffer. One hopes that Mr McDowell never has to seek succour.

The aircraft to which he refers, the F 35, each cost US$85 million and US$42,000 an hour to fly. Assuming a Squadron to be about 12 aircraft then his proposal to reform an air combat wing would cost well over US$2 billion, and millions of dollars more to operate. With such a small tax base New Zealand simply cannot afford to acquire and operate such military toys. That is why the air combat when was scrapped in the first place.

Time perhaps for the world to become less belligerent and apply such enormous sums to ameliorating the disruptive consequences of 21st-century commerce and lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Tom Hunter is Bertrand Russell's chicken.

Nick J said...

I'd caution you on "Doomsday nonsense". For my sins years back I studied geology, and discovered Hubbert on oil depletion models. They are fact based and proven, so ergo we will run out. I'm will predict with absolute certainty the end of the oil age, date uncertain but within a generation or two.

That has implications you can broadly predict. No more easy concentrated energy, plenty of diffuse energy. No more artificial fertilisers, lower crop yields, inability to feed global masses. Capitalism, who cares? This will happen under any system.

The important thing is that we prepare and transition. That means a recognition of the issues and realistic responses as opposed to willful blindness and techno-narcissism.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Charles E:

Long on the personal abuse, Charles, but very short on evidence.

I cite the latest IPCC report, you cite "scientists". Perhaps you could name some of these scientists? Or, even better, provide us with a link to their wonderfully optimistic research?

President-elect Bolsonaro and his agribusiness friends have declared open season on the Amazon rain forest. So that's a big blow to the planet. Where are all these remedial forests you mention being planted, Charles? I don't think Shane Jones can solve this problem single-handed.

Methinks you are in need of some new tunes to whistle in the dark.

greywarbler said...

Guillaume and NickJ leave not bird droppings but dropping of mana on our desert of confusion:

G:Time perhaps for the world to become less belligerent and apply such enormous sums to ameliorating the disruptive consequences of 21st-century commerce and lifestyle.

NickJ: The important thing is that we prepare and transition. That means a recognition of the issues and realistic responses as opposed to willful blindness and techno-narcissism.

And Dvid Stone - I imagine that if we adopted the idea that the world is given, and to be in it is a gift, a miracle, and we then try to get back a Garden of Eden simplicity and respect for nature and each other, which includes controlling violence and war and limiting child numbers, that would trump Silicon Valley and the ubiquitous attacks and warlike moves that continue the MAD impetus. Perhaps a play on the word 'ubiquitous' - UBI (Universal Basic Income (with add-ons), 'quit' delaying tactics to wanted and necessary legislation affecting wellbeing of everything, and O the Us at the end would be able to face life or death in better heart with timely resources.

Tom Hunter said...

Tom Hunter is Bertrand Russell's chicken.
His chicken was not an economist.

To be fair, it's not just the Environmentalists of the '70's and beyond who continue to repeat the Multhusian mistake:

In 1885, the U.S. Geological Survey announced there was “little or no chance” of oil being discovered in California, and a few years later they said the same about Kansas and Texas.

In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies would last only another 13 years.

In 1949, the Secretary of the Interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight.

Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey advised us that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas.


I studied geology, and discovered Hubbert on oil depletion models.
And again! Seriously? This is still a thing? Hubbert's theory had problems from the start because - and this is where the economic and technology aspects kick in - he could only think in terms of traditional oil production methods from traditional oil fields, especially large oil fields, not to mention the assumptions hidden by the term URR (Ultimately Recoverable Reserves). Even before the invention of fracking this was causing problems with predictions around the world, even when the theory appeared to have worked for the USA and North Sea.

Matthew Simmons, in his book “Twilight in the Desert”, noted the 1975 URR estimate by Aramco for the Ghawar field (when it was owned by four US companies) was 46 billion barrels, having produced 15.5 billion barrels to that date. To 2010 it has produced 65 billion barrels, far past the point when Peak Oil theory demands that output should decline and decline rapidly.

Even in the USA, ground zero for Hubbert's theory, fracking has effectively destroyed it. And of course the global reserves continue to increase: Remember Peak Oil

Now nobody in the oil and gas industry has ever stated that the reserves are inexhaustible. Given how they're created there must be a limit to them. But that limit is affected by more than crude theory like Hubbert's and it was foolish to try and scare people into complying on AGW by using a Resistance Is Futile approach on fossil fuel cost/recovery. As I stated in that Kiwiblog piece several years ago:

What really should be learned from this is not so much peak oil or even the issue of yet another Malthusian doom avoided, but the people who did not understand science, did not understand the history of technology and did not understand economics.

Take a look at this old Kiwiblog thread on the subject from 2007, starring long-gone DPF-hate-goblin, Rogernome.

Appeals to authority – in that case people with PhD’s in geology, economics and oil industry executives – also loom large in the debate. So confident in the thesis were they that the concept is even pushed to other areas, so you can forget about nuclear power saving us from AGW because of “Peak Uranium”.


If you can look beyond these comments that are out in their timing,....
See the previous. Their problem was not in timing but in the ignorant assumptions they made about the combination of science, technology and economics when it comes to "natural resources", or anything really - which is why they continue to make similar doom-laden forecasts.

Tom Hunter said...

World population has tripled in my lifetime. It is amazing that this has been possible, but it can't go on forever.
And it won't. The Population Bomb screamfest of the late 60's/early 70's prompted the UN to set up some group that would regularly assess population growth and their predictions for global human population in the mid-21st century. As I recall the predictions for 2050 went something like this:
1975 - 20 billion
1985 - 15 billion
1995 - 11 billion
2005 - 9 billion

Again the problem here was not "timing" but false assumptions. None of these experts saw that birth rates were falling rapidly even in the Developing world, less because of contraception, sterlisation or "one-child" policies (the latter really only implemented in China), but because of the rapid advance of simple public health measures like clean water and sewer systems, as well as the spread of general medicine.

In fact, the increasing worry among some demographers is that with birth rates falling well below replacement levels in many developed countries - and some developing countries, Iran being perhaps the best example - we might not only have a global population by 2100 that is smaller than 2050, but will be weighted far more towards the elderly. The implications for the existing health and social welfare systems of many countries is a concern.

Nobody understands this better than China, which recently rejected their decades old one-child policy, but are now desperately adopting measures with tax and welfare to try and boost the birth rate!!! Frankly I don't think it's going to work after two generations of the opppsite message being drummed into the population.

Nick J said...

Charles, I find it far more morally reprehensible to ignore what future generations will be saddled with, things you and I can easily define if we care to lift up our self centred short term eyes to discern them. Your advocacy of ignorance borders on criminal.

Nick J said...

Jens, yes any rational view of earths population versus resources available would suggest there are too many of us. Yes lots are poor, but hell, if we are going to cut their consumption let's also address population reduction....we should feed them the hyper-consuming rich. Now there's a few percent of over indulged parasites gone. Who's next?

guerilla surgeon said...

Christ,on a crutch Charles, scientists are working to try to alleviate some of the problems of global warming,But the ones who know what they are talking about – i.e. the climate scientists – are telling us that on the whole it's too little too late. Now do I believe them, or do I believe you? I think you probably know the answer to that, because your record of predictions es not good. Women's problems – sorted– Just before #metoo. Brexit going to be the best thing that ever happened to Britain – Of course it is.

Shane McDowall said...

Rattle their chains and they will bark.

I am well aware that the late Ian Paisley had more chance of becoming pope than the RNZAF has of getting a combat wing.

Incidentally, the Polish armed forces have truck mounted Kongsberg missiles. F-35's and air tankers are out of reach but I suspect trucks are within the NZDF's means.

The force I suggested would be overkill for flimsy freighters, but would pose a credible threat to even an aircraft carrier battle fleet.

I remember the Falkland War and the deadly Exocet.

Nick J said...

Tom, somebody tickle your temper? That's an exhaustive rebuttal. Tell me, at any point is oil a finite or infinite resource? Yes or no?

If you say yes then I contend with absolute confidence that you are wrong. If no, re-read your comments, we are arguing about the timing of a certainty.

The issue I have with your line of argument is the irresponsibility of saying it will all be ok when it certainly won't if we just carry on as "normal".

Nick J said...

Shane, I could be totally wrong but it seems to me that rockets and guidance systems make manned aircraft very much a liability at a fraction of the price...and they are "defensive".

Soraya said...

This demonstrates a lack of knowledge and the loss of vision as the Greens have been taken over by malthusian middle class socialists. The '4 per 1000' developed by France and included in the Paris Accord, also known as Agroecology, Rengenerative Agriculture, Silvopasture, Permaculture are all names for the big grass roots solution for climate change and feeding the world.
This involves sinking carbon into the soil by using farming practices that eliminate synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, increasing soil organic matter, no till, plant diversity as practiced by Gabe Brown and the 'soil carbon cowboys' in the USA and by 'Singing Frog Farms' and Charles Hervé-Gruyer in Normandy. Christine Jones is a pastorial scienctist who has visited/lectured in NZ several times on how to farm in this manor.
The use of inorganic nitrogen in agriculture is recognised as a highly inefficient and polluting practice. Globally, over $100 billion of nitrogen fertilisers are applied to crops and pastures every year. Between 10 and 40% of the applied nitrogen is taken up by plants. Much of the remaining 60% to 90% is returned to the atmosphere as ammonia or nitrous oxide or leached to aquatic ecosystems as nitrate. Due to its high mobility, inorganic nitrogen has become a key stressor for terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. The restoration of soil biodiversity can replace the need for inorganic nitrogen fertilisers.

Also regreening the desert is being accomplished by experts like John D Liu and John Kaisner and Geoff Lawton.
Additionally farms are not profitable because the spend so much on imputs like fertiliser and pesticides and associated tech and as the soil degrades and soil life is starved and poisoned collapses irrigation becomes necessary.

I wish the young Greens would get back to their key strengths in supporting this type of farming and protecting us from Monsanto GMO seeds, profiteering corporates, water privatisations etc and individual liberty.

Nick J said...

Soraya, you are on the button, so true. I have watched both the Greens and the state of our rivers for years, both going downhill rapidly. Your prescription is much needed.

On the rivers I watched lowlands streams drained for irrigation and grow excess algae from nitrate run off years before big dairy completed their demise. Today I'm watching a new Monsanto blight, herbicide "ploughing"..That kills the microbes and then poisons anything in the run off.

Where are the real Greens when most needed?

Charles E said...

Hmm. Read what I said. I'm saying there is no case for despair at all. Ever. I'm not saying we should carry on damaging the planet. We should not. We have warmed it a bit and yes must not keep doing that, sure. I'm saying we are well on the way to heading decisively in the other direction and it is criminal to panic and/or despair. Always.
Never underestimate how much damage doom-mongering by grey old people (like me) can do.